Line movement, early action and bookmaker insights.
Early action is an important concept in the sports betting world. It refers to how quickly a bookmaker reacts to market conditions and adjusts their odds accordingly. Read more in detail here: early action.
Here’s a look at how the NFL and college football betting markets are shaping up as the weekend approaches.
Unless otherwise stated, all lines, totals, and betting percentages are from Caesars Sportsbook. The betting percentages aren’t unique to the current line or total, and they’re meant to give you a sense of how things are shaping up. Look-ahead lines were available before to the previous week’s games. The majority of the phone lines were re-opened late Sunday night.
Keep an eye on the NFL market
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Thursday)
Last week’s foreshadowing line: Buccaneers -6.5, 52.5. Buccaneers -7, 53 on Sunday. Buccaneers -7, 52.4 on Wednesday. The Buccaneers have 87 percent of the bets and 78 percent of the money placed on them. The over has 70 percent of the bets and 51 percent of the money gambled on it.
Notes: Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady stated Tuesday that his sore thumb on his throwing hand is not severe and that he expects any pain to go away before the game on Thursday.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Miami Dolphins
Last week’s foreshadowing line: The Dolphins are favored by a score of -3, 43.5. Dolphins -3, 45 on Sunday. Dolphins -3.5 (-105), 47 on Wednesday. The Jaguars received 54 percent of the bets, while the Dolphins received 72 percent of the money staked. Overall, the over received 52 percent of the bets and 80 percent of the money staked.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Washington Redskins
Last week’s foreshadowing line: -6, 54 for the Chiefs Chiefs -6.5, 55.5 on Sunday. Chiefs -7, 55.5 on Wednesday. The Chiefs were the favorite to win 95% of the bets and 95% of the money staked. The over received 70% of the bets and 75% of the money staked in total activity.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Los Angeles Chargers
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Last week’s foreshadowing line: Ravens -3, 48 points Ravens -3, 51.5 on Sunday. Ravens -3 (-105), 52 on Wednesday. The Chargers were the favorite with 91 percent of the bets and 96 percent of the money staked. Over was the favorite with 93 percent of the bets and 99 percent of the money staked.
Notes: At BetRivers’ sportsbooks early in the week, the betting public sided with the underdog Chargers, with Los Angeles attracting 91 percent of the money placed on the point spread. In a press statement, Craig Mucklow, vice president of trading for Caesars Sportsbook, stated, “The Chargers will be a public underdog this week; they’ve had quality victories.” “The Ravens were fortunate to beat the Lions and the Colts, but they were defeated by the Raiders. I’m not sure Baltimore is all they’re portraying themselves to be at the moment.”
Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers
Last week’s foreshadowing line: Packers -4.5, 46 points Packers -4, 46 on Sunday. Packers -4.5, 45, Packers -4.5, 45, Packers -4.5, 45, Packers -4.5 The Packers were the favorite with 85 percent of the bets and 80 percent of the money staked. Overall, 71 percent of bets were on the over, while 95 percent of the money was put on the under.
The Houston Texans will take on the Indianapolis Colts.
Last week’s foreshadowing line: -7.5, 43.5 for the Colts Colts -10, 43.5 on Sunday. Colts -9.5, 42.5 on Wednesday. The Texans were the favorite with 58 percent of the bets and 51 percent of the money staked. Total action: The over won 82 percent of the bets, while the under won 81 percent of the money wagered.
New York Giants vs. Los Angeles Rams
Last week’s foreshadowing line: Rams -6.5, 50 points Rams -10, 48 on Sunday. Rams -9.5, 49 on Wednesday. The Rams were the favorite with 94 percent of the wagers and 94 percent of the money staked. The over was favored by 56 percent of bettors, while the Giants were favored by 76 percent of the money staked.
Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings
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Last week’s foreshadowing line: Panthers -47, Panthers -1, Panthers -1, Panthers Pick ’em, 47 is the Sunday line. Vikings -1, 46 on Wednesday. The Vikings received 52 percent of the bets and 56 percent of the money gambled on the spread. The over received 65 percent of the bets, while the under received 85 percent of the money staked.
Notes: Caesars Sportsbook’s early activity on the game included a $500,000 money-line bet on the Vikings at even money.
Detroit Lions vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Last week’s foreshadowing line: -3, 49 for the Bengals Bengals -3.5, 48.5 on Sunday. Bengals -3.5, 47.5 on Wednesday. The Bengals were the favorite with 78 percent of the bets and 95 percent of the money staked. The over received 56 percent of the bets, while the under received 95 percent of the money wagered.
Notes: A $500,000 bet on Cincinnati -3 was part of the overwhelming activity on the Bengals at Caesars Sportsbook.
Cleveland Browns vs. Arizona Cardinals
Last week’s foreshadowing line: Browns -3, 52.5 points Browns -3, 54 on Sunday. Browns -3 on Wednesday (-105,) 49.5 The Cardinals received 71 percent of the bets, while the Browns received 58 percent of the money wagered. Total action: The over won 83 percent of the bets, while the under won 67 percent of the money wagered.
Early weather predictions for Sunday’s game in Cleveland predicted strong gusts ranging from 17 to 19 mph.
New England Patriots vs. Dallas Cowboys
Last week’s foreshadowing line: -1, 48 Cowboys Cowboys -3, 48 on Sunday. Cowboys -3.5, 51 on Wednesday. The Cowboys received 93 percent of the bets and 79 percent of the money gambled on the spread. Total action: The over received 62 percent of the bets and 99 percent of the money.
Notes: The Patriots, as the home underdog, will be crucial in a major decision for the books. More money has been wagered on Cowboys minus the points at BetRivers sportsbooks as of Wednesday than on any other market on the board.
Denver Broncos vs. Las Vegas Raiders
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Chalk it up to ESPN.
Last week’s foreshadowing line: Broncos -2.5, 44 points Broncos -3, 44.5 on Sunday. Broncos -3.5, 44 on Wednesday. The Broncos received 60 percent of the bets and 85 percent of the money gambled on the spread. Total action: The over won 65 percent of the bets, while the under won 71 percent of the money wagered.
Notes: Various books reacted to ex-Raider coach Jon Gruden’s departure this week in different ways. Some bookmakers stopped taking bets on the game, while others, such as Caesars, left it on the board and adjusted the line significantly. On hearing of Gruden’s departure, Caesars moved the Broncos from -3 to -3.5. “Bill Belichick is the only coach where if he weren’t on the sidelines, the spread would shift substantially,” Mucklow said. “In this case, a Super Bowl-winning coach is being replaced by someone who has never held the position of head coach. With the Raiders’ recent performance and all of the distractions, it’s no wonder that this number has dropped from 3. We’ll see how the players react to the new coach, but this is clearly different from coaches who are dismissed in the middle of the season due to bad performance.”
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Seattle Seahawks
Last week’s foreshadowing line: -2.5, 48 Seahawks Steelers -4, 43 on Sunday. Wednesday’s odds are -5, 42.5. The Steelers won 69 percent of bets and 75 percent of the money placed on the spread. Total action: The over received 68 percent of the bets, while the under received 88 percent of the money wagered.
After Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson hurt his finger in a defeat to the Rams last Thursday, the line changed from Seattle -2.5 to Steelers -3. Wilson’s injury, which is likely to keep him out for many weeks, reduced the total from 48 to 42.5. No precise timeline for his recovery has been provided.
Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills (Monday)
Last week’s foreshadowing line: Bills -3, 52.5 points Bills -4.5, 53.5 on Sunday. Bills -5.5, 54 on Wednesday. The Bills were the favorite with 94 percent of the bets and 96 percent of the money staked. The over was the favorite with 81 percent of the bets and 73 percent of the money.
The perspective of a bookmaker on college football betting lines
The initial college football odds to enter the betting market each week are provided by Circa Sports. On Sundays, the book publishes its starting lines at 11 a.m. PT and gives all entrants, including professional bettors, $3,000 betting limits. Circa Sports is regarded as a “sharp book” inside the business. Their wagering limits increase quickly during the week, and by kickoff, they will be among the biggest in the betting market.
This football season, Matt Metcalf, sportsbook director at Circa Sports in Las Vegas, is sharing his bookmaking strategy with ESPN.
Taking a look at the Sooners’ quarterback situation
Based on the offensive he witnessed against Texas in the second half, Metcalf increased Oklahoma’s power rating by three points. Against Texas, the Sooners used freshman quarterback Caleb Williams in lieu of starter Spencer Rattler and recovered from an 18-point deficit in the second half to defeat the Longhorns 55-48.
“I’m guessing they’ll go to any length to have that offensive. I believe they’ll take that way if it means not playing Rattler “Metcalf said. For Saturday’s game against TCU, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley has refused to designate a starting quarterback.
At Circa, the Sooners were a 12-point favourites against TCU. Metcalf had intended to pick Oklahoma -14, but since he didn’t know if Williams or Rattler would start, he chose the lesser number.
Metcalf said, “I didn’t want to commit all the way to getting the Oklahoma squad that we saw in the second half.” “I believe the number is still valid if they did play Rattler.”
By Wednesday, the spread had widened to Oklahoma -14.
On Clemson-Syracuse, I’m getting a jump start on the market.
Circa Sports oddsmakers may be forced to play a guessing game to see whether bettors have read the same information after learning about injuries. It occurred this week when Metcalf and his crew were calculating the point spread for Clemson’s game against Syracuse. Metcalf had read that many important Syracuse starting offensive linemen were injured in previous week’s game against Wake Forest and assumed that Clemson’s defensive front would have the upper hand. Plus, with Clemson having just returned from a bye week, he thought this was a favorable position for the Tigers.
Clemson -15 was the consensus line among Circa’s oddsmakers, but the Tigers were opened as 17-point favorites.
“We sort of added on some scores there because we felt Clemson, with a larger, better defensive front, would give [Syracuse] a lot of problems,” Metcalf said.
The early money was on Syracuse, which pushed the line down to Clemson -13.5, and the guessing game started. “I’m not sure whether folks are saying they don’t agree with it or if they haven’t read it yet,” Metcalf remarked. “Reading ahead of the market on injuries sometimes doesn’t pay out in the long run because we’ll sit there and accept a lot of bets.”
Metcalf couldn’t bear lowering the point spread from Clemson -14, where it had been for the first part of the week.
“I believe Clemson is the team I’d need as a bookie,” Metcalf said, “because it seems like a fantastic position for them.”
The early action on Navy-Memphis was cursed.
Metcalf had Memphis as 9-point favorites against Navy at the start of the game, but he was hating himself three hours later; not because he was incorrect, but because he was correct.
Navy was the subject of the first limit bets. Metcalf aggressively shifted the number in favor of the underdog, passing past the crucial number of 7 and down to 6.5. “I don’t really like for Memphis,” he added, “and I’m not sure whether Navy has improved.”
At that time, the following few maximum bets were on Memphis and the lesser number, bringing the total back to approximately the Tigers -9 starting line.
Metcalf stated, “I sort of questioned my number too much, and I was incorrect, and they bet it back up.” “So, I’m still on my opener, but I’ve got two high-limit bets on Memphis. In the beginning, I put my faith in the market rather than my number. And our total was more than I had anticipated.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, Memphis was a 10.5-point favorite.
Cincinnati is favored by both the general public and the sharps.
Cincinnati, according to Metcalf, is a two-touchdown underdog against top teams like Georgia and Alabama, and a 10-point underdog to Ohio State.
“However, it’s clear that everyone is rooting for that team,” Metcalf added. “Last week against Temple, we put a lot of pressure on them. They are well-liked by the general people as well as the smart men.”
This week, Metcalf started Cincinnati as 16-point favorites against UCF, and the Bearcats drew instant activity. As of Wednesday, the line has stabilized at Cincinnati -21.
Line movement in college football (at Circa Sports in Las Vegas)
|Game||the first line||Line for Wednesday|
|Syracuse vs. Clemson (Friday)||Clemson is favored by a score of -17, with an over/under of 45.5.||-14, 44.5|
|Pitt takes on Virginia Tech.||Pitt is a -4.5 favorite with a 57 percent chance of winning.||Choose from a list of 57 options.|
|The Army is in Wisconsin.||Wisconsin is a -10 team with a 39.5 percent chance of winning.||-14.5, 39|
|Cincinnati takes on UCF.||Cinci -16, 56.5; Cinci -16, 56.5; Cinci -16,||-21, 58|
|New Mexico State takes against Colorado State.||45.5, CSU -7||-10, 45.5|
|Mississippi State vs. Alabama||Alabama is a -15 team with a 52.5 percent chance of winning.||-17.5 degrees, 57.5 degrees|
|Georgia vs. Kentucky||Georgia has a score of -22 and a 44.5 percent chance of winning.||-23, 44.5|
|Baylor vs. BYU||-3, 49.5 Baylor||-6, 50.5|
|Oklahoma at TCU||66.5, OU -12||-14, 65|
|Central Michigan hosts Toledo.||57.5, Toledo -1||-6, 51.5|
|Troy is a freshman at Texas State.||-4, 49.5 Troy||-8, 48|
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