- The Cincinnati Bengals opened as 2.5-point favorites for tonight's preseason game against the Chicago Bears.
- Over the past six days, the line has moved toward the Bears, making them to 1-point favorites at a handful of offshore sportsbooks, including BookMaker.eu.
- Both professional and public action is responsible for the line movement.
Tonight’s Chicago Bears-Cincinnati Bengals preseason matchup is busting two NFL betting myths by itself.
Myth 1: Professionals don’t bet on the NFL preseason
On Friday, the Bengals opened as 2.5-point home favorites against the Bears, and the line remained there until Wednesday evening when Chicago money started hitting the market.
Heavy Bears action continued through today, highlighted by a Steam Move triggered at CRIS by Sports Insights’ Bet Signals, which track sharp action across the offshore betting market in real-time. CRIS is a market-setting sportsbook that accepts high-limit wagers, and is therefore a preferred shop among professional bettors.
Oddsmakers certainly took notice and have flipped Chicago to a 1-point favorite.
Myth 2: Sharp and recreational bettors always disagree
Not only are wiseguys hammering Chicago, but public bettors have been playing the Bears since the game opened. According to The Action Network’s public betting data, 68% of spread tickets are on Chicago, including a whopping 89% of real dollars wagered, making it the most heavily bet side of tonight’s preseason Week 1 slate.
>> All odds as of 2:30 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets.
With both professional and recreational money flooding this matchup, oddsmakers have been forced to adjust aggressively in order to offset their Bears liability.
The Action Network’s Ian Hartitz speculates that many of the Bengals’ key skill players, like A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernand, could see limited playing time due to Andy Dalton’s familiarity with Cincinnati’s offense.