We are now halfway through the NFL season, and the playoff picture is starting to become clearer as the pretenders separate from the contenders. This is also the time where preseason expectations have been thrown out the window and bettors are able to identify top teams based on the merits of their current season performance.
The table below shows the lookahead lines from April via CG Technology compared to the opening and current odds at Bookmaker. Each week we’ll examine the biggest moves and analyze how oddsmakers’ expectations have changed since the offseason.
|Matchup||Opening Line||Current Line||Lookahead Line (4/21)|
|ATL at TB||ATL -3||ATL -3||TB -1.5|
|DET at MIN*||MIN -6.5||MIN -6.5||MIN -6.5|
|PHI at NYG||NYG -3||NYG -3||NYG -3|
|NYJ at MIA||MIA -3.5||MIA -3.5||Pick 'em|
|JAX at KC||KC -8.5||KC -8||KC -7|
|DAL at CLE||DAL -8||DAL -7||DAL -5|
|PIT at BAL||BAL -3||BAL -3||BAL -2.5|
|NO at SF||NO -3.5||NO -3||Pick 'em|
|CAR at LA||CAR -3||CAR -3||CAR -3.5|
|IND at GB||GB -7||GB -7||GB -6|
|TEN at SD||SD -4.5||SD -5||SD -4.5|
|DEN at OAK||DEN -2.5||OAK -1||DEN -1|
|BUF at SEA||SEA -6.5||SEA -7||SEA -10|
*Reflects consensus line. The game is currently off the board at Bookmaker.
- Bye Weeks: Arizona, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, New England, Washington
- Coming off Bye: Baltimore, Los Angeles, Miami, NY Giants, Pittsburgh, San Francisco
There aren’t many major departures from the preseason lookahead lines, but there were noteworthy discrepancies in two of the primetime games. In Thursday night’s game between the Falcons and Buccaneers, Tampa Bay was listed as a 1.5-point favorite on the preseason lookahead. When the line actually opened on Sunday evening, the Bucs were 1.5-point home underdogs.
In another major move, the Seahawks were listed as 10-point favorites against the Bills on the preseason lookahead line. Seattle opened as 6.5-point favorites at Bookmaker, although the line has since moved from SEA -6.5 to -7.
The Patriots have received the most public support in each of the past four weeks, but they’re on their bye this week. It will be interesting to see which teams are hammered by the public in Week 9, but some of biggest early exposures include a trip of three-point road favorites: Atlanta -3, New Orleans -3 and Carolina -3.
It’s also worth noting that the Miami Dolphins (-4) are receiving 68% of early spread bets against the New York Jets. The Dolphins have historically been one of the league’s worst home teams, and that’s especially true when they’re home chalk.
Miami Dolphins in home games (Since 2003)
As Underdog: 19-20 ATS
As Favorite: 18-48 ATS
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) October 31, 2016
One storyline to monitor is the health status of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Although Big Ben was initially expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a knee injury, Roethlisberger is ahead of that timetable and is expected to start Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. Once Roethlisberger is officially cleared to play, it wouldn’t be surprising to see that line move closer to a pick ’em.
Other key injuries to monitor: Alex Smith (Concussion), Steve Smith (Ankle), LeSean McCoy (Hamstring), Randall Cobb (Hamstring), T.Y. Hilton (Hamstring), Carlos Hyde (Shoulder), DeMarco Murray (Toe), Matt Jones (Knee) and DeSean Jackson (Concussion).
These numbers are subject to change before kickoff, so bettors should be sure to visit our free NFL odds page for the latest lines, injuries, public betting trends and more.
We would also suggest that readers sign up for a 4-day trial of Sportsbook Insider Pro for real-time odds, public betting trends, Best Bet picks, contrarian plays, steam moves, reverse line movement alerts and much more.
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