Tennessee at Pittsburgh
The Steelers are minus 7 ½. At first glance, the line looks short considering the 5-11 Titans were decimated by free agent defections. But the Steelers' first two running backs, Jerome Bettis and Duce Staley, are both hurt and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger looked horrible in preseason.
Cincinnati at Cleveland
Linesmakers made a mistake opening the Bengals just minus 2 ½. Those getting involved early in this matchup now have a chance for a middle as the line has grown to minus 3 ½. The Browns have nothing, but the Bengals are notorious slow starters. Cincinnati has failed to cover nine of its 11 September games the past three years. Gamblers probably were willing to back the Bengals at less than a field goal, but unable to trust them on the road at 3 ½.
Houston at Buffalo
The line has gone down from Bills minus five to minus four. The Texans looked awful in preseason, particularly on offense, but bettors seem reluctant to lay much of a price on mistake-prone second-year quarterback J.P. Losman, who threw just five passes his rookie season.
New York Jets at Kansas City
The line looks perfect head. The Chiefs opened minus 3 and no movement. It's hard to envision bookmakers getting off three in this one. At 48, this is the second highest over/under on the card next to the Raiders-Patriots at 49 ½.
Tampa Bay at Minnesota
This line opened either Vikings minus 5 ½ or 6. Some real conflicting trends here. The Bucs are 4-12 against the number their last 16 road games, while the Vikings are 14-24 against the spread laying points since 2000.
Arizona at New York Giants
Despite a bad offensive line, there's been a groundswell of support coming into the season for Arizona. It's showed up in this line, which opened Giants minus 2 ½ and is currently at minus 1 ½. Kurt Warner has lots of incentive going against Tom Coughlin, who benched him last year despite a winning record. However, the last time Warner faced the Giants two years ago he was sacked six times and suffered a concussion that basically ended his career with the Rams.
Dallas at San Diego
The line has stayed Chargers minus 4 ½. The Cowboys defense played well during preseason, and the Chargers will be without star tight end Antonio Gates. If money ends up coming on the ‘dog it may be an early signal to bookmakers that the public doesn't believe the Chargers are a 12-4 team like last season.
St. Louis at San Francisco
It sure seems bookmakers opened this game low at Rams minus 3 ½. It has been bet up to minus 4 ½, but still looks small. The Rams have a terrible mark as a favorite and on grass, 3-12 against the spread laying points and 7-18 against the number on grass. So if the Rams don't cover here, expect bettors to be very leery of the Rams when St. Louis plays at Arizona next week. After that, though, St. Louis has just one more game on grass.
Green Bay at Detroit
Those putting out an early line months ago had divided opinions. Some favored Green Bay, others Detroit. We know who's right. Detroit should have opened the favorite because the Lions are at minus 3. The Lions are no bargain, but the Packers struggled in preseason, have a horrendous defense and are still trying to figure out who is going to replace guards Marco Rivera and Mike Wahle.
Indianapolis at Baltimore
Indy is minus three. That's a real strong number. Bookmakers should get great two-way on this opening Sunday night ESPN matchup.
Philadelphia at Atlanta
The Monday night home underdog has gotten the early money so far. Philly has been bet down from minus three to two. This is understandable considering Atlanta is home with revenge, while the Eagles have lost running back Correll Buckhalter, wide receiver Todd Pinkston and nose guard Corey Simon not to mention having to put with the distracting antics of primadonna Terrell Owens.