2016 NFL Week 7 Line Moves That Matter
Every week in this space we highlight the most interesting line moves at the market-setting offshore sportsbooks — typically Bookmaker and Pinnacle — which take the highest limits and therefore attract the sharpest bettors. By contrasting the opening and current lines with the public betting trends from our seven contributing offshore sportsbooks, we’re able to determine how public betting has affected the line.
We are also proud to announce that in addition to our public betting percentages, we now offer real money percentages, which reflect the percentage of total dollars wagered at one of the sharper offshore sportsbooks. This allows bettors to easily monitor all the factors influencing line movement.
Using the data available to Sportsbook Insider subscribers, I have examined the latest trends to determine what’s driving line movement in the most interesting Week 7 matchups.
Oakland Raiders at Jacksonville Jaguars (Sunday at 1:00 PM eastern)
Jack Del Rio, who guided the Jaguars to two postseason appearances during his tenure as head coach, will return to Jacksonville for the first time since he was fired during the 2011 season. Del Rio’s return will be a major storyline, but many fans will also be excited to watch the ongoing development of two third-year quarterbacks — Oakland’s Derek Carr and Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles.
The Raiders opened as 1.5-point road underdogs at the market-setting Pinnacle sportsbook, but they have received 83% of spread bets and 92% of total dollars wagered. It’s rare to see an underdog receiving the majority of public bets, but this level of public betting on an underdog is almost inconceivable.
According to @SportsInsights, no NFL underdog has ever received more than 80% of spread bets. OAK (+1 at JAX) currently receiving 83%.
— David Solar (@TheDavidSolar) October 20, 2016
Despite these historically one-sided public betting trends, the line hasn’t moved and the Raiders are still listed as 1.5-point underdogs. Assuming public bettors continue to overwhelmingly pound Oakland, it will be interesting to see whether sportsbooks are eventually forced to adjust their spread. For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Raiders close as a pick ’em or even as a small favorite.
The screenshot below displays the breakdown of our contributing sportsbooks.
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (Sunday at 8:30 PM eastern)
In this showdown between NFC West rivals, the Seattle Seahawks opened as 2.5-point underdogs at Bookmaker. Although the majority of public bettors usually take the favorite, the Seahawks are currently receiving just 69% of spread bets and 81% of total dollars wagered. The underdog has received a majority of spread bets in just 19.1% of all regular season games, so this is a fairly uncommon occurrence.
With the Seahawks receiving overwhelming public support, the line has moved from SEA +2.5 to +2.
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As you can see, the line dropped from 2.5 to 2 shortly after opening on Tuesday morning. The lines for most games are posted on Sunday evening, but this game was off the board because Arizona played on Monday night against the New York Jets. For what it’s worth, teams playing on short rest have gone 397-412 ATS (49.1%) since the start of the 2003 season.
It’s also worth noting that there’s been fascinating line movement on this game’s total. According to our public betting trends, 52% of tickets are on the over but 86% of total dollars wagered have taken the under. With most of the money taking the under, the total has dropped from 43.5 to 43 at Bookmaker.
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It’s important to realize there’s roughly three times more money bet on the spread as opposed to the total, which is why we don’t typically advocate betting against the public on the total. That said it’s extremely rare to see this level of public money taking the under — especially given the tendency of casual bettors to hammer the over. Since the start of the 2003 season, the majority of public bettors have taken the over in 86.6% of all regular season games.
Houston Texans at Denver Broncos (Monday at 8:30 PM eastern)
After starting eight games last season for the Denver Broncos, quarterback Brock Osweiler signed a four-year, $72 million contract with the Houston Texans over the off-season. His departure was not without drama, so you should expect to hear boos reigning down when Osweiler returns to Denver on Monday night.
The Broncos opened as 6-point favorites at Bookmaker and, according to our public betting trends, have received 71% of spread tickets and 73% of total dollars wagered. With the market steadily pounding Denver all week, oddsmakers have been forced to adjust their number multiple times, eventually landing at the current line of Denver -9.
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As you can see from the line chart above, the Broncos moved from -6 to -7 just 40 minutes after the line opened. Several hours later, there was a steam move triggered on the Broncos, which caused the line to move from Denver -7 to -7.5. This was a very significant move since “7” is the second most common margin of victory. It also indicated that early sharp money liked the home favorite.
With public money continuing to pound the Broncos, the line has moved from Denver -7.5 to -9. This 1.5-point line movement isn’t particularly significant since “8” and “9” are considered dead numbers but, since Monday night games receive a very high volume of bets, it will be fascinating to see whether public money continues to inflate this line. There hasn’t been any buyback on Houston yet, so that’s something we will continue to monitor as game time approaches.
Interested in checking out our new money percentages and line charts for every Week 7 game? Sign up now for a 4-day trial of Sportsbook Insider Pro.
Pro subscribers have access to real-time odds, public betting trends, money percentages, bet signals (including steam moves and reverse line movement alerts), injury alerts, value meter, line watcher, line predictor, and many other unique features. We have already released four NFL Best Bet for Week 7 including:
- Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles
- New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers
- San Diego Chargers at Atlanta Falcons
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