Last Updated: 2017-12-04
All of the excitement in the gambling world seems to be focused on the college football bowl season. We still have four weeks left of NFL regular season action, so don’t forget about that. After several weeks with big lines, we have a more traditional setup coming in Week 14. The only double-digit favorite is New England on Monday Night Football and that is the only line north of a touchdown.
We’ve seen favorites do really well this season and we’ve seen some huge lines, but it feels comforting to see a pretty normal setup in the NFL. There are no bye weeks. There is only one Thursday game. Familiarity feels good at this time of the NFL season and maybe that will lead to some more consistent results for those that set the market. On the other hand, if you’re a public bettor, this may not be the type of week that you want to see.
Here is the Week 14 Opening Line Report:
New Orleans at Atlanta (PK, 53.5) – Some shops, like DSI Sportsbook, are at pick ‘em, while others like Pinnacle and 5Dimes are at -1. The shops sitting at -1 do have extra juice on the New Orleans side, so it looks like we could see road chalk on Thursday Night Football this week if the opening action continues. We rarely see road favorites without a clear mismatch in these short-week games, but the Saints answered the bell against the Panthers and the Falcons did not. This is probably the best Thursday Nighter we’ve had all season, so we’ll see a lot of investment.
Oakland at Kansas City (-3.5, 47.5) – Bookmaker moved the Raiders from the opener of 4.5 to 3.5 based on early-week sharp action from those out there grabbing numbers. If the Chiefs were a stock, the arrow trending down would look like a sled riding hill. What’s weird here is that Oakland will get Michael Crabtree back from suspension, but may still be without Amari Cooper. The Chiefs had over 10 yards per play against the Jets, but couldn’t get off the field. I’d expect we see this line bounce back, but, for now, the Raiders are the preferred side.
San Francisco at Houston (-1.5, 42.5) – Despite a great showing from Jimmy Garoppolo and a road win for the Niners, the Texans are the preferred side this week. Houston should have covered against Tennessee last week, but Derrick Henry’s 75-yard scamper was the most brutal front-door cover of the season. The 49ers are off a rare road win and are playing a second straight road game, so the numbers guys are sniffing around this one. This is a traditional NFL handicap. Fade the team off the rare win playing a second straight road game. When we get higher limits later in the week, it will be interesting to see where this number goes.
Minnesota (-3, 41) at Carolina – Minnesota has found its stride. After a slew of injuries early in the season, Mike Zimmer’s defense is doing work and Case Keenum leads the NFL in DVOA, for those that use some of those advanced metrics. The Panthers had a little run, but have been pretty inconsistent throughout the season. Minnesota opened a one-point favorite for a second straight road game against the NFC South, but the market drove this one up to 3. This should be a resistance point for the line movement. If it blows through to 3.5, you’ll know that we have some extremely sharp money driving this one.
Green Bay (-3.5, 41) at Cleveland – This will be a fun line to watch. The Packers needed extra time to dispose of the Buccaneers after being steamed heavily last week. This week, the Packers visit the hapless Browns, who managed to cover last week against the Chargers. Green Bay isn’t the type of team that you want to take laying a road number, but Cleveland isn’t the type of team you want to take at any number. We’ve seen Bookmaker and 5Dimes slide down to 3 on this one. It feels like the type of game that does go down to 2.5 by kickoff.
Dallas (-5.5, 41.5) at New York Giants – We saw a bit of a move in the market with the announcement that Ben McAdoo has been fired. Dallas was laying a full six, but some shops have dropped off of 6 to 5.5. McAdoo had lost this offense and this defense. Per reports from ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, the Giants weren’t even around when McAdoo was fired. Something tells me that nobody will shed a tear. Also, Eli Manning is back at quarterback. The Giants also fired GM Jerry Reese. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will be the interim. The Cowboys had a really misleading win last week, so the move on the Giants makes sense in that regard as well.
Washington at Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5, 45.5) – The Chargers are a hot team right about now. As mentioned on Monday’s edition of BangTheBook Radio, the Chargers are just 4-for-14 in the red zone over the last three games. That would make it tough to cover a touchdown. Only 5Dimes is still at 7 because of teaser protection. The rest of the market is sitting at 6.5 here with initial investment on the Redskins.
Tennessee (-3, 44) at Arizona – Arizona was in a great spot against the Rams last week and fell completely flat. The Titans, who seem to be rated really highly by oddsmakers and bettors, head to the desert laying a field goal. This number opened 3.5, but those are all gone, replaced by 3 flat or 3 -105. This line should sit here for a while and books would be thrilled to stay on the key number all week.
New York Jets (-1.5, 40.5) at Denver – The Jets have been far more trustworthy for bettors this season. Sometimes, that’s all it takes. Denver is a bad bet in every sense of the word. The Jets have been really competitive. Denver opened a small favorite, but only The Greek and DSI still have the Broncos favored at time of writing. A couple shops are dealing pick ‘em, but most have the Jets a slight favorite. We’ll see if that holds throughout the week.
Seattle at Jacksonville (-3, 39.5) – Seattle catches a little bit of a break in that this game was flexed to 4 p.m. so it won’t be an early kickoff. The Jaguars opened a 3.5-point favorite at Bookmaker, but the initial money to hit the market trickled in on Seattle to move the line to -3 -120. That isn’t a big difference, nor is it a big move. Seattle’s big win over Philadelphia earned a little bit of respect for the Seahawks in the market and I wouldn’t be shocked to see this number keep creeping down.
Philadelphia at Los Angeles Rams (-2, 51) – Books have been a little bit cautious to open up a number for this game. The Eagles are coming off of a disappointing performance, but it was coming at some point. The Rams rolled on the road over Arizona and have two good bounce back wins after their last loss. Philadelphia has a long week of being on the road here. The Eagles did fly from Seattle to the Anaheim area, so they’ll spend all week away from home.
New England (-11.5, 47.5) at Miami – It really doesn’t seem to matter what number you put in front of the Patriots these days. They’re covering it anyway. New England has covered six straight of 2.5, 6.5, 7, 7, 16.5, and 7.5. They just played Miami two weeks ago and won 35-17 as a 16.5-point favorite. The Dolphins blew out Denver and have an extra day, but oddsmakers can’t set Pats lines high enough.