Last Updated: 2019-10-21
Week 8 in the NFL! For those that haven’t had a bye week yet, this represents the midpoint of the season. For those that have, that will come next week. We know what we have to work with at this point in time, though the unknown can still make an appearance from time to time.
Last week, we had a lot of spreads from pick ‘em to -4. This week, we have three. There are a lot of big numbers out there in the market, including huge spreads on Thursday Night Football and Monday Night Football. This doesn’t look like the best week of games, but we have seen crazy things happen in sports, so we shouldn’t take anything for granted.
With big numbers and some uncertainty, we haven’t seen a ton of line movement, aside from adjustments from last week’s look-ahead lines.
We’ll still take a look through it all in the Week 8 Opening Line Report:
101/102 Washington at Minnesota (-16, 42) – Look-ahead lines for this one had Minnesota -13.5, but a big offensive effort against the Lions and a goose egg from the Redskins drove this line to -16. It is now anywhere from -15.5 to -16 in the market. There is very little to like about the Redskins at this point in time, as their only win of the season was a non-cover against the Dolphins. The Vikings may not have Adam Thielen on Thursday, but the expectation is still for a blowout win and we haven’t seen too many brave souls trying Washington on a short week with a clueless interim coach in Bill Callahan.
251/252 NY Giants at Detroit (-7, 49.5) – The Lions really struggled on Sunday against the Vikings. As far as “bad” losses go, however, that one doesn’t register. The Giants losing at home to the Cardinals does. Look-ahead lines did have this one in the 7.5 range and it did re-open 7 in the marketplace. Injury reports will play a big role in how this line moves or doesn’t move, so we’ll play the waiting game. The total had gone up about 1.5 points, but somebody with some influence hit it during the writing process to bump it back down from 50 to 49.5. Furthermore, the Giants are +7 with extra juice across the board, so maybe there’s a chance we hit 6.5.
253/254 Tampa Bay at Tennessee (-2.5, 46.5) – The Titans won, but the bigger story coming out of last week’s game may be that the Chargers lost in that game. The switch from Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill paid modest dividends, as Tannehill threw for three bills and completed 23 of 29 attempts. The offense had more dimension to it anyway. Tampa Bay was on a bye after losing to Carolina in London. We haven’t seen any differences from the look-ahead line and haven’t seen too many interested parties in betting this game.
255/256 LA Chargers at Chicago (-4.5, 40) – The Chargers are on the road again after losing in Nashville last week. They’ll take on the Bears this week. The Bears were not impressive at all on offense against the Saints, which is probably why most of the market sits 4.5 on this game instead of 5. The total hasn’t really moved much, although we are seeing some of the more recreational outlets at 40.5. It’s hard to back either one of these teams right now, so 4.5 may very well be the right number here.
257/258 Seattle at Atlanta – Matt Ryan has a sprained ankle, so we don’t have a number on this game yet. If Matty Ice plays, Seattle will likely be somewhere around -4 on the road. If Ryan doesn’t play, Seattle will be favored by more than a touchdown and maybe even close to -10.
259/260 NY Jets at Jacksonville – The Jets are on Monday Night Football, so we don’t have a number here. Look-ahead lines had Jacksonville -4.5. We’ll see how healthy the Jets are coming out of MNF and then see where this line gets posted. A good Jets performance likely means -4 or maybe even a -3.5. A bad Jets performance could mean -5 or -5.5.
261/262 Philadelphia at Buffalo (-2, 43) – The Bills really didn’t play very well against the Dolphins this past weekend. The look-ahead line on this game was Bills -1.5 and we saw the markets mostly open around there. The Eagles looked awful against the Cowboys. It is really interesting that this line suggests that the Eagles are a favorite on a neutral over the Bills. Given the body of work for both teams and the Eagles secondary, this has to be a line that goes up as the week goes along. Philadelphia’s secondary was bad enough to move this total up from 42 to 43 or 43.5.
263/264 Cincinnati at LA Rams (-13, 48) – For at least one week, all was right with the Rams. They blew out the Falcons and had a happy flight back to LAX. The Bengals were -4 in turnovers in a loss to the Jaguars. Andy Dalton was the leading rusher, so that gives you an idea of how the ground game went for Cincinnati. This look-ahead line was only 10 with the Rams’ woes, but now we are painted 13 just about market-wide. We aren’t close to getting to 13 yet, but that chance very much exists.
265/266 Arizona at New Orleans – Drew Brees could end up getting the nod for the Saints here if he can make it through a good week of practice. The more likely scenario is that Teddy Bridgewater plays. This is another early kickoff for the Cardinals with a look-ahead line in the 8.5 range. If Brees plays, we’ll see the Saints well into double digits. If he doesn’t, -8 or -9 sounds about right as an opener.
267/268 Oakland at Houston (-6.5, 51.5) – Will Fuller’s injury may have dropped this line down a half-point or so, but Texans are still a decent-sized favorite against the Raiders. This will be the fifth road game in a row for the Raiders, who did have a bye prior to last week’s game at Green Bay. The Texans suffered a setback in a key AFC South game, so they should be fully focused to get back on track here. There are a lot of books already sitting -7 and that feels like the right number here.
269/270 Carolina at San Francisco (-5.5, 41) – The 49ers are laying a pretty healthy number here against the Panthers. It will be interesting to see which way the public goes. The sharp side feels like Carolina here, as many question the strength of schedule for the 49ers to this point in the season. If the public backs San Francisco, the sharp vs. public split will keep this line around 5 or 4.5. If the public goes with sharp money on Carolina, then we could see 4 here. It remains to be seen how the money comes in, but I would fully expect sharp Panthers money.
271/272 Denver at Indianapolis (-6, 44) – The Broncos are on extra rest after getting embarrassed at home by the Chiefs on Thursday Night Football. The Colts downed the Texans last week and are looking to maximize that victory with another one here. Even though this game is well down the board by rotation number, it is still an early kickoff for the Broncos. This line did jump a little bit from the Colts’ win over the Texans coupled with Denver’s poor effort in Week 7. Look-ahead lines were in the 4.5 range.
273/274 Cleveland at New England – The Browns have not looked the part this season. The Patriots have. Early look-ahead lines had this around 6.5, but it was up to double digits in the market before it was taken off the board with respect to MNF. A healthy Patriots team coming out of MNF against a well-rested Browns team off a bye. Will sharp money give Cleveland another look?
275/276 Green Bay (-4.5, 48) at Kansas City – It looks like we have somewhere around a 10-point adjustment in this game. The Packers looked good against the Raiders and the Chiefs lost Patrick Mahomes to a dislocated kneecap. Look-ahead lines were in the -6 range, but the Chiefs had been taking on water even before the Mahomes injury. Now we’ve got a huge adjustment with Matt Moore at the helm for the Chiefs. This line reopened with Green Bay in the -3 range and got bet up. The Chiefs defense is hard to back without Mahomes to bail them out.
277/278 Miami at Pittsburgh (-14.5, 42.5) – Mason Rudolph should be ready to go in this one in what is the worst Monday Night Football game of the season. The Dolphins covered for the second week in a row last week, but they still aren’t worthy of much respect. This line is down from the look-ahead line of 16.5, so there is that, but it’s hard to see too much sharp involvement on this game, with the exception of maybe a totals play. So far, the total is down a half-point from 43.
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