NFL Line Movements (09/19/14)

By John Ewing, Director of Research and Analytics, @johnewing
Line movements for the NFL including prop bets for the Broncos, Texans and Saints. Prop bets courtesy of

Just like everyone predicted, the Bills, Texans and Cardinals are undefeated, the Saints and Colts are winless. The sky is falling!

With another week of upsets and surprises looming 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 Broncos, Texans and Saints.

Seahawks vs. Broncos

For the first time since 1997 and for only the fifth time since the first Super Bowl in 1967, the two teams that played for the Lombardi Trophy will meet in the following regular season.

In May, Las Vegas sportsbook CG Technologies posted the Seahawks as 3.5 point favorites in the marquee matchup of Week 3. Despite a surprising loss by Seattle on the road in San Diego last week and a Denver win, the line has crept up to Seahawks -5.

Will the Seahawks allow 30 or more points in a game between Week 3-17?
Yes: -140

The Seahawks allowed one team in the 2012 season and one team in the 2013 season to score 30 or more points. Seattle's vaunted defense allowed the Chargers to score 30 points last week. Denver scored 30 or more points in 13 of 16 regular season games last year.

Texans vs. Giants

Houston, who had the worst record in the league last year, are now 2-0. The Texans have the seventh best odds to make the playoffs. The Giants on the other hand are winless and have the worst turnover differential in the league.

New York opened as a small favorite (-1) at home but bettors have backed Houston pushing the line as high as Texans -3 before settling at -2.

J.J. Watt - Total Receiving TD's in the rest of the 2014 NFL Regular Season.
Over/Under: 1

Things are going so well for Houston that even J.J. Watt is scoring touchdowns. The Texans stud defensive end caught his first NFL pass for a touchdown last week against the Raiders. Think Watt can be a weapon in the red zone?

Houston's linebackers coach Mike Vrabel, three time Super Bowl champion with the Patriots, caught ten passes in his NFL career, all touchdowns.

How many winless teams will there be after Week 3?
Over/Under: 3.5

The Giants are not the only team with a goose egg in the win column. Seven other teams are currently defeated on the season. At least one winless team will taste victory in Week 3 as the Colts and Jaguars, both winless, play each other.

Saints vs. Vikings

If you are a gambler, participate in a survivor league or pick'em league or play fantasy football (to some extent), New Orleans has burned you the first two weeks of the season. Despite all the hurt and pain, gamblers continue to back the Saints as 80 percent of the money wagered is on Drew Brees and his offense to cover against the Vikings. The Saints opened at home favored by 9 points and have been bet up to 10.5 point favorites.

Will any team that started 0-2 make the playoffs?
Yes: -250
No: +175

Since the league expanded its playoff field to 12 teams in 1990, 0-2 teams have had an 11.6 percent chance of reaching the postseason. Since 2007, there have been 59 teams that started 0-2; only four overcame the slow start to reach the postseason.