The weekend is almost here, which means the first NFL Sunday of the season is drawing closer. We talk to sportsbooks about the betting action on Week 1’s slate of games and where those odds could end up come kickoff.
Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns – Open: Pick: Move: -1
Both these teams are expected to improve on their 2012 marks, however, there can only be one winner in this Week 1 test. This spread has teetered on the pick’em since opening this spring but recent money has made Cleveland a slight home favorite.
“On Sunday, we got wiseguy play on Cleveland at pick’em, so moved to the current number of Browns 1,” Mike Perry of Sportsbook.com tells Covers. “Sixty-eighth percent of the money is back Cleveland.”
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills – Open: +7.5, Move: +9.5, Move: +10.5
Ever since the Bills QBs started dropping like flies, money on the Patriots has pushed this spread up as many as three points at some books. Buffalo will march out rookie passer E.J. Manuel in Week 1 and that’s enough to convince the majority of bettors to like New England.
“The New England Patriots were seeing 82 percent of the action as 9.5-point favorites on the road against the Buffalo Bills (18 percent),” SportsInteraction.com’s Frank Doyle says.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys – Open: -3, Move: -3.5
Books opened this NFC East grudge match at a field goal but wiseguy money on the home side has forced them to tack on the half-point hook for this Sunday Night Football showdown. According to Sportsbook.com, 65 percent of the action was on the Cowboys at -3. Now, since the adjustment, that lean has been trimmed to 60 percent.
“I didn’t think we would move off three on this game, but on Monday we got sharp action on Dallas, so moved them to -3.5,” says Perry.
Houston Texans at San Diego Chargers – Open: +3, Move: +4, Move: +5.5
The final Monday Night Football game of Week 1 will undoubtedly draw a ton of money from bettors either looking to build on their earlier winnings or chasing their losses from Sunday. Some books have taken one-sided money on the Texans and have this spread as big as Houston -5.5.
“This will be the biggest decision for NFL Week 1 for the book,” says Perry. “On Monday, we moved this from Houston -4 to -5 based on heavy action, not sharp action. Wednesday we moved the game again in Houston’s favor, once again because of heavy action, and that’s where it stands now.”
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers – Open: 50.5, Move: 48.5
Maybe it’s Week 1 rust or bettors buying into the Packers’ new dedication to defense, but this total has been trimmed as many as two points at some markets. However, the Packers and Niners topped the total in both meetings last season.
“You could see this coming,” says Doyle. “In a game that means a ton to both teams and features San Francisco’s defense, this total has dropped from 50 at the open to 48.5 now.”