The Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas has released the NFL look-ahead lines for Week 9, and there will be some marquee match-ups to look forward to with Pittsburgh at Baltimore, LA Rams at New Orleans, and Green Bay at New England on Sunday night.
However, as we approach the halfway point of the NFL season in Week 8, three AFC preseason favorites are leading their divisions with New England (5-2), Pittsburgh (3-2-1) and Kansas City (6-1) on top, while Jacksonville (3-4) is one game behind AFC South leader Houston (5-3). The stronger NFC also has three preseason conference favorites leading their divisions with the LA Rams (7-0), New Orleans (5-1) and Minnesota (4-2-1) on top while Washington (4-2) is the surprise in the NFC East with defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia (3-4) playing catchup.
You’ll pay a little price to bet on many of these division leaders in the second half of the season, and you’ll see that in the weekly market moves and lookahead lines.
Adjusting to market moves
The tendency of many bettors is to over (or under) react to games and events they saw most recently. That’s especially true on the nationally televised primetime games on Thursday, Sunday and Monday night. As scoring continues at a record pace while averaging more than 48 points per game, the high-powered offenses will also influence the betting lines and totals, which are also being set by the linemaker at record highs.
While it’s essential to make adjustments in your handicapping and sports betting approach based on information such as impactful injuries, statistical profiles, player performance and personnel changes, and scheduling situations, it’s also important to understand a bookmaker’s approach to setting the lines and its understanding of how bettors react to recent results.
If you followed and bet on the biggest adjusted market moves of at least two points last week, you went 2-4 ATS. So while recent results, injuries and public perception have impacted these games more than others from an adjusted line standpoint, it’s worth noting that the potential overreaction to last week’s results and the adjusted price is not always a profitable play towards the team with the bigger adjusted line moves.
Also note that home underdogs were buried last week, going 1-5 SU/ATS after going 20-10 ATS through the first six weeks.
Week 8 look-ahead lines and major moves
For the Week 8 games on Sunday, Oct. 28, these are the games where there was at least a two-point difference from the look-ahead line in Las Vegas and current line:
- Philadelphia vs Jacksonville (PK) – Current line Eagles -3
- New York Jets at Chicago (-5) – Current line Bears -7
- Washington at New York Giants (-1) – Current line Redskins -1
- Baltimore at Carolina (PK) – Current line Ravens -2
- Indianapolis at Oakland (-1) – Current line Colts -3
- San Francisco at Arizona (-2) – Current line 49ers PK
- New Orleans at Minnesota (-3) – Current line Vikings -1
- New England (-10.5) at Buffalo – Current line Patriots -14
The worst teams in the league have clearly been identified, and the linemaker understands this knowing bigger line adjustments often need to be made as most bettors will not be putting their money on these losers – Bills (2-5), Cardinals (1-6), Raiders (1-6) and Giants (1-6). Oakland and New York also trading away players as the trading deadline approaches Oct. 30, and the white flag is raised in rebuilding mode. The stats also suggest these teams are going to struggle most weeks, as Buffalo (11.6), Arizona (13.1) Oakland (18.3) and New York (19.6) are all averaging less than 20 points per game, and the Cardinals (220 yards per game) and Bills (234 YPG) offenses are completely dreadful in a year when offenses and scoring are producing records. The last two years, the worst offenses in the league averaged 280 YPG and 262 YPG.
NFL Week 9 look-ahead betting lines
- Oakland at San Francisco (-2.5) – Thursday Night
- Chicago at Buffalo (OFF)
- Tampa Bay at Carolina (-4.5)
- Kansas City (-7) at Cleveland
- New York Jets at Miami (OFF)
- Pittsburgh at Baltimore (-3)
- Detroit at Minnesota (-6.5)
- Atlanta at Washington (-1)
- Houston (-1.5) at Denver
- Los Angeles Chargers at Seattle (PK)
- Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans (PK)
- Green Bay at New England (-7.5) – Sunday Night
- Tennessee at Dallas (-4) – Monday Night