Where the action is: NFL Thanksgiving line moves

Nov 22, 2012 |
Sportsbooks are setting the table for a huge day of wagering. With everyone home for the holiday, Thanksgiving is one of the biggest betting events of the year and it shows in the line adjustments for Thursday’s three NFL games.

We talk to Aron Black of bet365.com about those moves and where the odds are headed before kickoff:

Houston Texans at Detroit Lions – Open: +3, Move: +4

After sitting at a field goal since opening, money is starting to pile up on the road team and has moved the spread off the key number at most books. Other spots are juicing the 3.5 like a bag of oranges, trying to keep the home team low as much as possible.

“As for the Thanksgiving Day game aspect, action goes to Houston in that regard, as the Lions haven’t won on Turkey Day for the last eight games,” Black told Covers. “So, are they due, or does Houston heap more Thanksgiving Day misery on them?”

As for the total, after climbing as high as 50.5, action on the under has taken it back down to 49.5 points. Black says that bettors who are taking Houston should look for a run-first attack and those betting Detroit should expect an all-out air attack. Perhaps they should bet the total accordingly.

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys – Open: -4, Move: -3

The line has been trimmed to a juiced field goal, with two-way wagering on the spread. However, plenty of bettors are skipping the points and taking Washington outright on the moneyline. The Redskins opened at +160 and are down to as low as +145 at some books.

“This one is obviously a tough game to call,” says Black. “The line goes with the home team, and would be similar line in Washington. This division has been up and down, and is up for grabs for anyone who can go on a run in the next four or five games. The biggest thing for anyone playing this game is where do you see the injury factors on both sides? Dallas is banged up on offense, while Washington is banged up on defense.”

Black says injuries to the Cowboys’ offensive line and rushing game and the Redskins’ banged up stop unit is keeping bettors at bay. This is the least bet game among the three Thanksgiving Day contests, but he expects action to pick up once more injury news is released.

New England Patriots at New York Jets – Open: +7.5, Move: +5.5, Move: +7

Sharp money looked at Rob Gronkowski’s injury as a reason to pile on the Jets and force this line down as low as 5.5 before buying back big on the Patriots. New England is expected to have TE Aaron Hernandez back from an ankle injury, softening the loss of Gronk.

“The upgrade for Hernandez has had impact on (the line), showing how much faith the bettors have in Hernandez to fill the role of the tight end-heavy passing game for New England,” says Black. “He’s being called a game-time decision, but I would venture a guess that the decision has been made already and he will play.”

Black says the total is seeing action on the over at a 3:1 rate, after dropping as low as 48 points from its opening of 51. Most books are currently dealing 48.5 as of Thursday morning.
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