NFL Line Movement (12/19/14)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Line movements for the NFL including prop bets for the Bears, Cardinals and Browns. Lines courtesy of

With the NFL Playoff picture coming into focus as the regular season draws to a close, we pause to look at some of the more interesting games in Week 16 to see how the current lines got where they are today.

Plus fun prop bets for the NFL including the Bears, Cardinals and Browns.

Lions vs. Bears

To say these teams are heading in opposite directions would be an understatement. Detroit is one win away from the playoffs. The Bears have benched Jay Cutler.

The Lions, winners of three straight, opened as 4.5 point road favorites. Detroit's stout defense has only allowed 17 points or less in three straight games and five of the last six.

Once it was announced that Jimmy Clausen would get the start Sunday, the line nearly doubled. Detroit became 8.5 point favorites in Chicago.

Don't be surprised if the line keeps increasing, Detroit has one of the best defenses in the NFL and it will face a quarterback that has attempted just nine passes since 2010.

Will Jay Cutler be the starting quarterback in Chicago Week 1 of 2015 season?
  • Yes: +1000
  • No: -1500

How high would this line need to be for you to bet that Cutler will be back in 2015? This is a fake prop but an interesting question nonetheless.

Cutler was 14 games into a new seven-year contract that made him the highest paid offensive player this season. Benching your franchise quarterback doesn't bold well for his long term future.

The Bears will miss the playoffs for the seventh time in eight years.

Seahawks vs. Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals are at the top of the NFC West, have clinched a playoff spot and if they beat Seattle can clinching home field advantage throughout the postseason.

Clinching home field will be a tall task for Arizona. The Cardinals are down to their third string quarterback, a guy that was signed off of San Diego's practice squad in November.

Before the Drew Stanton injury, Seattle was already instilled as a touchdown favorite in Glendale. The Seahawks, on a four game winning streak, are now 8 points road favorites.

A team with 10 or more wins has never been a home underdog of more than a touchdown. Teams with 10 or more wins that are home dogs in the regular season are 6-4 (60% ATS).

Ryan Lindley - Will he throw a TD Pass Week 16?
  • Yes: -150
  • No: +120

In seven NFL games, Lindley has completed less than 52 percent of his passes. He has thrown seven interceptions and zero touchdowns. Seattle is has the No. 1 defense in our Power Rankings.

Panthers vs. Browns

Johnny Manziel will start against Carolina after a disastrous first showing in a 30-0 defeat to Cleveland. The Panthers are hoping their former Heisman winner can play as well. Cam Newton is expected to start after being involved in a car accident ten days ago.

Carolina opened as a field goal favorite at home. The Panthers are a half game behind the Saints for the division lead. After backing the Browns and getting burned last week, the public is on Carolina to cover. Nearly 80 percent of the money is coming in on the Panthers.

Johnny Manziel - Total Passing Yards Week 16
  • Over/Under: 200.5

Manziel was 10 of 18 for 80 yards last week with two interceptions. We project Johnny Football to throw for less than 200 yards and he is just as likely to toss a touchdown as an interception.