Early Week Favorites Money Ticks Up for NFL Divisional Round

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 2:01 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018 2:01 PM UTC

After releasing numbers for this weekend’s NFL Divisional Playoffs, sportsbooks have seen the slightest movement -- except for the Falcons-Eagles total in Saturday's opener.

Saturday NFL: Falcons vs. EaglesOdds Updates

Open: ATL -3 -105; Current: ATL -3 -105; Movement: None

Total open: 43½; Current: 41 -105; Movement: 2½ points

Moneyline open: ATL -155; High: ATL -160 (Bovada); Low: ATL -143 (5Dimes)


Some offshore sportsbooks are showing the odds at 2½, but Bookmaker and about half of the others are hanging a (Falcons minus) 3 for this first game of the weekend. When the point spread opened Sunday — the first time a No. 1 seed has ever been an underdog in this spot — Bookmaker moved the number down a half-point three times but quickly returned it to 3. Thoughts are, lemmings might follow this move and we could see 3’s everywhere soon and until kickoff, but a line of 3½ seems a stretch and sportsbooks won’t want to give bettors the opportunity of taking Atlanta and laying the 2½, taking host Philadelphia and grabbing a theoretical 3½, then hoping the Falcons (86% amount wagered) win by 3 so they can middle it. With computers, the days of finding 2½’s and 3½’s on the same high-profile game may be like looking for Yeti — out there, but requiring massive resources and time to hope you can somehow thread the needle with rope. As far as the total and all that early under money driving the line down from 43½ to 41, it seems like smart money, with the Eagles likely to be a bit more conservative on offense with Nick Foles playing for injured starter Carson Wentz and the Eagles' defense improved. A 0-0 first quarter is possible, and the under is 10-6 in 16 meetings between these two NFC birds since 1992.

Saturday NFL: Titans vs. PatriotsOdds updates

Open: NE -13½; Current high: NE -14 (Bovada); Current low: NE -13 (JustBet)

Total open: 47; Current low: 46½ (JustBet); Movement: ½ point

Moneyline open: NE -850; High: NE -1,000 (Sports Interaction); Move: 150 cents


Even with the Titans' remarkable comeback to reach this AFC Divisional Round, early bettors have been backing the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots according to consensus numbers that show 74.01 percent of the money bet has been bet on New England, with the average Patriots wager size more than doubling that of Titans backers ($78 to $33). With this game at home and the Patriots having had last weekend off, plus the public’s tendency to take popular home favorites in big games such as this, expect the point spread to inch up toward 14 closer to Saturday, with the late and unsure money probably going on the same team as the early and perceived wise money in this case. The sportsbooks likely will be pulling hard for the Titans to cover ATS if this trend continues.

Sunday NFL: Jaguars vs. Steelers

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Free NFL Pick: Steelers -7½ +100Best Line Offered: 5DimesOdds Updates

Open: PIT -7; Current high: PIT -7½; Movement: ½ point

Total open: 41; Current low: 40½ -110 (Skybook); Movement: ½ point

Moneyline open: PIT -340; Current: PIT -380 (Bovada); Movement: 40 cents


The bulk of the early money in the wagers placed (57.97 percent) and amount wagered (76.66 percent) on the host Steelers in the consensus categories reveals a point spread number waiting to bubble over its current spot at 7½ in most sportsbooks offshore and in Las Vegas, with the total at 41 almost everywhere except for a couple of outliers showing 40½. More than likely, money will continue on the Steelers and the point spread might reach 8 late, with the total probably staying in a tight 40 to 41 range, especially because of Sunday's weather forecast: a high of 19 and a low of 8.

Sunday NFL: Saints vs. VikingsOdds Updates

Open: MIN -3½; Current high: MIN -4½; Movement: ½ point

Total open: 44½; Current high: 45; Movement: ½ point

Moneyline open: MIN -190; Current high: MIN -210 (The Greek); Movement: 20 cents


The consensus shows the Saints have had more wagers placed on them than the Vikings (594 to 535), but the total amount wagered and average wager size has favored the Vikings, who have settled in as 4-point home favorites everywhere but outlier Sports Interaction (MIN -3½), with the total for the Divisional Round finale at 45. This one should be more balanced than a couple of the others, with split side action on both teams. So, the numbers leading to kickoff probably will remain close to where they are now, so there's no real need to bet this one now -- unlike the other three games where more money might come in on the popular chalks (Falcons, Patriots, Steelers).

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