Typically, Las Vegas sportsbooks will release the upcoming week’s lines during the Sunday Night Football game.
A sports bettor can gain an advantage on the house by placing early wagers on spreads and over/unders where Vegas bookmaker’s numbers may be off.
Let’s take a look at some Week 6 NFL games with some significant early line movement. For reference, I use scoresandodds.com for current Vegas lines.
Miami Dolphins @ Atlanta Falcons -11.5, was -10
This line movement certainly makes sense. The Falcons are coming off of a bye with an extra week to get healthy on both sides of the ball. And the Dolphins barely hung on to victory against Brandon Weeden and the Tennessee Titans. Barely. Atlanta’s home field advantage is huge and their offense will look to go up-tempo on the Dolphins. And Jay Cutler is… Jay Cutler. Bettors took this through the key number of 10 up to 11.5.
Of course, #anygivensunday in the National Football League, but I lean Falcons here and will eat the points.
Los Angeles Rams @ Jacksonville Jaguars -3, was Pick em’
With their decisive win over the Steelers, the Jaguars took some heavy volume over the past 24 hours and were pushed all the way up to -3. This game will be one I’ll be keeping an eye on. The Rams loss to the Seattle Seahawks hurt but I think the Seahawks are just hitting their stride. The Rams gave the ball away FIVE times and still had a shot to win the game. Rams WR Cooper Kupp dropped an easy catch in the endzone with around 20 seconds left.
I think the Jaguars have a solid defense and their new RB Leonard Fournette is a stud. BUT… if this line gets to 3 or 3.5, I lean Rams. Maybe a letdown spot for the Jags after the big win in Pittsburgh? And Blake Bortles is still Blake Bortles. We’ll see.
Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints -4, was -3
Injuries are one of the reasons this line has jumped to Saints -4. Matt Stafford is dealing with a few things, namely an ankle and a hand, although he wouldn’t elaborate. From what I saw, while sunken into my couch for 7 straight hours, Stafford had multiple cuts on his hand and limped off the field towards the end of the game. With a healthy Stafford, I lean Lions.
Keep in mind, the Lions were just inches short of beating the Lions and going 4-0. They mounted a big comeback this past week against a HOT Cam Newton and Carolina Panthers team. The Saints coming off of a bye, sit at 2-2 on the season with wins against the Dolphins and the Panthers. The win against Miami wasn’t too impressive considering Jay Cutler had no idea what was going on offensively. And I’m not totally sold on their improved defense yet. The Superdome gives the Saints probably around 3 points, so on neutral site Vegas has this one close to a pick em. Take a couple minutes to read through the injury reports this week and see what news comes out on Stafford.
Got a lock for this week? Or think my leans are out of touch with reality? Let me know on Twitter @realMattDiehl