Action is starting to pick up at sportsbooks as Week 13 of the NFL schedule draws closer. We take a stroll down Fremont Street and talk to Aaron Kessler, sportsbook supervisor at the historic Golden Nugget, about this week’s biggest NFL line moves.
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins – Open: +9, Move: +7
Some books opened this AFC East grudge match as big as Pats -9 while others dealt a touchdown. With the way New England is bowling over the competition in recent games, all the early action is on the road side.
“We opened at 7 and quickly got hit (with Patriots money), then moved to 7.5,” Kessler told Covers. “We won’t get much money on Miami, and if we do it’ll be all wise guy money. Once everyone gets in for the weekend, they’ll be lining up to bet New England and the over (total 51).”
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans – Open: +5.5, Move: +7
Oddsmakers opened the Texans, fresh off their thrilling OT win over Detroit on Thanksgiving, as 5.5-point road favorites in Tennessee. While early money has moved this to a solid touchdown, Kessler isn’t convinced Houston is a sure thing against the spread in Week 13.
“People are just betting the perceived good team over the perceived bad team,” he says. “While Tennessee has looked terrible, Houston seems to mail it in against weaker opponents. I wouldn’t be in too much of a hurry to bet the Texans.”
Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers – Open: -1, Move: +2.5
The Chargers opened as slight home favorites at some markets and have been bet down as big as +2.5, with money on the streaky Bengals, who have won three in a row. San Diego continues to get the respect of oddsmakers at home despite winning just once SU and ATS as host since Week 3.
“On paper, San Diego still makes sense,” Kessler says of the opening line. “There’s no reason they can’t be in these games. They’re a snake-bitten franchise and just find a way to lose. That said, I’m not high on Cincinnati going west. This could be a good spot for the Chargers.”
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens – Open: -3
Most books, including the Golden Nugget, haven’t posted odds on this AFC North slugfest due to the unknown status of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. Early odds online suggest the tough-as-nails Big Ben will play, posting Baltimore -3.
“If Roethlisberger doesn’t play, I see it coming out 6.5 and closing around 8. If he does play, typical Pittsburgh-Baltimore line of 3,” says Kessler. “The total will be 33 without and 37 or 38 with.”