NFL Week 11 lines have been out and about since Sunday and early action has already forced sportsbooks to adjust their original numbers.
We go off the Strip to the historic Golden Nugget and talk to race and sportsbook supervisor Aaron Kessler about the biggest moves on the Week 11 board.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills – Open: Pick, Move: -2
Some shops opened this AFC North showdown as a pick’em, but instant action on the home side has moved this spread to Bills -2.
Kessler says last week’s games - a strong showing by Buffalo versus New England and a horrible loss for Miami versus Tennessee - are still fresh in the minds of bettors.
“Miami had a bad game, and Buffalo had a good game. The way the public goes, I’m surprised it’s only at -1.5,” Kessler told Covers. “But I’d be surprised if this gets up around three.”
Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys – Open: -9.5, Move: -7.5
Sharp money has sided with the road team, knocking two points off the opening spread at most books. Cleveland, while just 2-7 SU, has shown plenty of fight against good teams this season.
“Cleveland is not as bad as people think,” says Kessler. “This is purely a wise-guy move. The average bettor off the street isn’t walking in and saying, ‘Gimmie the Browns’. They’re a pitiful team but I don’t label them with Jacksonville or Kansas City. They’re just not appealing to the eye, and therefore not a heavily bet team.”
Kessler expects the public money on Dallas, coming off a strong showing versus Philadelphia, to balance out the sharp action and close this spread around -8.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers – Open: -3.5, Move: +3.5
Ben Roethlisberger’s shoulder injury has swung this spread a touchdown, which may be a little too much according to some expert handicappers. Kessler took this game off the board after Roethlisberger went down Monday night, but not before taking some money on the Steelers.
The total has also seen a major adjustment, going from 46 points to 41. Kessler doesn’t think that number is too high, even with Big Ben sidelined.
“Scoring is so far up this year, and the Ravens showed last week that they’ll put it on teams (winning 55-20 versus Oakland),” he says.
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos – Open: 50.5, Move: 48
The total for this AFC West grudge match is slowing slimming down, with early action on the under.
Denver has hung big scores on its recent opponents, putting up an average of 34 points during its current four-game winning streak. However, bettors don’t think San Diego can hold up its end of the bargain, especially after last week’s loss to Tampa Bay.
“(Philip) Rivers has looked atrocious lately,” Kessler says of San Diego’s QB, who has thrown 12 INTs including two last weekend. “He’s looked so bad, you almost want to bump up the total because he’s giving the other team a touchdown.”
As for the spread, Kessler says they’re trying to stay high on Denver with bettors remembering what happened the last time these division foes met – a 35-24 Denver win after trailing 24-0 at halftime.
“Ever since that game, (San Diego) hasn’t been the same and they’ve gone in the tank,” he says.