Every great Handicapper knows the single most effective way to increase profits is to only bet a team if you’re getting the best number. On any given week, this might not matter at all if none of your games fall close to the point spread. But over the course of the season, those +3’s are a hell of a lot better an investment than +2.5. Let’s take a look at the biggest line moves ahead of week 1 and see if we can gain some actionable information. (Keep in mind week 1 is different than every other week since these lines have been pushed around all summer.)
Atlanta +4 @ Philadelphia [drops to Atlanta +2.5]
These prime-time TV games always have a juicy handle, and this being the NFL’s season-opener ensures plenty of action. The drop here is because of Philly’s performance in the preseason, mostly concerns over Nick Foles’ inability to lead the offense to a single point in their lowly 5-0 loss to Cleveland in their dress rehearsal game. I agree with the line move and have already bet Atlanta at +3, but would recommend staying off since we’re getting less than a FG now.
Pittsburgh -7 @ Cleveland [drops to Pittsburgh -5.5]
The idea that the 1-31 Browns are now a public team blows my mind. After burning bettors all season (and all decade) the markets have decided they’re a 6-win team and I’m not buying it. Understanding that this is a divisional rivalry game, and Cleveland has *finally* found stability at QB with Tyrod Taylor, the Steelers are shaping up to be elite. I’m not involved in this game but could see myself getting some McDonald’s money down on Pittsburgh if a -4.5 shows up.
LA Rams PK @ Oakland [up to LA -5]
BetOnline opened the Rams at PK back in August but early money pushed the line up to 3. The line jumped again to Rams -5 after the Khalil Mack trade. This is a suckers’ line move if you ask me. There’s no doubt that Mack is an elite pass-rusher, and you can make the argument this screams “rebuild” to fans and the locker room, but no non-QB is worth such an adjustment. I’m aware everyone’s convinced these Rams are Super Bowl-bound, but laying 5 on the road implies LA is a full 8 points better. We could very well see McVay and the Boys hanging around come January but incorporating all these new pieces takes time. I’ll be fading this line-move and backing the Silver and Black in my contest.