Where the action is: NFL mid-week line moves
The NFL Week 2 lines have had a chance to sizzle in the football frying pan since their release Monday. While plenty are hovering around the original number, some have moved drastically with one-sided action and sharp bets pushing the odds.
We talk to John Avello, sportsbook director at the Wynn Las Vegas, about this week’s biggest moves and where he expects them to go before kickoff:
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers – Open: Carolina +4, Currently: Carolina +1
Early bettors are fading the Saints after they fell on their face versus Washington in Week 1. Some online markets opened New Orleans as high as -4 but money on the home side has caused a severe line move.
“The Saints should scare some people after last week’s game,” Avello told Covers. “Their offense was OK, but that defense has always given up big points. They’re playing Carolina, who isn’t a Top 7 team but is a quality team – middle of the road. They always seem to hang around and are a scary team to give the points to.”
“I really don’t know what (bettors) are going to do with it,” laughs Avello, who currently has Saints -2.5 posted. “I don’t know how you can like New Orleans after last week.”
Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts – Open: Indianapolis +3, Currently: Indianapolis +1
This spread has come off the key number at most books – online and Nevada – and has the Colts as slight home underdogs. Indianapolis wasn’t terrible versus Chicago in Week 1 and now gets a much weaker opponent in Minnesota. The Vikings welcomed back star RB Adrian Peterson against Jacksonville but still needed overtime to top the lowly Jaguars.
“The Colts will be better, they showed that last week,” says Avello. “This could be one of those chances that they have to win one.”
“It’ll be our least-bet game of the day, that’s for sure,” he added.
Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles – Open: Philadelphia -2.5, Currently: Philadelphia -1
While most of the online and Nevada books have moved this spread down, the Wynn is currently dealing the Eagles -3 with sharp action on the opening line. Avello stands by the move and wasn’t overly impressed with the Ravens’ Week 1 win over Cincinnati.
“Joe Flacco had one of his best games ever, but his receivers were wide open the entire game,” says Avello. “I don’t know if Cincinnati wasn’t prepared or if they looked at Ray Rice to do more and keyed on him, leaving guys open. I don’t expect to see that kind of a game from (Flacco) again this week.”
Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons - Open: Total 49, Currently: Total 51
Money on the over is no surprise for Monday night games. Early action has driven this total to the key number of 51 points. Avello says the only way this total is dropping is if sharp money comes in strong on the under before game time.
“The public isn’t going to move this down, only the sharps are going to do that,” says Avello. “I think it deserves to have a total this high. Both of these teams will have no trouble scoring this season and Peyton Manning looked damned good in his first game.”