Archived: Week 14 NFL Opening Line Report

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101/102 Dallas (-2.5, 42.5) at Chicago – The Cowboys and Bears both played last week on Thanksgiving, so this is basically a regular week of rest for those two teams heading in Thursday’s matchup at Soldier Field. The Cowboys are a road favorite coming off of last week’s disappointing loss to the Bills. The Bears won, but it wasn’t pretty against David Blough and the Lions. To be totally honest, it sure feels like neither one of these teams is worth our money. The Bears are 3-9 ATS on the year and the Cowboys have dropped three of four outright. They’ll be backing into the playoffs because the division is so bad. This is a tough one to bet, but we are on the way to -3.

131/132 Baltimore (-5.5, 43.5) at Buffalo – The Bills scored a huge win last week over the Cowboys to get remain in the driver’s seat for the first Wild Card berth. The Ravens had to scratch and claw for a win over the 49ers. You can’t help but wonder if the Ravens are due for a flat effort after some emotional games recently, but Buffalo is also a team that the market is looking to fade. This is a tough one to bet and also a tough one to forecast in the market. Right now, the line is anywhere from -5 to -6 on the road favorite. The total moving up is about the only clear sign of sharp involvement.

133/134 Washington at Green Bay (-13, 42) – The Redskins sure aren’t getting much respect for the win over the Panthers as a double-digit dog last week. Green Bay is favored by almost two touchdowns, even though the Packers haven’t exactly looked the part themselves lately. The total is coming down on this one, which would make it tough for a double-digit favorite to cover. The Packers did open 14 and this line came down a tick to 13. We’ll see if that trend continues.

135/136 Denver at Houston (-9.5, 41.5) – Will we see a sharp vs. public split in this one? It seems likely. Houston is coming off of a very emotional win over the Patriots on Sunday Night Football. Denver is coming off of a nice win over the Chargers. It makes sense that Denver would be a big underdog assuming Drew Lock plays again. There is no reason for sharp money to get involved on Denver yet, as a -10 could pop somewhere early in the week. Expect that we see sharp money on Denver and public money on Houston as the week goes along.

137/138 San Francisco at New Orleans (-2.5, 44) – Credit to the 49ers. They gave it everything that they could on Sunday and came up just short. Now the 49ers play a Saints team on extra rest. The line here is indicative of the respect that the 49ers are commanding in the market, but this line does look a little bit too low now. Early activity took San Francisco down from 3.5 to 2.5, but this is a really bad spot for San Francisco. The total has come down, which would favor the 49ers from a game flow standpoint, but the Saints are going to have to take some money to drive this number back up to 3. This is a huge game for both teams and New Orleans is at home, where the Saints generally play very well.

139/140 Cincinnati at Cleveland (-9, 41) – The Browns are a big favorite in the battle of Ohio this week. Cleveland’s playoff hopes took an enormous hit last week, as several problems again plagued the Browns. The Bengals got their first win of the season by beating the Jets. Now they can go back into tanking mode because their margin for error for the first overall pick is gone because the Giants can’t win games. Baker Mayfield’s bruised hand seems to be fine, but the Browns’ collective bruised ego is hard to overlook laying a number of this magnitude.

141/142 Carolina at Atlanta (-3, 48) – Have the Panthers quit? It sure as hell seems that way. Run CMC is still doing his thing, but the rest of the Panthers are out there embarrassing themselves. Ron Rivera seems like a dead man walking. The funny thing is that Atlanta has looked the exact same way with lame-duck head coach Dan Quinn most of the season. Are the Falcons worthy of being favored here? Sure. Would 3.5 be too high? Probably. This line is anywhere from 2 to 3 with Carolina’s motivation in question to say the least.

143/144 Detroit at Minnesota – Let’s see how the Vikings get through Monday Night Football, but they’ll be a very big favorite over the Lions no matter what.

145/146 Miami at NY Jets (-5.5, 44) – This feels like a white flag from the oddsmakers. We’ll put it between 4 and 6 and y’all can figure out what to do with it. The Jets played their best game of the season against the Raiders and followed it up with their worst game of the season against the Bengals. Miami moved the ball at will on the Eagles in Week 13. Miami also showed a lot of spunk in the second half. I have no idea what to do here and it looks like oddsmakers and bettors don’t know either.

147/148 Indianapolis at Tampa Bay (-3, 47.5) – Tampa Bay seems to be putting it all together of late as a sharp darling. The Colts suffered a big setback with the loss to the Titans last weekend. This line did open 3.5 in some places, but those have been replaced by 3s. There is a rogue 2.5 out there as well. This really does feel like a spot where sharp money will hit Indianapolis. It’s different to take TB as a dog or as a favorite against a slumping team. Indianapolis is a solid club against a high-variance Bucs squad.

149/150 LA Chargers (-2.5, 43) at Jacksonville – We have a 1-11 team, a 2-10 team, and four three-win teams this season and none of them are as dysfunctional as these two teams. The Chargers invent new ways to lose each week. Jacksonville seems to have quit on Doug Marrone and the season. The Jaguars did get some life when Gardner Minshew replaced Nick Foles last week, but it seems unlikely that the same bump will happen this week. I don’t know how you bet on either team here, to be totally honest, but the Chargers are flying cross-country as a team with no playoff prospects.

151/152 Kansas City at New England (-3, 48.5) – 49ers vs. Saints and Chiefs vs. Patriots. These are the spotlight games of Week 14. New England is -3 market-wide and some places are juiced up to -115 on the Patriots. This is going to draw a big handle, but which way will sharp money go? New England looks human the last few weeks. Kansas City looked great coming off of the bye. The total has come down a point here. The early side action suggests some sharp support for New England, as the avalanche of Patriots public bets won’t come in until later in the week. We’ll likely see sharp money on both sides, but the sharps waiting to hit KC are waiting for 3.5 to pop. Right now, it’s just New England money.

153/154 Pittsburgh (-2.5, 43.5) at Arizona – Maybe the Rams aren’t done yet? Last week’s awful showing for the Cardinals was a harsh dose of reality. After playing close with the Niners twice and the Buccaneers, the Cardinals got wiped off the map by the Rams last week. Now the Steelers and Duck Hodges come to town fresh off of a big win against Cleveland. You have to wonder if there’s maybe a little letdown factor here. This line is all over the place from a heavily juiced 1.5 to as high as 3. I won’t even pretend to know which way this line will move.

155/156 Tennessee (-3, 47.5) at Oakland – The much improved Tennessee offense should have success here against a porous Raiders bunch. Oakland is back at home, though, and this is some long travel for the Titans. Tennessee’s secondary will be tested here by Derek Carr and Company, but we have to start wondering about the Raiders again. They are 6-6, but -87 in point differential coming off of back-to-back blowout losses. The early move has been up from 2.5 to 3 on the Titans side. Will Oakland sharp money filter back into the market? We’ll have to see. My guess is that it will.

157/158 Seattle at LA Rams – We’ll see how Seattle gets through MNF, but look-ahead lines have Russ and the Seahawks favored over the Rams with a total in the 46.5 range.

159/160 NY Giants at Philadelphia (-8.5, 47) – What a dump of a MNF game. Who wants to lay this kind of price on the Eagles after last week’s debacle? Maybe Daniel Jones won’t have to throw in a blizzard this week, but it is not easy to have interest in the Giants. Right now, 8.5 is the most prominent number, with some 9s also on the board as well, but it’s hard to see much activity on this game for now. These are two unbettable teams.

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