With some recent news about some key skill position players, some point spreads for NFL Week 1 games here at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook in Las Vegas have seen some major movement, including last week.
Let’s take a look at the current numbers (Monday, August 17) hanging on the betting board over at the SuperBook compared to the one’s the sportsbook hung up in April, analyze some of the movement, and then provide a couple of fresh picks as well as a fun 7-point Teaser for 2015 NFL Kickoff Weekend which is now less than a month away.
Which NFL Week 1 Game’s Sides Odds Are Moving and Why
About half of the games of the NFL Week 1 betting board have seen little movement, while the other half has seen a remarkable amount of action and line movement for a league which is still four weeks away from officially beginning its Regular Season which kicks off on Thursday, September 10 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts when the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers (NBC, 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT) lock horns on the old gridiron. And it’s to nobody’s surprise that this Patriots-Steelers game is one of the one’s which has had the most line movement with the potential 4-game suspension of New England QB Tom Brady for his part in the Deflategate scandal in the AFC Championship game last season seemingly hung up in the courts now. Of course. Some got a crack at taking the Steelers +6 and when thoughts Brady would be suspended here in Week 1 began, the number plummeted all the way down to 2½ before returning to (Patriots) -3 where it sits now in sportsbooks which still actually have the number hung up for betting. For some, taking this extremely high-profile and must-watch game off the betting board (again) until real news of a real Brady suspension comes down and it’s hard to blame them. There is a huge difference between taking (or betting against) New England as 3-point chalks with Brady behind Center as opposed to Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo getting the start and astute sports gamblers know this. It seems Mr. Brady is worth (at least) 3 points in this market.
The next game on the betting board which has seen a decent amount of action and NFL odds movement is the NFC North contest at Soldier Field in Chicago between bitter rivals, the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. When this line came out on April 21, Green Bay was installed as 4-point favorites over Da Bears. But with doubts heavy in Chicago—a team enslaved to QB Jay Cutler’s contract these past couple of seasons—and then last week’s news that Rookie WR Kevin White (West Virginia), the No. 7 overall Pick in the NFL Draft, would be missing at least the first 6 weeks, and possibly the entire season, with a Stress Fracture in his Shin, and the line inflated to its’ current 6½. Better get it (lay it) while you still can. Toss in the statistical reality that the Packers have completely owned this series both SU and ATS recently (Packers 8-1 ATS L9 vs Bears, 5-0 ATS L5 in Chicago) and you can see why the money is on the Cheeseheads and that maybe a (minimum) 7-point spread may be on Green Bay by gameday.
Another Week 1 game which has seem some line movement, though minimal, is the Houston Texans-Kansas City Chiefs contest at NRG Stadium on Sunday, September 13. The news two weeks ago that Texans RB Arian Foster had a Groin injury—he’s since had surgery—and that the 28-year-old native of Albuquerque, New Mexico could miss half the season sent the Texans line down ½ a point from (Houston -) 1½ to 1. So, that small influx of Chiefs money means the betting public think Foster is (only) worth about ½ point here, and it’s hard to argue with that reaction. He matters but they have time to do something about it. Both of these AFC teams—Houston and Kansas City—should be on the upswing this season and this is honestly a tough game to handicap and may best be just watched. Your call.
The Carolina Panthers (up to -4½ from -4) have also drawn some action, possibly from positive perceptions of the Panthers... or maybe just negative ones on the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13 in 2014, -163 Point Differential) who host Carolina in Week 1 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville and who saw their Round 1 and No. 3 overall Draft Pick, Florida LB Dante Fowler (knee) injured only an hour into the team’s first Minicamp. Funsies. The Cincinnati Bengals have also had some money bet on them of late, with the odds for their Week 1 game at Oakland trickling up ½ point from 3 to 3½—a key move in NFL betting circles. And the Atlanta Falcons have also received some betting attention for their Monday Night Football tilt—the line moved from Eagles -1 to Pick ‘Em—for their Home game in Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles. This may be a combination of hope Atlanta has a better season, the Home site and the question marks surrounding the Eagles starting QB spot which looks like it will be inhabited by the oft-injured Sam Bradford, brought over in an Offseason trade with the St. Louis Rams.
And, the last game on the Week 1 betting board, the second Monday Night Football contest—the Minnesota Vikings at the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara—has also seen an enormous amount of line movement with the host San Francisco 49ers actually flipping from 3½-point Favorites to 1-point Underdogs here at the SuperBook (the 49ers are still 1-point Favorites at fellow Sin City betting shops The Mirage and Station Casinos, while the game is currently a Pick offshore at Pinnacle). Why? It’s simple. San Francisco has lost more players off its Roster than George Washington lost soldiers in the battle of Harlem Heights. What has happened with this team and its personnel is simply unprecedented in the Modern Day NFL. Then, toss in some nice Offseason moves by Minnesota (Drafted CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State, signed Free Agent WR Mike Wallace, Dolphins) as well as hopes QB Teddy Bridgewater will shine in his sophomore year and that returning RB Adrian Peterson will return to 1,000-yard-a-season Rushing form and you have a monster 4½-point move and favorite shift before the season has even started. Just fluid, modern markets being fluid and modern.
Here are the current (Monday morning) NFL Week 1 Sides and Totals—almost all Totals movement has been toward the Under—odds over at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook along with the opening lines it posted on April 21.
NFL Week 1 Current vs. Opening Odds—Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Last: New England Patriots -3 Pittsburgh Steelers 49 (Currently—OFF BOARD)
Mirage (Las Vegas): New England Patriots -3, 49
Opened (SuperBook): Patriots -6, 53
Line Movement: Steelers money 3 points (-6 down to -3)
Total Movement: Under money 4 points (53 down to 49)
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Green Bay Packers -6½ Chicago Bears 50½
Opened: Packers -4, 50
Line Movement: Packers money 2½ points (-4 up to -6½)
Total Movement: Over money ½ point (50 up to 50½)
Possible Reason For Latest Movement: Bears Rookie WR Kevin White injury news.
Houston Texans -1½ Kansas City Chiefs 41½
Opened: Texans -1, 43
Line Movement: Chiefs money ½ point
Total Movement: Under money 1½ point (43 down to 41½)
Possible Reason For Latest Movement: Texans RB Arian Foster injury news.
New York Jets -3 Cleveland Browns 40½
Opened: Jets -1, 41
Line Movement: Jets money 2 points (-1 up to -3)
Total Movement: Under money ½ point
Indianapolis Colts -2½ Buffalo Bills 46½
Opened: Colts -3 Even, 48
Line Movement: Bills money ½ point (-3 down to -2½)
Total Movement: Under money 1½ (48 down to 46½)
Miami Dolphins -2½ Washington Redskins 44½
Opened: Dolphins -2½, 44½
Line Movement: None
Total Movement: None
Carolina Panthers -4½ Jacksonville Jaguars 42½
Opened: Panthers -4, 43½
Line Movement: Panthers money ½ point
Total Movement: Under money 1 point (43½ down to 42½)
Possible Reason For Latest Movement: Jaguars Rookie LB Dante Fowler injury news.
Seattle Seahawks -3½ St. Louis Rams 43
Opened: Seahawks -3½, 44
Line Movement: None
Total Movement: Under money 1 point (44 down to 43)
Arizona Cardinals -2½ New Orleans Saints 47
Opened: Cardinals -2½, 48
Line Movement: Where it started (-2½ up to -3 back down to -2½)
Total Movement: Under money 1 point (48 down to 47)
San Diego Chargers -2½ Detroit Lions 46
Opened: Chargers -2, 46½
Line Movement: Chargers money ½ point (-2 up to -2½)
Total Movement: Under money ½ point (46½ down to 46)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3 Tennessee Titans 42
Opened: Buccaneers -3, 42½
Line Movement: None
Total Movement: Under money ½ point (42½ down to 42)
Cincinnati Bengals -3½ Oakland Raiders 44
Opened: Bengals -3, 44½
Line Movement: Bengals money ½ point
Total Movement: Under money ½ point (44½ down to 44)
Denver Broncos -4 Baltimore Ravens 52
Opened: Broncos -4, 53
Line Movement: None
Total Movement: Under money 1 point (53 down to 52)
Dallas Cowboys -6 New York Giants 50 (NBC)
Opened: Cowboys -5½, 50
Line Movement: Cowboys money ½ point (-5½ up to -6)
Total Movement: None
Monday, September 14, 2015
Philadelphia Eagles PK Atlanta Falcons 53 (ESPN)
Opened: Eagles -1½, 53½
Line Movement: Falcons money 1½ points (-1½ down to PK)
Total Movement: Under money ½ point (53½ to 53)
Minnesota Vikings -1 San Francisco 49ers 41½ (ESPN)
Opened: 49ers -3½, 42
Line Movement: Vikings money 4½ points (SF -3½ to +1)
Total Movement: Under money ½ point (42 down to 41½)
Possible Reason For Latest Movement: Combined 49ers devolution with Vikings hope.
Week 1 NFL Picks: Philadelphia Eagles PK over Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks -3½ over St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3 over Tennessee Titans (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Week 1 NFL 7-Team 7-Point Teaser: Packers +½/Texans +6/Seahawks +3½/Buccaneers +4/Ravens +11/Cowboys +1/Eagles +7 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)