The Recency Report: NFL Week 15 Market Moves And Week 16 Look-Ahead Lines

Written By FairwayJay on December 13, 2019

Every week, TheLines turns to FanDuel Sportsbook for opening look-ahead lines for next week’s NFL games. These advance lines are posted every Thursday, a full week before the ensuing week’s games on the schedule.

In this article, we also take a look at the current lines compared to the opening odds at FanDuel from the previous week.

How to use look-ahead lines

We’ll be providing the NFL advance lines from FanDuel Sportsbook each week to allow you a sneak peek at the projected lines for the following week’s games. This advance information from a big bookmaker provides lessons in understanding lines and projections before the current week’s games are played.

The tendency for many bettors is to over-react to the previous week’s scores and results. The look-ahead lines provide a sense of stability from the linemaker, who is unbiased in setting the lines in advance without the information from the current week’s contests.

Bettors can also gain an edge or find value in the lines once the current week’s lines are released. They do this based on not only a potential overreaction to the recent week’s results, but by using information they have on teams, including NFL power rankings. Making adjustments is part of the process, along with formulating an opinion and whether they are a believer in some teams or not in others. This can be based on personnel, injuries, situations, stats or angles they want to apply as the season progresses.

Week 15 market movement

Tampa Bay at DetroitTB -4TB -3.5
Philadelphia at WashingtonPHI -6PHI -4
Chicago at Green BayGB -7.5GB -4.5
New England at CincinnatiNE -10.5NE -10
Houston at TennesseeTEN -1.5TEN -3
Seattle at CarolinaSEA -4.SEA -6
Denver at Kansas CityKC -12.5KC -10
Miami at NY GiantsNYG -3.5NYG -3.5
Buffalo at PittsburghBUF -1PIT -2
Jacksonville at Oakland-4.5OAK -6.5
Cleveland at ArizonaCLE -2.5CLE -2
Atlanta at San FranciscoSF -10.5SF -11
LA Rams at DallasDAL -4LAR -1
Minnesota at LA ChargersMIN -3MIN -2.5
Indianapolis at New Orleans (Mon)NO -8.5NO -8

Here’s a look at some of the storylines and betting situations that have impacted (or could impact) the Week 15 NFL card:

  • Buffalo (9-4) at Pittsburgh (8-5) is a key AFC contest impacting the playoff chase with the Bills (#5) and Steelers (#6) currently holding the two wild card spots. This game has been ‘flexed’ to the Sunday Night Football prime time slot, and the Bills play their next two games on the road with a potential AFC East first place showdown with New England (10-3) on deck if they can beat the Steelers. Pittsburgh has won three straight games with third-string QB Delvin Hodges at quarterback. But the Bills defense presents his toughest challenge in what is also the lowest posted total this season down to 35.5 at FanDuel. Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey returns from suspension, but WR Juju Smith-Schuster (knee) is out and RB James Connor (shoulder) is questionable to play. The look-ahead line had Buffalo a one-point favorite, and now the Bills are a two-point underdog.
  • The Packers (10-3) and Bears (7-6) have their rematch in Green Bay with the Packers now the No. 2 playoff seed in the NFC. Green Bay beat Chicago 10-3 in Week 1 with the Packers (213 yards) and Bears (254 yards) offenses struggling that day against strong defensive performances. The look-ahead line at FanDuel Sportsbook last week was Packers -7.5. Now Green Bay is a 4.5 point favorite as the Bears enter on a three-game winning streak playing their best ball and their highest-scoring output of the season in last Thursday’s 31-24 win over the Cowboys.
  • Speaking of the struggling Cowboys (6-7), Dallas was a 4-point favorite on the look ahead line last week, but after the Cowboys third straight loss and the Rams rolling over the Seahawks 28-12 and the Cardinals 34-7 the previous week, Los Angeles is now a 1-point favorite with the biggest price adjustment of the week.

Market Game of the Week: Houston (8-5) at Tennessee (8-5). First place in the AFC South is on the line in the first of two meetings between these division rivals in the final three weeks. The Texans and Titans are jockeying for playoff position and a division title. The Texans currently have the better division record at 3-1 while the Titans are 2-2. A win by the Texans Sunday and a win at Tampa Bay next week would secure the division title regardless of the outcome at Tennessee in their Week 17 matchup. Both teams are also in the wild card chase should either not win the division, but it’s the Titans who are playing their best ball down the stretch with four straight wins while scoring at least 31 points on all four contests.

These teams are nearly identical in scoring offense this season at 317 and 318 points, but the Titans defense is allowing just 19.6 points per game to rank top 10 in the league and .296 points per play to rank top 5. The Texans have been wildly inconsistent since the start of November, burying a recently bad Jaguars team 26-6 before getting blown out at Baltimore and then getting a narrow win over the Colts.

NFL Week 16 look-ahead lines

GameFanDuel Spread
Rams at 49ersSF -6
Bills at PatriotsNE -6.5
Texans at BuccaneersHOU -1
Lions at BroncosDEN -6.5
Raiders at ChargersLAC -6.5
Jaguars at FalconsATL -6.5
Saints at TitansNO -1
NY Giants at RedskinsWAS -3
Steelers at JetsPIT -2.5
Bengals at DolphinsMIA -2.5
Panthers at ColtsIND -6
Ravens at BrownsBAL -6.5
Cowboys at Eagles DAL -1
Cardinals at SeahawksSEA -9.5
Chiefs at BearsKC -3.5
Packers at VikingsMIN -4

The push for the playoffs continues, and while there is no Thursday night game in Week 16, there are three Saturday contests with playoff positioning and impact.

  • LA Rams at San Francisco (-6): This will have a playoff impact for both teams unless the Rams lose at Dallas, which would significantly reduce their chances to get a wild card spot. San Francisco is playing for a No. 1 playoff seed in the NFC.
  • Buffalo at New England (-6.5): Line reduced, and this is the same price the Patriots were laying at Buffalo in Week 4 when New England escaped with a 16-10 win despite 224 yards offense. Week 15 results will determine the significance of this contest, but the Bills (9-4) are still in the division chase against the powerful Patriots (10-3), who have been struggling mightily over the past five games (2-3) with a scoring high of 22 points in defeat at Houston.
  • Houston (-1) at Tampa Bay: Two of the most inconsistent teams much of the season, but the Bucs games have gone ‘over’ the total an NFL-high 10 games this season. Tampa Bay (6-7) can play spoiler at home against Houston (8-5), which will be sandwiched between its two huge games against Tennessee to close the season.

Also, two huge division games that could decide division champions:

  • Dallas (-1) at Philadelphia: The Cowboys (6-7) are 4-0 in division play yet still have a losing record. They are tied with the Eagles (6-7) for first place in the NFC East heading into Week 15, and this contest will likely decide the division champion. Only one of these teams is going to the playoffs, and the Cowboys blew out the Eagles 37-10 in Week 7 by forcing four turnovers.
  • Green Bay at Minnesota (-4): The Packers held on for a 21-16 win in Week 2 at Green Bay, as four Vikings turnovers proved costly despite a 424 (7.1 yards per play) to 325 yards advantage for Minnesota. Now the Vikings (9-4) will need to win the rematch against the Packers (10-3) to have a chance to win the NFC North.

In May, Las Vegas sportsbook CG Technology released NFL lines on every 2019 regular-season game. The highest projected point spreads from the summer for Week 16 (you’ll notice some major adjustments):

  • Buffalo at New England (-13): Week 16 look-ahead line NE -6.5
  • Arizona at Seattle (-12): Week 16 look-ahead line SEA -9.5
  • Oakland at LA Chargers (-9): Week 16 look-ahead line LAC -6.5

Also, the Browns were a three-point favorite over the summer against the Ravens, and now Baltimore is a 6.5-point favorite on the look-ahead line with the Ravens (11-2) locked in as AFC North champions with a win over the Jets in Week 15 and pushing for the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

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FairwayJay is a leading national sports and gaming analyst and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful professionals. Jay has pursued his passions and maintained a pulse on the sports, gaming and poker industries while living in Las Vegas for nearly two decades. He's been a regular featured guest on sports and gaming radio shows, podcasts and produces sports betting and related industry articles and content for various sites and sources.

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