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Where the action is: NFL mid-week line moves

NFL Week 4 lines have been on the board since late Sunday at some books which is more than enough time for the betting markets to force the oddsmakers’ hands and adjust those original odds. We talk to online sportsbooks about the biggest mid-week line moves heading toward the weekend:

Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans – Open: 43.5, Move: 41.5

The total for this highly-anticipated matchup has been trimmed as many as two points at some books, with early action expecting a defensive stalemate. Seattle is tops in the league, allowing just nine points on 241.7 yards per game. Houston is right behind them, giving up only 249 yards per contests through the first three weeks.

Sharp money has come in on the Under but bookmakers expect the public to look to the Over, after the Seahawks scored 45 points in a blowout win over Jacksonville last Sunday.

“It’s still very early, but so far we’ve written more bets on the Over,” Peter Childs of Sportsbook.com tells Covers. “But, we very much respect the Under action more than the Over action.”

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars – Open: +9.5, Move: +7.5

As mentioned above, the Jaguars are coming off a thrashing in Seattle but the early action has trimmed this spread as many as two points. The Colts have a bad habit of finding themselves in close games – no matter the level of competition – and could be bound for a letdown after upsetting San Francisco last Sunday.

“This line definitely looks heavy on Indianapolis, but it’s hard not to favor them by a good amount,” Aron Black of Bet365.com tells Covers. “It’s a lot of points to give on the road, but you can’t say Jacksonville is worth too much regardless if it’s at home or on the road. Indy is one of our heavier-played teams so far, and Jacksonville is about as friendless as you can be for a mid-week position. I can’t see this going anywhere but towards Indianapolis.”

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Minnesota Vikings – Open: Pick, Move: +2.5

This neutral-site game in London, England features two 0-3 squads looking for their first win – regardless of what country it comes in. Despite an embarrassing loss to Chicago on Sunday Night Football, the betting market is still behind the Steelers – especially with Minnesota QB Christian Ponder listed as questionable with a rib injury.

“Ponder’s backup Matt Cassell isn’t that much of a downgrade from Ponder. We feel bettors are going to back the Steelers in this game,” says Childs.

With this game taking place at Wembley Stadium, UK books usually take extra action on these NFL England showcases. However, according to Black, the winless records of both sides are keeping the early action at bay. He does expect more money to come closer to kickoff Sunday.

Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers – Open: Pick, Move: +2.5


The Cowboys impressed enough people with their thumping of St. Louis last week to move this spread off the fence and as many as 2.5 points. That, coupled with San Diego’s poor defense and bad habit of imploding late in the game has this line teetering on the key number of three.

“Action so far is pretty split,” says Black. “And it’s hard to tell where this line will go, but I would say it stays pretty solid where it is, barring any unforeseen news.”

New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons
– Open: Pick, Move: -2.5

The Patriots have fallen out of favor with bettors after a not-so-impressive 3-0 start. New England has squeaked by the Bills and Jets, and took advantage of a crumbling Tampa Bay team last weekend.

Atlanta isn’t that hot right now either, falling to 1-2 after a loss to Miami in Week 3. Last year, the Falcons didn’t suffer their second loss until Week 14. According to Childs, both sharp and public money on Atlanta has pushed the opener as many as 2.5 points.

“That’s a pretty big move considering the team they are facing, a 3-0 Pats team that the public usually loves to back,” says Childs. “From the support the Falcons are seeing in this game, it’s a testament that people are very down on the Patriots and don’t buy their 3-0 start against arguably the worst teams in the NFL.”

Childs does believe there will be some buyback on New England as an underdog. With this being the Sunday Night Football matchup – often the banker game for an NFL Sunday – he says books will be cheering for the Patriots, which is a rare occurrence in NFL betting.

“It might be a welcome change for us to root for the Pats and the plus points,” he says.

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