USA Today Sports. Pictured: Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen
- We've already seen some significant movement since Week 4 NFL lines opened, with the Raiders (PK to -2.5) and Jets (+9 to +7) seeing the largest moves.
- Two of the biggest Super Bowl favorites have seen their lines move off a key number, as the Rams and Patriots have both gone from -7 to -6.5.
- The over/under in Atlanta has jumped from 48 to 51 since opening, but the Chiefs-Broncos total of 56 takes the cake as the highest over/under of 2018.
The NFL season has failed to disappoint thus far and plenty of storylines have already emerged.
Are the Patriots finished? Will Patrick Mahomes break the touchdown record? Is Josh Allen the best massive underdog quarterback to have ever lived?
These questions are also surely causing both oddsmakers and bettors to adjust, perhaps more than they should. The year is young and it’s impossible to tell what’s for real and what’s just noise.
Here’s what happened since NFL Week 4 lines opened this past Sunday night. I’ve also added in Westgate’s lookahead lines from last week to see how this past weekend’s games have impacted the numbers.
Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders
Surprisingly enough, it’s the Raiders who enter Week 4 winless — not the Browns. In fact, the Browns only have one loss.
But it appears that bettors aren’t totally buying into the Cleveland hype just yet. After opening at a pick’em — which essentially means that the Browns would be around a 6-point favorite if this game were in Cleveland — the line quickly started heading toward the Raiders. And I mean very quickly.
Oakland reached -3 at one point and -2 after some buyback, but the line has settled in at -2.5 for the past 24+ hours as of writing (see live odds here).
New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars have been a little Jekyll & Hyde-y the past two weeks, as they steamrolled Tom Brady and the Patriots then lost to Blaine Gabbert and the Titans.
The Jags should have an easy win at home against the Jets, but sharp bettors have liked the Jets plus the points. Sharps ate up the two points between +9 and +7 in the first 18 hours after the line opened. The Jets are getting about 40% of the bets, but 60% of the money so far.
Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Rams
After this past weekend, you’d be surprised to learn that the line is moving toward Minnesota. The Vikings had an embarrassing loss to the Bills and now head to L.A. to take on the Super Bowl favorite.
I guess bettors are trying not to overreact to one (horrid) game, though, as the line has had trouble staying at Rams -7. There have been a few instances when Vikings +7 has been available, but it keeps getting bet down to 6.5. We could see this limbo continue until kickoff on Thursday, as it looks like bettors can’t resist Rams -6.5, either.
>> Check out Sports Insights’ Bet Signals to track sharp action for entire Week 4 NFL slate.
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots:
How did the undefeated AFC East division leader open as a 7-point dog against a 1-2 team?!?
Alright, I’m sure the Patriots are better than what they’ve shown so far, and I’m sure the Dolphins are a bit worse. But I am surprised at the betting market activity for this game.
Spread bets are essentially split 50/50, with the Pats getting the slight majority at 52%. In this decade, the Patriots have received more than that in 114 of their 131 games, so it’s clear that the public is starting to lose a bit of faith. Oh, by the way, the Pats are 15-1-1 in those 17 games at 52% or lower.
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
Josh Rosen is getting his first career start, but sharp bettors weren’t afraid to take the hook and move the line from +4 to +3 since opening. As P.J. Walsh reported, sharp bettors like the Seahawks, too. How can that be?
Well, once the line hit Seattle -3, it was steamed. With the juice on that -3 now -119, we could see it move up to 3.5 again.
Cincinnati Bengals at Atlanta Falcons: 51 O/U
These two teams have a combined “over record” of 5-1, as they’ve been able to both score and allow points at a high rate. When bettors — sharp, square, dull, circular … whatever — saw the opener of 48, they weren’t able to resist taking the over.
More than 80% of bets and dollars have driven the total from 48 to 51.
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots: 47.5 O/U
Like the spread, this game’s total has received some sharp action that has caused it to drop. Fifty-eight percent of bettors are on the over, but a whopping 91% of dollars are on the under, which has caused the total to fall from 48 to 47.5.
Historically, divisional games with totals of 43 or higher in which the home team is favored have gone under at a 56.9% rate.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos: 56 O/U
At 56, the total in Denver is currently the highest we’ve seen in 2018. This is also the fourth-highest total recorded in Denver since 2003, with the other three all coming during Peyton Manning’s record-breaking 2013 season.
The over/under has risen from 55 to 56 since opening despite 51% of bettors taking the under.