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MMA Wagering UnderGround >> NFL Week 1 Opening Line Moves

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9/6/05 5:54 PM
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Edited: 06-Sep-05
Member Since: 06/08/2002
Posts: 3995


NFL opening line moves   

If there's ever a time oddsmakers need a little guidance making NFL numbers it is opening week.

Some places, including the Las Vegas Hilton and Plaza hotel in downtown Las Vegas, have had Week 1 pointspreads up for months. Not surprisingly there has been lots of line movement.

Bettors have begun to show their hands, and linesmakers are beginning to form opinions about how the public perceives certain teams.
Here's a look at each of the 16 games and which way the line has moved and what, if any, conclusions may be drawn:

Oakland at New England
Those laying an opening seven are lucky. New England is minus 7 ½ and the line may climb higher for Thursday's opener. The Raiders are going to be a public team with Randy Moss making their offense very dangerous. But the public knows not to bet against Bill Belichick, especially when he's had ample time to prepare a defensive game plan.

Chicago at Washington
The Redskins opened minus 4 ½ and the line has climbed to 6 ½ with the Bears starting rookie quarterback Kyle Orton. This is the lowest total on the board by a good five points at 33. If the Bears can manage just 14 points, they stand a good chance of covering.

Denver at Miami
The line has gone from Denver minus 3 ½ to four. You can talk about this being Nick Saban's debut and the Broncos wilting in the South Florida humidity, but wise guys aren't buying it. This is a road favorite that has gotten backing and could get more. The Dolphins have failed to cover 13 of their last 16 home games. Linesmakers may have to shade Miami upward if they hope to draw future two-way action.

New Orleans at Carolina
The Panthers have gone from minus 5 ½ to 6 ½ primarily because of two factors. First, of course, is the hurricane tragedy that has devastated New Orleans. You can't blame the Saints if their focus and concentration isn't 100 percent. But, also, the Panthers have become a trendy pick with Sports Illustrated's Paul Zimmerman prognosticating them to beat the Colts in the Super Bowl. Look for oddsmakers to shade the Saints' number upward figuring the public is looking to bet against New Orleans each week.

Seattle at Jacksonville
This matchup may draw the least amount of action on the board. The Jaguars opened minus three. Some places have gone to minus 3 ½. This just reinforces how weak the NFC West Division is when perhaps its top team is at least a field goal underdog to a middle of the road team in the AFC South, the weakest of the four AFC divisions.


9/6/05 5:55 PM
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Edited: 06-Sep-05
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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.

-Stephen Nover

9/7/05 12:34 AM
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Edited: 07-Sep-05
Member Since: 01/28/2005
Posts: 18
That Philadelphia line sounds pretty good. I would go with Philly

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