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NFL: Opening Line Report - Week 5

NFL: Opening Line Report - Week 5

Opening Line Report - Week 5
By Stephen Nover

The Green Bay Packers have been very fortunate during the last two years at avoiding injuries.

That luck, though, has caught up to them this season.

Cornerback Charles Woodson is playing with a broken toe. And he’s the healthiest starter in Green Bay’s secondary with Al Harris (spleen) out and safeties Atari Bigby (hamstring) and Nick Collins (back) questionable along with injured linebacker A.J. Hawk (groin) and lineman Cullen Jenkins (shoulder).

But these assorted defensive injuries aren’t why there is no line up yet on the Atlanta-Green Bay matchup.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a right shoulder sprain. The drop from Rodgers to untested rookie Matt Flynn is worth around 4½ points in the line, according to Las Vegas Sports Consultants senior oddsmaker Mike Seba.

Dealing with a quarterback injury is something new for a generation of Packers fans.

Perhaps you can defend Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson for not putting up anymore with Brett Favre’s annual retirement indecision. Thompson believed in Rodgers and had the guts to act on his opinion.

However, to not back up Rodgers, who has had a history of injuries with the Packers, with a veteran is unfathomable. If Rodgers can’t go, rookie Matt Flynn most likely will get the call above another rookie, Brian Brohm. Flynn and Brohm could be the least ready backups in the league when it comes to facing NFL defenses.

“I don’t know what they expected,” Seba said of the Packers. “Rodgers gets hurt every year.

“So you don’t want Favre. Fine. But how you can not sign someone else is one of the great faux pas in NFL history.

“They do catch a break getting Atlanta at home this week.”

A Matt Flynn versus Matt Ryan matchup would have been good – a year ago when the two were at LSU and Boston College.

The New England Patriots are back in action after being idle last week following their disastrous and embarrassing 38-13 home loss to Miami two weeks ago.

Bookmakers opened the Patriots 3-point road favorites versus the San Francisco 49ers. Seba’s number on the game was New England minus six despite no Tom Brady.

“I know New England isn’t the same team, but this is a class thing,” Seba said. “The 49ers beat a crippled Seattle team and Detroit. They’re getting too much credit for those wins.

“They (the 49ers) got heavy backing (from bettors) against the Saints, who had a lot of injuries. But San Francisco showed it wasn’t ready.”

It doesn’t hurt New England’s case either when master defensive strategist Bill Belichick has two weeks to prepare.

Philadelphia opened as a six-point home favorite versus Washington. Seba thought that line was too high, especially if Brian Westbrook doesn’t play a second straight week. He said the Eagles shouldn’t be more than minus three if Westbrook is out.

Bookmakers were waiting on Monday for more information about Carson Palmer’s elbow injury before putting out a Cincinnati-Dallas line. On the Las Vegas Hilton’s early line, put out last week before this past Sunday’s games, the Cowboys were minus 14½. That was factoring in Palmer.

Detroit quarterback Jon Kitna looks recovered enough from a knee injury to start against Chicago. The Bears opened three-point road favorites. That could move up to minus 3½. The good news for Detroit is general manager Matt Millen finally has left the building for good.

“You have to give Detroit the benefit of the doubt with a new general manager starting fresh,” Seba said. “I wouldn’t want to lay more than 3½ with that Chicago offense.

“But as bad as the Bears are, you have to make them the favorites to win that division (NFC North) if Rodgers has a serious shoulder injury.”

Seba was surprised Arizona opened a one-point home favorite against undefeated Buffalo. Several LVSC oddsmakers had the Bills favored by 2½-to-three points.

The Cardinals are home after being on the East Coast for nearly two weeks. They could be without star wide receiver Anquan Boldin, though.

“If you look at what these two teams have done this season, Buffalo has to be the favorite,” Seba said.

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Re: NFL: Opening Line Report - Week 5

Football Betting: Early Week Line Movements
by Robert Ferringo

Last year we tracked the opening steam movements of lines in both college football and the NFL. The idea was to see if the "sharp" money was really that, or if the idea of trailing these severe early line movements was merely a myth. Well, I'm glad to say that we are back at it this season and ready to build on last year's research.

Here is the basic methodology. If a line starts as Penn State (-1) and moves to Penn State (-4) then we're going to track Penn State as our side, because the Lions are getting all of the money and driving the spread up. If the line starts as Penn State (-4) and then moves to Penn State (-2) we're going to track the opponent because they are taking the heavy action and it's moving the line lower.

After a solid 18-11 start to the season, the sharp action had a horrendous weekend. If you had tried to hop on the side that saw the spread move in its favor you would have went a putrid 1-7 ATS last week! All five of the college sides were losers and in the NFL the early action went just 1-2. That runs the Early Line Movements to 19-18 over five weeks of tracking in both college and the pros. That also runs the two-year total on these situations to 42-36.

Here are our Week 5 games:


Oregon State at Utah (9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2)
Open: Utah -8.0
Current: Utah -12.0

Looks like the sharps think that Oregon State's win over USC last Thursday was a fluke. Or at least that they are due for a severe letdown. The Utes made a statement by winning in The Big House to start the year. Now they want to slap on an exclamation point with a rout on national television of a BCS team. Utah has won three of five in this series but lost 24-7 last year when they lost their quarterback in the first quarter.

Boston College at North Carolina State (Noon, Saturday, Oct. 4)
Open: Boston College -4.5
Current: Boston College -8.0

Last week the Wolfpack were taking in a lot of early money and got absolutely manhandled by a motivated South Florida squad. This week the expectations are considerably lower with the Eagles coming to town. N.C. State is simply racked with crippling injuries on both sides of the ball and have a hard time keeping up physically. But don't underestimate Tom O'Brien matching up against his old team.

Penn State at Purdue (Noon, Saturday, Oct. 4)
Open: Penn State -9.5
Current: Penn State -12.5

Apparently the Penn State bandwagon is getting full. The Lions seem like a steal laying less than two touchdowns on the road to a feeble conference opponent. But you probably don't want to ignore the heart that Purdue showed while taking Oregon to overtime two weeks ago. Purdue is 10-1 SU in Big Ten openers over the last 11 years but they are just 2-9 in their last 11 meetings with Penn State. The Lions are 7-2 ATS against the Boilers and the favorite is 6-3 ATS in the last nine meetings.

Nevada at Idaho (5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 4)
Open: Nevada -19.0
Current: Nevada -24.0

Las Vegas saw exactly what the Wolfpack were capable off last week when they demolished UNLV on its home turf. Now Nevada heads on the road to Moscow to take on a Vandals team that has lost 20 straight games to D-IA teams and that has gone 2-20 ATS in its last 22 games.

Florida International at North Texas (8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 4)
Open: FIU -4.0
Current: FIU -7.0

It's tough to lay your loot on a team that gave up 70 points last weekend but that's the position that North Texas backers would be in. And judging by the early movements there aren't many of them. Florida International is pretty awful and is 4-10 ATS on the road. But they only lost to South Florida by eight points and then hammered Toledo in the Glass Bowl as an 18-point underdog.


Indianapolis at Houston (1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 5)
Open: Indianapolis -5.0
Current: Indianapolis -3.0
Tracking: Houston

Last week the only game with a significant early line movement that came through was the Texans. Now they look to make it two in a row. The Colts are coming off a bye week, but they are just 10-11 ATS with an extra week of rest and just 3-6 ATS after a bye when facing a divisional opponent. It's definitely desperation time for the Texans, who will be charged up with the emotion from playing their first game in Houston since Ike forced them on the road.

Kansas City at Carolina (1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 5)
Open: Carolina -8.0
Current: Carolina -9.5
Tracking: Carolina

Apparently the early bettors aren't looking for back-to-back stunners from the Chiefs after their 14-win as a 10-point underdog last Sunday. Carolina is currently 3-1 and has been one of the most impressive teams in the NFL to the quarter pole.

Buffalo at Arizona (4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 5)
Open: Buffalo -1.0
Current: Arizona -1.5
Tracking: Arizona

At 4-0 the Bills are one of the feel-good stories of the early NFL season. They're going to be getting a lot of love this week as a result of their perfect start and now they head out to the desert to face a club that just got lit for 56 points. Oh, and I'm betting that Anquan Boldin will be on the shelf for Arizona. So why the line swing? It might have to do with the fact that the Bills have been outplayed in five of their last eight quarters against two of the worst teams in the league (Oakland and St. Louis).

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