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NFL: Opening Line Report - Week 8

NFL: Opening Line Report - Week 8

Opening Line Report - Week 8
By Stephen Nover

Just when they get Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey back, the New Orleans Saints lose their most important weapon, Reggie Bush.

The Saints will be without Bush when they play San Diego Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London. Bush is worth two points on the betting line, according to Las Vegas Sports Consultants senior oddsmaker Mike Seba.

The linesmakers at LVSC recommended an opening number of Chargers minus three. The line, though, already was creeping higher on Monday.

“It has to be 3½,” Seba said. “No way will it close three.”

San Diego has been a huge disappointment. LaDainian Tomlinson hasn’t crossed the goal line in three straight games. The Chargers’ defense ranked 28th going into Monday missing pass-rushing star Shawne Merriman.

Luckily for the Chargers they play in what has become a weak AFC Western Division. The Saints aren’t as fortunate. At 3-4, they can’t take another loss with each of the three other NFC South Division teams only having two losses.

Carolina pounded New Orleans, 30-7, on Sunday.

“The Saints are just reeling,” Seba said. “Losing that game to the Panthers put them in a real mess.”

This is considered a home game for the Saints. Normally they would be playing on carpet inside their dome stadium, which is suited to their fast-paced, high-octane style.

But now the Chargers figure to have a field edge because Wembley Stadium is a grass field, San Diego’s normal surface. Rain always is likelihood, too, when playing in London.

The New York Giants defeated Miami, 13-10, at Wembley Stadium last year. The game was played in sloppy conditions under a steady rain that negatively impacted both offenses.

The Giants-Dolphins game dipped well ‘under’ the total of 47. The Chargers-Saints total was 46 on Monday afternoon.

Tennessee is the lone unbeaten team in the NFL and finally generating some respect in the betting market. The Titans were installed as four-point home favorites for their Monday night matchup against Indianapolis.

Bookmakers cleaned up on the Colts-Green Bay Packers game Sunday when the Packers easily won. There was one-sided action on Indianapolis.

Because of that, Seba isn’t anticipating Colts money to show up in this Monday matchup.

“I can’t imagine it going lower than four,” he said. “If anything it might go to 4½.”

Keep in mind, though, the Colts lost to Green Bay without their top defensive player, safety Bob Sanders, missing their best running back, Joseph Addai, minus their No. 1 guard, Ryan Lilja, and top cornerback, Kelvin Hayden.

The Titans have yet to defeat a team with a winning record.

If you think Miami should be installed as a home favorite against Buffalo try again. The Bills were slight road chalk on Monday. LVSC’s send-out on the matchup was Bills minus 2½.

“I would have argued for three,” Seba said. “It’s ridiculous to think of Miami as the favorite or that it will be a letdown spot for Buffalo. It’s a division game and Buffalo usually brings a lot of people for this game.

“Plus the novelty of Miami’s Wildcat formation is wearing down.”

There are two double-digit favorites this week: The New York Jets are minus 12 ½ hosting the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston is minus 10 at home to Cincinnati.

Underdogs of 10 or more points are 8-1 against the spread this season.

Also this week there are two instances of West Coast teams playing early start times with a three-hour time difference from what they are used to.

The Oakland Raiders are plus seven at Baltimore and Arizona is plus 4½ at Carolina. West Coast clubs are 1-9 against the spread this year when going from west to east with an early start time.

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Re: NFL: Opening Line Report - Week 8

Football Betting: Early Week Line Movements
by Robert Ferringo

Two points are being illustrated by our research here with our early line movements. First, the systems and situations that can consistently pay out in the long term are not easy to find. Over a two-year stretch the "sharp" action is just 52-52. Second, since you can't just blindly play favorites, or underdogs, or early line movements, the three ways to make a profit in football gambling are to 1) go against teams taking more than 80-85 percent of the public action, 2) stay ahead of trends, and 3) know when to ride the hot hand.

Right now the hot hand is going against the "sharp" early line movements in both college and pro football. Over the last three weeks these early line movements are just 6-20 ATS, including a 2-5 mark last week. Now, that means that prior to this decline the sharp early money had gone 46-32 (59 percent) for over a year. That's a solid run and would have been reason to ride the wave. But after a dramatic reversal, right now the only way to play it is to bet against the teams being tracked in this space. That is, until it turns itself around.

Here are this week's games:


Minnesota at Purdue (Noon, Saturday, Oct. 25)
Open: Minnesota -2.0
Current: 'Pick'
Tracking: Purdue

The Golden Gophers have quietly been one of the biggest surprises in college football this year. They are 6-1 just one season after struggling to a single win and they are coming off a tremendous road upset over Illinois. Conversely, Joe Tiller's Purdue squad is spiraling out of control and need to make a strong push to reverse their 2-5 start. However, Purdue has played a much more challenging schedule, they are 7-1-1 ATS in the last nine meetings, and they are facing the No. 104 pass defense in the country.

Duke at Vanderbilt (3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 25)
Open: Vanderbilt -14.0
Current: Vanderbilt -9.5
Tracking: Duke

Vanderbilt has covered five straight meetings in this series and is taking on a Duke squad that's lost its last two games by an average of three touchdowns. Duke couldn't stand up to Georgia Tech's option attack. But Vandy has already been in this position once this year - the Jackets had torn up Mississippi State before playing the Commodores and they made the necessary adjustments to shut down Vandy's rush attack. Will Duke do the same?

Kentucky at Florida (12:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 25)
Open: Florida -19.0
Current: Florida -24.5
Tracking: Florida

I think that this is a curious line movement towards the Gators and is overlooking one very salient point: Florida has Georgia on deck and is likely looking forward to that grudge match. That said, Florida has covered eight of 10 overall and have maimed Kentucky 10 straight times (straight-up). Kentucky has played South Carolina and Alabama tough this year - losing by an average of just five points - and has covered five of six in this series.

North Carolina State at Maryland (3:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 25)
Open: Maryland -14.0
Current: Maryland -10.5
Tracking: N.C. State

When Maryland's own players admit that they don't know how they are going to play from week to week you can't really expect bettors to have any more of a clue. The Wolfpack have lost three straight games but are 4-1 ATS in their last five games. Injuries have decimated N.C. State this year but they are still playing hard. On top of that, the Terps are in a perfect sandwich spot - coming off a tremendous shutout win over Wake Forest and looking ahead to a critical matchup at Virginia Tech next week.

Texas Tech at Kansas (Noon, Saturday, Oct. 25)
Open: 'Pick'
Current: Kansas -2.5
Tracking: Kansas

It's usually a huge red flag when a lower ranked team is favored over a higher one - especially when that higher ranked team is No. 6 in the nation. Texas Tech is unbeaten, but their best win came against……….Nebraska? Kansas State? The Jayhawks are battle-tested, going 3-0 ATS against South Florida, Colorado and Oklahoma this year. This is a matchup of two of the best pass offenses in the country (Tech is No. 1, Kansas is No. 6) and two of the worst pass defenses in the country (Tech is No. 104 , Kansas No. 100). Forget the points either way: back the team you think will win.


Atlanta at Philadelphia (1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 26)
Open: Philadelphia -7.5
Current: Philadelphia -9.0
Tracking: Philadelphia

One of the easiest decisions you can make each year is to bet on the Eagles after a bye week. They are 17-7 ATS in their last 24 games after a bye and 8-3 ATS as a home favorite. The books know this. So they intend to jack up the spread as high as they feel that they can. Atlanta is a very good team and is also coming off a bye week. But they are just 2-6-1 ATS in the last nine meetings and although they did win in Lambeau they were manhandled on the road in Carolina and Tampa Bay.

Washington at Detroit (1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 26)
Open: Washington -9.0
Current: Washington -7.5
Tracking: Detroit

This is a huge red flag if 60 percent of the action is on the Redskins but the line is moving towards the Lions. That said, how can you watch Dan Orlovsky and think that Detroit has a realistic chance at winning? Washington won by 31 points at home last year and is clearly the stronger squad. But be careful. You always have to be wary of betting against teams looking for their first win of the year. Washington lost to St. Louis at home and is 0-2 ATS recently (vs. 2-0 ATS for Detroit).

Cincinnati at Houston (4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 26)
Open: 46.5
Current: 44.0
Tracking: Under

This is the second week in a row that the Bengals' total has fallen significantly, mid-week. Now, last week's game went safely 'over'. Will it happen again? That's a tough one, especially considering the Bengals just lost their best defensive player, MLB Keith Rivers, for the season. Houston has been an 'over' machine (19-7-1) while the Bengals are a steady 'under' play (9-4). Carson Palmer will not play this week, which will make it tough for the Bengals to move the ball. But they can't stop anyone. Who knows.

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.

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.

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