NFL Week 14 is a tough slate to navigate. There are teams pushing for the postseason and others thinking about their offseason plans. We talk to Aron Black of Bet365.com about the biggest line moves heading toward the weekend:
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars – Open: +2.5, Move: +3
The Thursday nighter is probably the worst game of the season, but there’s a reason we have pointspreads. According to Black, action on Houston is outnumbering money on Jacksonville at a 2/1 pace, pushing this line to the key number of Texans -3. However, moneyline bettors are siding with the home side.
“I can see this one coming back to Jacksonville as I think many can,” says Black. “The action across the board, at what appears to be Houston with all shops, just seems the wrong way. I expect that Jacksonville will get played sometime today or later tonight and the line comes back to them, given the course these two teams are taking this season. Around pick’em would appear fair, so value looks to be with the Jags but ATS action so far disagrees.”
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints – Open: -4, Move: -3
The Saints were exposed by the Seahawks in Seattle but travel back to the Big Easy for this NFC South showdown. Sharp money is siding with the red-hot Panthers, who have won eight in a row and are 7-1 ATS in the stretch.
“Where this line will land remains to be seen, as it’s pretty much a heavy-juiced New Orleans -3, which could easily flip back to -3.5,” says Black. “It’s a case of where books lie on the numbers taken, giving +3.5 or +4 and taking a lot of -3 action with a low total for a Superdome game. It could land a lot of books, like us, in the bad spot of being sided.”
Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens – Open: -7.5, Move: -6.5
This line has moved to the key number of seven since the Vikings settled on Matt Cassel as their starter for Sunday, with some books going as low as Minnesota +6.5. The Vikings have been fighting, going 2-0 ATS after two overtime affairs.
“It isn’t the most normal line movement for when a starting quarterback is out and a ‘backup’ - as no one can really say who the backup is anymore in Minnesota - is named starter. It usually goes to the opposing team. Action hasn’t flooded in, but we have seen Minnesota action that others must be seeing as well, if we are all juicing the Vikings +7 now. I think this will come back to Baltimore, but the seven should remain.”