Now that NFL bettors can no longer blame their sorrows on the replacement refs, it’s time to really buckle down and do some homework. The Sunday schedule is still a few days off, but tracking line moves is a great way to spot value before it dries up.
We talk with Mike Colbert, race and sportsbook director for Cantor Gaming in Nevada, about the biggest mid-week line moves and where he sees the spread landing before kickoff.Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams – Open: St. Louis +1, Move: St. Louis +3
Coming off a controversial win over Green Bay at home, Seattle hits the road for a divisional matchup with St. Louis. Bettors are jumping on the Seahawks, pushing this spread as high as a field goal at some books, but Colbert isn’t completely sold on Seattle.
“I don’t think (Seattle is) a bad team but I like the home dog quite a bit,” Colbert told Covers. “I think it’s the wrong favorite.”Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons – Open: Atlanta -9, Move: Atlanta -7
Sharp money pounced on the Panthers as soon as this game hit the board, driving it down to a clean touchdown. Colbert says it’s been all sharp money on Carolina so far and says last week’s outcomes had a heavy impact on that opening line.
“This spread was inflated a bit,” he says. “Carolina looked really bad last week and Atlanta looked good against San Diego. We’ve taken quite a bit of sharp money on the dog.”Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions – Open: -7, Move: -4.5
This spread is a tricky one. Most shops, especially in Las Vegas, don’t have the game on the board as of Thursday morning due to the injury to Detroit QB Matthew Stafford. However, it looks as though the Lions signal-caller is probable for Sunday.
Colbert expects the opening line at Cantor properties to come out around -5 or 5.5 Detroit later Thursday, but isn’t discounting the Vikings or their upset win over the Niners last week.
“I think it was a great spot,” Colbert says of Minnesota’s 24-13 win, “but I also think the Vikings are pretty good – or at least better than what most people thought. Christian Ponder seems to be getting comfortable and coming into his own. They’re not great but better than we thought.”San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs – Open: Kansas City +1, Move: Kansas City -1
Cantor Gaming opened this game at a pick’em and took instant action on the Chiefs, pushing the spread to K.C. -1. Colbert has zero faith in the Chargers, especially after last weekend’s blowout loss to Atlanta.
“San Diego was completely exposed,” he says. “The Chargers had a win over a bad Oakland team, a win over a bad Tennessee team and then got their ass kicked by Atlanta. I think Kansas City should be favored by more, in my opinion.”