NFL Line Movements (09/05/13)

By John Ewing
NFL line movements for Week 1, plus notes on win totals and team fluctuations.

With the NFL starting this week we take a look at some of the more interesting line movements to see how the current lines got where they are today. Plus notes on win totals and team fluctuations.
Bills vs. Patriots
Cantor opened the Patriots -7 back in May where it stayed until it was announced on August 17th that EJ Manuel would miss the remainder of the preseason with a knee injury. The line crept to -7.5 before it took a big jump on August 26th when the Bills broadcasted the return of Tuel Time. The line moved as high as New England -10.5 but has since retreated to Pats -9 with the news of Manuel taking the snaps in Week 1.
Saints vs. Falcons
This opened Saints -1.5 at Cantor. Then bettors remembered two things.

1. The Saints would get back Head Coach Sean Payton.
2. The Saints are 10-2 against the Falcons with Payton and Drew Brees together.

The line quickly got bet up to New Orleans -3 in May and that has been where it stayed with money coming in on both sides evenly.
Jets vs. Buccaneers
Cantor opened the Jets getting 1.5 points at home. Since then money has poured in on Tampa Bay with the Buccaneers taking 88% of the tickets. The line jumped to a key number, Tampa Bay -3, after Mark Sanchez was hurt in the third preseason game. When Geno Smith was announced as the starter, the line went from -3 (-115) to -3 (-130). It would be surprising to see a 3.5 pop up, but getting the hook with a home dog would be tempting.
Win Totals
NFL win totals have been available to wager since May. While some action has occurred the vast majority of bets have been taken in the weeks leading up to the kickoff of the regular season. Below are some interesting trends, win total lines courtesy of Current line in (). 

Top seven teams that the public loves to go over the posted total.
Note: In order of public's opinion
  • Carolina (7)
  • Cincinnati (8.5)
  • Cleveland (6)
  • Arizona (5.5)
  • Chicago (8.5)
  • Kansas City (7.5)
  • New Orleans (9)
Kansas City is the only team listed above whose win total has actually moved while the others have only seen increases in their vig. The Chiefs opened at 7 (-145) and are now 7.5 (-155).

Top seven teams that public loves to go under the posted total.
  • Oakland (5.5)
  • New York Jets (6.5)
  • Minnesota (7.5)
  • Buffalo (6.5)
  • Atlanta (10)
  • Houston (10.5)
  • New York Giants (9)
Who said the public is a bunch of squares? We agree with four of these choices (Raiders, Vikings, Falcons, & Texans).

Teams that went from favored to go over, to favored to go under in the past five weeks.
  • Dallas (8.5)
  • Jacksonville (5)
This does not come as a surprise to us, apparently everyone has been checking out our win total picks.

Teams that went from favored to go under, to favored to go over in the past five weeks.
  • Detroit (8)
  • Kansas City (7.5)
What the public is thinking: There is no way Calvin Johnson is tackled inside the 1 yard line four times again this season and KC had 6 Pro Bowlers last year. 

Check back next week when we break down three of the most notable line movements from the NFL and college football.