NFL Line Movement (1/9/15)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Line movements for the NFL Divisional Playoffs including prop bets. Lines courtesy of

After a great Wild Card Weekend, we get another Saturday and Sunday full of the NFL Playoffs! Before all the action starts, we pause to look at some of the more interesting games in the Divisional Playoffs to see how the current lines got where they are today.

Plus fun prop bets for the NFL Divisional Playoffs.

Patriots vs. Ravens – 4:35 PM Saturday

New England opened as 7.5 point favorites in Foxboro over Baltimore. The half point was quickly bought by Ravens' supporters and the Patriots have remained a touchdown favorite all week. However, the juice associated with those seven points has changed.

Originally it was New England minus seven (-115). A bettor can now get even money laying the points with the Patriots. The money-line for New England has also decreased (opened -350, now -300) as 60 percent of the wagers are on Baltimore.

Will all four home teams win this weekend?
  • Yes: +200
  • No: -240

All four home teams have not won in the Divisional round since the 2005 playoffs. From our simulations, there is just a 21.3 percent chance that all four home teams win this weekend. At +200 odds, you need at least 33.3 percent confidence in order to feel comfortable wagering that all four home teams will be victorious, there is no value in placing that bet.

Seahawks vs. Panthers – 8:15 PM Saturday

The Week 8 rematch between the Seahawks and Panthers is the only matchup this weekend featuring a double-digit spread. Seattle opened as eleven point favorites; the line dropped to 10.5 briefly but was bet back up to the opening line.

The total for this NFC Divisional game is the lowest among the four NFL games. The line started at 40.5 points but has been bet down to 39.5.

Who will record the most Rushing Yards in the Divisional Playoffs?
  • DeMarco Murray (DAL) RB: 2/1
  • Marshawn Lynch (SEA) RB: 3/1
  • Eddie Lacy (GB) RB: 7/2
  • C.J. Anderson (DEN) RB: 6/1
  • Jonathan Stewart (CAR) RB: 10/1
  • Justin Forsett (BAL) RB: 10/1
  • Russell Wilson (SEA) QB: 14/1
  • Dan Herron (IND) RB: 20/1

DeMarco Murray is the favorite and for good reason. We project the Dallas running back to rush for 106.4 yards. Murray is the only back projected to break the century mark this weekend.

If you are looking for a value play, C.J. Anderson is projected to be the second highest rusher in the Divisional round totaling 89.2 yards on the ground.

Packers vs. Cowboys – 1:05 PM Sunday

Green Bay is 8-0 at home and is averaging nearly 40 points per game on Lambeau Field. As such, the Packers opened as near touchdown favorites (-6.5) over Dallas in a rematch of the “Ice Bowl” in 1967. Not surprisingly, the line has moved in Dallas' favor (+5.5) as the Cowboys are the most public of public teams.

Game time temperatures are forecasted to be below freezing. The total opened at 53 points. With the weather and Aaron Rodgers possibly at less than 100 percent, the money has come in on the under, moving the line to 52.5 points.

Who will record the most Receiving Yards in the Divisional Playoffs?
  • Demaryius Thomas (DEN) WR: 15/4
  • Jordy Nelson (GB) WR: 11/2
  • T.Y. Hilton (IND) WR: 6/1
  • Dez Bryant (DAL) WR: 6/1
  • Randall Cobb (GB) WR: 7/1
  • Rob Gronkowski (NE) TE: 7/1
  • Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) WR: 15/2
  • Steve Smith (BAL) WR: 8/1
  • Julian Edelman (NE) WR: 8/1
  • Torrey Smith (BAL) WR: 14/1
  • Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) WR: 16/1
  • Doug Baldwin (SEA) WR: 18/1

Demaryius Thomas is projected to have 97.3 receiving yards, Jordy Nelson averages 96.5 receiving yards in his Divisional matchup. These are the two favorites to finish with the most receiving yards this weekend and they are the two players projected to have the most yards.

Broncos vs. Colts – 4:40 PM Sunday

There has been little line movement heading into the third matchup between Peyton Manning and his former team. The Broncos opened as touchdown favorites and remain favored by seven over the Colts. The Denver money-line has shifted slightly from -315 to -320.

The over/under opened at 53 points but has risen to 54 points as bettors anticipate a high scoring game. The oddsmakers opened the Denver/Indy game with the highest total in the Divisional Round.

Who will record the most Passing Yards in the Divisional Playoffs?
  • Andrew Luck (IND) QB: 5/2
  • Peyton Manning (DEN) QB: 3/1
  • Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB: 3/1
  • Tom Brady (NE) QB: 5/1
  • Tony Romo (DAL) QB: 7/1
  • Joe Flacco (BAL) QB: 9/1
  • Russell Wilson (SEA) QB: 20/1
  • Cam Newton (CAR) QB: 25/1

The Colts quarterback was a 7/4 favorite last week to pass for the most yards. Luck obliged by throwing for 376 yards against the Bengals, so he is once again the favorite to have the most passing yards in the Divisional Round. However, we project Luck's predecessor, Peyton Manning, to throw for 295 yards against the Colts and outduel the young star.