Timing is everything, particularly when it comes to NFL betting on the final weekend.
Point spreads on a lot of games are determined by teams’ perceived motivations to win. Some need victories to keep their playoff hopes alive, while others have nothing to gain in the standings and might not be as hungry as their opponents.
Not all the games on Sunday are played at once, however. Circumstances surrounding the later games will change based on the results of the early games. And this is where you can get an edge.
The San Diego Chargers, for example, are listed as 9.5-point favourites at home to Kansas City. San
Diego needs a win and some help in order to make the playoffs, while the Chiefs are locked into the fifth spot in the AFC and may rest a lot of their starters. That explains the high point spread in this o
ne. However, if Miami or Baltimore win their 1 p.m. (eastern) games, the Chargers will be eliminated by the time they kick off against the …
The final week of the NFL betting season can often be a tough one for handicappers to tackle, and this year appears to be no exception.
Rather than picking games based on which team is better against the run or which team might struggle because of a key injury, we are left to determine which teams “want it more” and which teams are just looking forward to the end of the season.
Before you start making picks against the spread this week, it’s important to know what teams have to gain, which teams might be motivated to spoil their opponents’ chances, which teams are just trying to stay healthy for the playoffs and which teams are prepared to just mail it in.
Here’s a quick look at this weekend’s slate:
Carolina at Atlanta (Panthers -5.5)
The Panthers have a ton to gain, needing a victory to clinch the NFC South title and the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs. But the Falcons aren’t just going to roll over and let their division rivals …
It’s easy to feel blasé when looking at the Week 7 slate in the National Football League, but NFL football betting is always interesting.
As far as must-see games go, Denver at Indianapolis on Sunday night appears to be the only one. The Cowboys/Eagles clash for the NFC East lead and the Bengals/Lions matchup of 4-2 teams should also be fun to watch.
The other contests don’t appear too intriguing, at least until you analyze the point spreads and begin to make arguments for and against each team. Scheduling and other intangibles become more important at this time of year, now that we’re getting into the meat of the season.
Here are our quick hits on this week’s NFL games and odds:
Seahawks at Cardinals (+6.5, O/U 40)
This may be a more dangerous game for Seattle than it first appears to be. Seahawks are 1-6 ATS last 7 trips to Arizona, including four-point loss in last year’s season opener.
Bears at Redskins (-2, O/U 51)
1-4 Washington is favoured over 4-2 Chicago. Redskins outgained …
There is no shortage of interesting betting lines for Week 6 action in the National Football League.
Five teams are favoured on the road by a field goal or less, including the winless Steelers. The first-place Browns are dogged at home. And the Broncos are a whopping 27.5-point favourites, reportedly the largest point spread in NFL history.
Here’s a complete look at Week 6 NFL betting lines and our quick take on each:
Giants at Bears (-7.5, O/U 45)
Ordinarily, it would be tough to lay more than a touchdown with the Bears right now. But it’s virtually impossible to expect anything good from the Giants. Tough game to handicap.
Packers at Ravens (+3, O/U 48)
The Ravens may not be what they were last year, but any time you see Baltimore catching a field goal at home, it’s hard to go against them.
Eagles at Buccaneers (+1.5, O/U 45.5)
Whether it’s Michael Vick or Nick Foles at QB, the Eagles showed Sunday they can move the ball either way. Tampa is an absolute mess, …
Tracking line movement is an effective way of determining which teams are drawing the most support from bettors. Blindly betting on line moves isn’t a recipe for success, since the lines you’re betting on are different than the ones previous bettors were betting on, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to know what other bettors are thinking about particular games.
Here are five NFL games this week that have seen significant movement in the betting odds as of Friday:
Pittsburgh at Minnesota
Open: Minnesota pk
Friday: Steelers -3
Why: This line was moving towards Steelers all week, but shot up to a field goal when the Vikings formally announced QB Christian Ponder was out of the lineup this week and Matt Cassel would get the start.
Seattle at Houston
Open: Seattle -3
Friday: Seattle -1.5
Why: Sharp money came quickly on the Texans after the line opened, making them -125 juice at +3. Money must be still pouring in on the Texans, a quality team underdogged at home against a …
They say that the best bets are often the ones that are hardest to make.
If that’s the case, betting the under in Sunday’s Philadelphia/Denver game should be the lock of the century.
There doesn’t seem to be much reason to expect the Eagles and Broncos to play a low-scoring game this weekend. They are the top two offences in yards per game this season, and Denver is averaging a ridiculous 42.3 points per contest – enough to exceed many NFL over/unders on its own. Defensively, the Eagles have allowed the third-most yards in the league through three games while the Broncos are 20th.
There is one reason, however, to like the under in this matchup, and it’s a big one. A big number, to be more precise.
Oddsmakers have set the total for this game at 57.5. If that doesn’t seem extremely high, consider that two games this week saw the total open in the 30s (Pittsburgh at Minnesota opened at 39, NY Jets at Tennessee opened at 38.5). Five more games …
NFL Week 4 Opening Line Report
San Francisco at St. Louis (49ers -3, O/U 42)
The 49ers opened as 3.5-point favourites in this one, but were quickly bet down to field-goal chalk. The total also dropped two points from the opener of 44. Both moves seem to be in reaction to how bad the Niners offence has looked the past two weeks, particularly against a mediocre Colts defence. San Fran’s read-option attack appears to be fooling nobody these days, and playing in the Thursday nighter doesn’t give Jim Harbaugh and company a lot of time to figure things out.
Pittsburgh at Minnesota (Steelers -1, O/U 42)
Interesting that a struggling Steelers squad is favoured on the road against a team that made the playoffs last season, but that just tells you how bad things are in Minnesota these days. It’s tough to want a piece of either of these two squads, both of whom are seeking their first win of the season. At least the Vikings have been close, leading their last two games in …
Mad Men seemed to have a better chance of beating out Breaking Bad for the best drama series Emmy Award Sunday than the Indianapolis Colts had of beating the 49ers in San Francisco.
But the Colts, 10-point underdogs, didn’t just beat the Niners. They whipped them, 27-7. They held San Francisco to 14 first downs. They limited Colin Kaepernick to 150 passing yards and less than three yards per carry.
The 49ers are now 1-2 and third in the NFC West. Stunning, right? Well, maybe it shouldn’t be.
Perhaps San Francisco is simply the latest casualty of the Super Bowl loser curse.
The curse was most prevalent from 1998-2007, when only two teams (1999 Titans and 2005 Seahawks) made the playoffs a year after losing the Super Bowl. The Falcons went 5-11 a year after losing the 1998 Super Bowl; the Giants went 7-9 after losing the 2000 Super Bowl; the Panthers were 7-9 a year after losing the 2003 Super Bowl; the Eagles missed the playoffs for the first time in six years after …
Every week, there are games where it seems like a no-brainer that a team will cover the spread.
And every Monday, it seems we are scratching our heads about those couple games that didn’t go the way we were convinced they would. Some suggest Vegas set a ‘trap’, tricking them into taking one team over the other. Others insist on the ‘fix’, believing the only way their bet didn’t win was because the game was rigged.
A good rule of thumb when doing your NFL betting picks is to try and find reasons to bet on both sides. If you can’t find any reason to bet on or against a team based on the point spread, or if a point spread seems “too easy”, you’re likely missing something important that oddsmakers have factored into the line.
Here are four games in Week 3 that most square bettors won’t think twice about. We’re not suggesting they’ll lose all of these games, but we’re sure things won’t be as easy as they appear, either.
Denver -14.5 vs. …
Week 2 of the National Football League is known as Overreaction Week for a reason.
There are always a few teams that look surprisingly good in Week 1, and there are always a few teams that greatly disappoint. Even though it is just one week of sample size to go by, bettors often conclude that what they saw in the opening week is what to expect for the rest of the season.
Teams that looked great in Week 1? The Broncos scored 49 on the Super Bowl champs, Kansas City blew out the Jags, Philadelphia dominated the Redskins in Washington and Oakland gave the Colts a scare in Indy.
Teams that didn’t look quite so hot in their opener included the Steelers losing outright at home to Tennessee, the Patriots scrambling for a late victory at Buffalo and the Giants allowing 36 points in Dallas.
To analyze what overreaction there may have been for Week 2’s betting lines, we thought we’d compare them to the lines Cantor Gaming posted for all NFL 2013 regular-season …