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    NFL Line Movements (09/20/13)

    John Ewing, Director of Research and Analytics, @johnewing
    By John Ewing
    Line movements for the NFL, plus prop bets for the Seahawks, Patriots, Vikings, and Packers. Lines courtesy of Bovada.lv.


     
    With a full slate of NFL games this weekend we take a look at some of the more interesting line movements to see how the current lines got where they are today. Plus fun prop bets for the NFL including the Seahawks, Patriots, Vikings, and Packers. Lines courtesy of Bovada.lv.
     
    Seahawks vs. Jaguars
    The Seahawks looked like the class of the NFL last Sunday night when they shut down an explosive (at least in Week 1) 49ers offense. The Jaguars on the other hand are in full “Play dead for Ted”-dy Bridgewater or Drowny for Clowney mode.
     
    This is a perfect storm of events that has resulted in one of the highest NFL lines in recent memory. Seattle opened as 16.5 point favorites but the books have received nothing but Seahawk money pushing the line to Seattle -19.5. By our simulations the Seahawks are 95% likely to win, this is the highest win percentage that we have ever seen in our simulations. If you are in a survivor pool this would be the week to play the Seahawks and lock up a win.
     
    Below is one of my favorite prop bets for the week with the Jaguars seemingly discouraged from scoring a touchdowny for Clowney.
     
    Will the Jaguars score an offensive TD vs. the Seahawks?
    • Yes:  -130
    • No:  Even 
    The Jaguars did not score offensively in Week 1 (safety) but did manage to score a touchdown with less than three minutes remaining against the Raiders when the game was nearly out of reach. I fully expect this game to be out of reach early and the Seahawks defense to lighten allowing an opportunity for this prop to hit. According to the odds there is a 56.5% chance that the Jaguars reach the end zone.
     
    Patriots vs. Bills
    Vegas opened the Patriots as 7 point favorites over the Buccaneers on Sunday night. There was speculation that Rob Gronkowski might play pushing the line to New England -7.5, but those rumors were squashed causing the line to settle back where it began with the Patriots as 7 point favorites at home.
     
    Vegas has set a fair line for this game and the outcome against-the-spread will most likely be determined by the following two props.
     
    Tom Brady – Completion % Week 3 vs. Tampa Bay?
    • Over:  60% (-115)
    • Under:  60% (-115) 
    Brady has completed only 52.7% of his passes this season, for his career he is above 63%. Last week was especially comical with a number of drops by his rookie wide receivers resulting in a 48.7% completion rate against the Jets. A number of the drops last week killed drives. If Brady’s completion percentage regresses toward his career average the Patriots will have a chance to cover.
     
    How many penalties will the Bucs record vs. the Patriots?
    • Over:  7 (-115)
    • Under:  7 (-115) 
    The Buccaneers have been their own worst enemy committing 23 penalties for 220 yards including Lavonte David’s personal foul against the Jets that helped New York win the game.
     
    Vikings vs. Browns
    The Vikings opened as 3 point favorites but the line quickly rose when Cleveland announced that they were starting Brian Hoyer at quarterback Sunday. As strange as that move seemed the NFL world was thrown for a loop with the news of the Trent Richardson trade. Money has been pouring in on the Vikings with nearly 96% of all tickets written being on Minnesota. Adrian Peterson and crew are now 6.5 point favorites.
     
    If it wasn’t for the strange choice in starting quarterback or the Richardson trade, this game most likely would go unnoticed by the public. Both teams are 0-2 but this leads to an interesting prop bet.
     
    How many 0-2 teams will make the playoffs?
    • Over:  1 (Even)
    • Under: 1 (-130) 
    There are currently 8 teams that are 0-2. Since 1990 only 12% of teams that start 0-2 make the postseason. We give one 0-2 team great than 20% chance of making the playoffs.
     
    Bengals vs. Packers
    Cincinnati opened as a 1 point favorite but the line flip flopped to the Packers being favored by 1 point after Green Bay's impressive offensive performance early last Sunday against the Redskins. The Packers, a very public team, are currently a 3 point favorite on the road.
     
    This game features two teams in the top 10 of our Power Rankings. A small line is to be expected but what about all the other lines around the league?
     
    How many games will be decided by 7 points or less in Week 3?
    • Over:  9 (Even)
    • Under:  9 (-130) 
    Through two weeks there have been an NFL record 22 games decided by a TD or less. This week 12 games feature lines of a touchdown or less and 8 of those games have lines of a field goal or less. 
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