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NFL Betting: Siding with road favorites

Lopsided action has one online sportsbook rooting for a bunch of home dogs on this week’s NFL betting card.

The betting public quickly and emphatically sided with four road favorites this week - the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, and New England Patriots.  By Friday afternoon, “85 to 95 percent” of the early bets were on those four road teams in their respective matchups, a Bovada spokesperson told OddsShark.

The Chiefs grew from 3-point to 5-point favorites over the up-and-down Oakland Raiders during the week. The Chiefs have covered the spread in eight of their last 10 visits to Oakland, and Kansas City comes in after snapping a three-game slide with an impressive performance in a blowout win at the Washington Redskins. Oakland’s roller-coaster season continued with an ugly loss to a New York Jets team that appeared to be on life support before the Raiders’ defense showed up. One note on the total: The UNDER is 14-2-1 in the past 17 meetings in the Chiefs-Raiders AFC West rivalry.

The red-hot Eagles head to Minnesota as road favorites. Behind the hot hand of quarterback Nick Foles, Philadelphia has won five straight games, highlighted by last week’s comeback over the Detroit Lions in a snowstorm. Ten of the Vikings’ 13 games have gone OVER the total this season, appropriate for a defense that ranks 30th against the pass and 22nd against the run.

The San Francisco 49ers also are surging down the stretch. The 49ers’ three-game win streak was capped by last week’s 19-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks, who have emerged as the favorites to win the Super Bowl at most shops. The 49ers were 6-point favorites over the suddenly-hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bovada as of Friday. Some shops opened the spread as low as San Francisco -3.5.

The New England Patriots head to the Miami Dolphins as tiny road favorites. At Bovada on Friday, the Patriots were 1.5-point favorites, while some books had the game listed as a pick ‘em. This will be the Patriots' first game since losing TE Rob Gronkowski, one of the reasons this line has shrunk drastically since opening at New England -3.5.