Week 9 NFL Betting Market: Line Moving Against Undefeated Rams, More Sharp Action
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff.
- The undefeated Rams have moved from a favorite to a dog against the Saints, who have covered in five straight games.
- Rams-Saints is also tied for the highest over/under of all time at 60, while Bears-Bills features the lowest total of the season at 37.
- Aaron Rodgers and the Packers gained some respect by covering vs. the Rams, as their line vs. the Patriots has moved from +7 to +5.5 since opening.
We’ve got a nice, juicy NFL slate for Week 9. The Los Angeles Rams head to the bayou to take on the New Orleans Saints. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady face off for the second time in their illustrious careers. And the Cleveland Browns have a new coach!
What more could an NFL fan ask for?
We also have polar opposite over/unders, with both the highest and lowest totals of the season on the slate.
Here’s what’s happened in the betting market over the first 36 hours since opening.
Big NFL Line Moves
Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints (-1.5)
The Rams keep winning, winning and winning. But folks who have been betting on the Rams are currently tying their belongings in a cloth baggy (known as a bindle) to the end of a stick. In other words, they’ve become hobos, as the Rams have failed to cover in four of their past five games.
Meanwhile, the Saints have covered five straight times.
Los Angeles faces its toughest test to date in New Orleans, and to my surprise, the market has moved the Rams from a favorite to a dog. The Saints are getting the slight majority of spread bets and dollars and the large majority of moneyline dollars at 90% as of writing (see live data here).
Some books have moved the Saints to -2, while some of the squarer books have them at -1.
Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots (-5.5)
Rodgers and the Packers proved that you can’t give them more than a touchdown regardless of who the opponent is. This week, the Packers remained at +7 for an entire minute before moving to +6.5.
On Tuesday morning, more Packer action moved them to +6 and +5.5 soon after. Betting activity is very split, so I imagine some respected bettors have come in on Green Bay to cause the move.
When the line has moved at least a point against Brady, the Pats have covered 67.2% of the time in nearly 70 games.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-3)
Big divisional game right here. The AFC North is still up for grabs, but the Ravens — who have lost three of their past four games — might be out of luck if they lose this one.
Bettors are riding the hot team and fading the cold one, as 75% are on the Steelers. Nevertheless, the Ravens remain at their opener of -3.
The juice is building up on Pittsburgh, so a move to 2.5 could be in the cards. Then again, this could become a classic case of juice building up to the -125/-130 range on Pittsburgh before we actually see the line move off the key number.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-7)
FitzMagic is back!
Generally speaking, it’s not good news if your franchise quarterback of the future is benched for a nearly 36-year-old, bearded Harvard grad, but I think it’s fair to say that everyone wants to see Ryan Fitzpatrick sling the ball around like Sammy Baugh.
This line opened on Monday morning and it took about four hours for the Panthers to move from -6.5 to -7. Carolina is getting more than 60% of bets and dollars.
Now with the line on the key number of seven, Sports Insights’ line predictor tool is projecting that the next move will be back down to 6.5, so get it while the gettin’s good if you think Fitzpatrick can pull another rabbit out of his crimson hat.
Rams at Saints: 60
At a crazy high opener of 60, Rams-Saints has broken the record in our database for highest over/under opening number ever.
If it remains at 60, it will tie the highest number since 2003 with the Raiders-Chiefs game of Christmas 2004. Of course, if it goes up, it will break the record.
Right now, bettors are shying away from the over. The Bengals-Chiefs matchup in Week 7, which at one point was up to 59.5, had 74% of bets on the over. In fact, all 46 regular-season games that we’ve tracked with totals of 55 or higher have had at least 60% of bets on the over.
This game has 60% of bets on the under. What gives?
The early love for the under clearly isn’t swaying oddsmakers’ opinions, as the total hasn’t trended downward one bit.
Chicago Bears at Buffalo Bills: 37
On the other end of the spectrum, Bears-Bills has the lowest total of the season at a measly 37.
There were three games last season with totals of 37 or lower, and one in 2014, making this just the fifth time a total has dipped this low since 2012.
With Derek Anderson getting bludgeoned and battered at the end of the Monday Night Football game, it’s possible Nathan Peterman gets the nod for the Bills. That actually could be good for the over if you factor in the high pick-six potential.