Betting The Closing Line - Last Minute Week 1 Predictions

NFL Fans IN Team Jersey's Cheering

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, September 11, 2016 4:05 PM UTC

Sunday, Sep. 11, 2016 4:05 PM UTC

The NFL lines open early in the week but change throughout. Let’s take a look at some of the more noticeable shifts in the lines that the NFL odds makers are dealing.

Money Moving The Lines
We all know that offshore sportsbooks and NFL betting odds makers don’t just deal numbers and sit on them. They refuse to be sitting ducks and will rapidly change their numbers to reflect an influx of money on one team or one side of the total. It’s the way it works, as ultimately their goal is to get an even amount of money on either side of the wager and collect the vigorish. Theoretically, that’s how it’s supposed to work but oftentimes the books are sided despite their attempts to woo money to the other side.

But what we, as NFL sports gamblers, should be aware of is whether that line change is a result of a wave of public money or sharpshooters pouncing on what they perceive to be a bad number. The general rule of thumb is that the public loves favorites, especially home favorites, and the sharps like to take advantage of those inflated numbers and normally “steam” the underdogs. Let’s take a look at some late breaking action as the weekend approaches and try to figure out where the sharps are on these Week 1 NFL games.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons Picks 2016
There is a lot of talk about this game and I was just a day late to the party as I would have loved to have had the Bucs +3 but waited just a bit too long. Alas, as reported in my weekly NFL picks column, I had to swallow hard and back the Bucs at +2 ½ (+100) which means I paid no vig for the privilege. Anytime the oddsmakers have to get off of a critical number like 4, 6, 7 and especially 3 then you know there was some heavy dough bet on one side or the other. In this case the number dropped indicating money was being sent in on the underdog Bucs.

As of this writing all of the major offshore books are hanging Atlanta -2 ½ (-110) with the notable exception of Bovada that has the Falcons -3 (-125) which means in order to get that three you must pay 25 percent instead of the usual 10 percent juice. This looks like the sharps are loading up on the road dogs and I can’t say I blame them!

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Cleveland Browns vs Philadelphia Eagles Picks Sunday September 11, 2016
If you decided to get a jump on your NFL picks in June when many of the offshore sportsbooks began to deal their numbers for Week 1 of the 2016 NFL season, then you no doubt saw that the Philadelphia Eagles were listed as seven-point home favorites over that moribund franchise known as the Cleveland Browns. But as summer gave way to an approaching autumn you would find that the number began to tumble on Philadelphia.

The Browns became more alluring as the potential of a career renaissance for RGIII loomed and may be lined up against the newest boy wonder, Carson Wentz instead of veteran Sam Bradford. Once Bradford was unexpectedly traded the number went from 5 ½ to where it sits now at 3 ½. I don’t think that the sharps are pounding the Browns because they love them but only because they know what even the squares know, Philly is now forced to baptize the No. 2 overall pick in the draft by fire.

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New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys Odds & Pick - Sunday September 11 2016
The oddsmakers opened this up with the Cowboys -3 ½ over the visiting NY Giants. That changed quite a bit with the latest injury to starting QB Tony Romo. Since then that line has been reduced to a virtual coin flip as the offshores are making this one a pick’em.

Nothing sharp or square about the Giants getting pounded down from +3 ½ to a pick, just public information and today, even the squares get that as fast as the sharps…most of the time.

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