Week 15 NFL Betting Line Movement: Oddsmaker Explains Moves
by CarbonSports - 12/13/2013
At this point in the year, the AFC looks like a three-team conference with Denver, New England and Kansas City, in that order, at the top of the heap. If Week 15 NFL betting line movement has shown us anything, it’s that the NFC is a much different picture. The following four games have experienced some eye-catching alterations in the past 48 hours. These are all games worth jumping on early if you like the favorites, and I’ll tell you exactly why.
Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons -7.0
This line opened for the Falcons at ATL -4.5 and quickly jumped up to -7.0 after hearing RG3 would not be starting. To be completely fair, it’s obvious that this game features two teams that gamblers are scared to death of right now. Neither has anything to play for, and while Atlanta is still in the running to claim one of the top picks in a loaded draft, the Redskins dished their first rounder to the St. Louis Rams in the RG3 acquisition. If Washington has any pride, they’ll come out swinging.
But I doubt that they have any real motivation to give the Falcons a run for their – and your – money.
Things are getting worse and worse for Washington on all fronts. From their team name being attacked to Mike Shanahan’s seemingly guaranteed departure and RG3’s health, it’s been no secret that Washington has endured one of the hardest seasons in the club’s lengthy history. Griffin is coming off yet another brutal game against Kansas City where he was buried repeatedly during a 10-45 rout. With just 12-of-26 completions for 164 yards and a lone touchdown pass late in the game, Washington leaves very little to be desired. They should be a pariah against the NFL Week 15 betting lines, especially as they’re in the midst of an 0-5 SU and ATS losing streak, but a third of the action is already supporting them.
That’s largely because Atlanta can’t win a game to save their lives. Even against Green Bay, which was lifeless for two and a half quarters, the Falcons still found a way to lose. I know that teams in the NFL don’t tank on purpose, but if they do, then Atlanta is executing a perfect “try-hard-but-don’t-win” game plan. The Falcons are just 1-6 straight up in their past seven games, though they’ve cashed in for their few faithful over the past three games.
Right now, they are tied with Washington for the second-worst record in the NFL, and Atlanta desperately needs a top draft pick to shore up a defense that has been allowing everyone to score against them at will. Even their own stupidity won’t allow them to lose this game. This matchup represents the equivalent of walking on broken glass with bare feet for the gambling community, but with a Week 15 NFL betting line that is ballooning for the home team, I’d be remiss to ignore the movement. This is money on the table for Atlanta’s backers, and it will only get harder to cover this spread as it increases towards the weekend.
Michael S., Lines Manager:
“We opened the Falcons a 6-point favorite over the Redskins, but with the news that RG3 wasn’t going to play, we moved rather quickly to Falcons -6.5 and dealt that number for sometime before we had to go to -7 because of all the action coming in on the Falcons. But on Friday morning, we booked sharp action on the dog, and we’re now dealing Falcons -7 -105 / Redskins +7 -115, only a 5-cent move off of sharp action, which tells you how much money we booked on the Falcons at -6 and -6.5.”
New York Jets at Carolina Panthers -11.5
The Jets-Panthers spread was one of the last NFL betting lines to emerge on Monday night. A CAR -10.5 number was swarmed quickly by the early birds, and it’s already heading north for the home-bound Panthers. By the end of the week, don’t be surprised if this Week 15 NFL betting line gets out of hand. Carolina is coming in to a pivotal matchup for their season before they host the Saints in a rematch, and they’ll want to get their house in order before that happens.
The Jets are coming off a pretty confusing 37-27 win over Oakland at home, but are just 1-4 SU and ATS when travelling this year. The ironic part? Their only road victory was in New Orleans. The Jets can definitely keep this game close, but consistency has not been their strong suit. The Panthers look like a great early lean, and if you want to back them, then I’d do it sooner rather than later.
Michael S. Lines Manager:
“We opened the Panthers -11.5, and we’ve seen solid, two-way action with our opener, and we haven’t had to move the line. We’re seeing slightly more money on the Panthers on straight wagers, but nothing significant enough to move our line. While we’re dead even on straight bets, no question our bettors are playing the Panthers in most of their parlays and all of their teasers. We’ll need the Jets to cover just to blow out some parlays.”
Philadelphia Eagles -6.5 at Minnesota Vikings
A quick correction on this game didn’t go unnoticed by yours truly. The opening line of PHI -4.0 seemed ideal, but the oddsmakers have already pushed it up from where it debuted despite an odd influx of Vikings bets. Minnesota has been cagey against the spread despite going a wonky 2-3-1 SU in their last six games. They’re also 5-1 ATS during that run.
As I’ve been screaming for weeks, Minnesota has this very strange habit of keeping games close, a behavior they continued on Sunday against Baltimore in dramatic fashion despite the loss of Adrian Peterson. The 2012 MVP is doubtful for Week 15 NFL betting, and Toby Gerhart was mauled last weekend and won’t be 100 percent either. This is a Matt Cassel game, which should speak for itself.
There’s no reason for anyone to bet the Vikings here. Philadelphia has been rolling strong indoors, outdoors, in blizzards and in blowouts. They’re a stiff 5-0 SU and 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games (depending on where you grabbed the number against Arizona), and I expect this Week 15 NFL betting line to shoot even higher for the road favorites very soon.
If you think Peterson is a big deal, then you might not have noticed who’s leading the league in rushing – it’s LeSean McCoy of the Eagles. He’ll have a chance to put up more outrageous numbers this weekend when he faces a shoddy Minnesota defense that lacks any tangible stopping power.
As we (i.e. nobody) predicted this year, Nick Foles is a money-making, touchdown-profiting, profit-churning machine. Ride his back until instructed otherwise.
Michael S. Lines Manager:
“We opened the Eagles -4, and money poured on the road favorite. We quickly went to 4.5, and that didn’t stop the money. We skipped going to 5 and went straight to 5.5 on this game, but again our bettors were backing the Eagles and firing on them with both barrels, forcing us to go to Eagles -6, and at that number, we’re finally starting to see some Viking money. From the looks of it, I believe we opened this game a bit too low, but I do believe we reacted well enough and got to -6 before the liability got too severe. I believe we’ll eventually get to 6.5, unless of course we start to see sharp action back the dog, but at this point I can’t see much of a case to back the Vikings without Peterson.”
San Francisco 49ers -6 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This is a matchup that’s going to give everyone headaches. This game opened at SF -5.5, then it corrected down to -5.0 for no apparent reason for the overnight line and settled at -6 for the week. Over three-quarters of the action is stacked squarely in San Francisco’s corner. This is also a must-win game for them as they try to secure a home game in the postseason since their chances of catching Seattle in the standings are on life support.
Tampa probably has some intriguing value to the sharps, which is why I suspect the line dipped by that half-point. The Niners are coming off an emotionally-charged, hard-fought, 19-17 victory over the Seahawks and are now hitting the road against a team that is finally playing to its potential with Glennon and Schiano leading the way.
The main issue? If there’s any team that serves as San Francisco’s doppelganger, it’s the Carolina Panthers, who demolished the Bucs 6-27 two weekends ago and 13-31 earlier in the year. And the case can easily be made that San Francisco is better than the Panthers, though that’s a debate for another article come playoff time.
The letdown potential and the home-field advantage play in to Tampa Bay’s hands, but there are some issues. Darrelle Revis has not been as effective as this franchise had hoped when they signed him to a somewhat ingenious, $9 million-per-year deal that rolls on every year. His troublesome groin could give Michael Crabtree all the room in the world. And while Mike Glennon has played well in the team’s last four wins, but he has been shell-shocked against good defenses from Carolina, Seattle and Arizona as well. Remember, Glennon only threw one touchdown pass against Seattle. The other two scores came from a fumble recovery and a jump pass from running back Mike James.
Don’t expect this market correction to stop. By the time the weekend warriors have their say, this Week 15 NFL betting line could be more than a touchdown, so San Francisco is a great bet to take right now.
Michael S. Lines Manager:
“We opened the 49ers -6, and we haven’t moved off our opener. It’s a case where we believe the line is right, and so do our bettors as we’ve seen great, two-way action on this game. I do believe wiseguys are hoping for the public to bet this game up a bit more, maybe bet it at +6.5, but it’s not going to get there. I believe if anything that this number goes down a bit, but at this point 6 seems to be the perfect number for us.”
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