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Week 5 early line moves

Eight games that have already seen some key movement after hitting the board. Joe Fortenbaugh

October 02, 2012
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The regular officials restored some balance to the gambling world this past weekend as home dogs weren’t barking quite as loud in Week 4 as they had been over the first three weeks of the season. In addition, LVH SuperContest participants welcomed the officials back in a big way, with the top five most selected teams going 5-0 against the number.

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Arizona Cardinals (4-0, 1-0 road) at St. Louis Rams (2-2, 2-0 home)

When: Thursday, 8:25pm ET
Open: Arizona -3
Current: Arizona -1

Analysis: Despite a 1-3 mark against the spread in Week 4, home underdogs are still 14-9 ATS (60.9%) on the season. Week 5 marks just the second time this year that Arizona will hit the road and keep in mind that St. Louis is currently 2-0 ATS at home in 2012. The short week of preparation and travel schedule has early bettors fading the Cardinals, but take note that Arizona is 4-1 ATS in their last five games against the Rams and 6-2 ATS in their last eight trips to St. Louis.

Baltimore Ravens (3-1, 0-1 road) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-3, 0-2 home)

When: Sunday, 1:00pm ET
Open: Baltimore -6.5
Current: Baltimore -5

Joe FlaccoICONWill the additional rest be enough for Flacco and the Ravens to cover the number in Kansas City?

Analysis: It’s interesting to see the early money coming in on a 1-3 Chiefs team that is 0-2 at home and 1-3 ATS through four weeks, especially when you consider the fact that Baltimore enters Week 5 on extra rest. Not only that, but virtually every trend points to the Ravens in this spot. John Harbaugh’s crew is 4-1 ATS in their last five road games while the road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings between these two franchises. In addition, the Chiefs are 0-6 ATS in their last six games following a double-digit loss at home.

Miami Dolphins (1-3, 0-2 road) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-1, 1-0 home)

When: Sunday, 1:00pm ET
Open: Cincinnati -5.5
Current: Cincinnati -4

Analysis: The Dolphins are 2-2 against the number this season and 1-1 ATS on the road, but this is a tough spot for Miami, who enters Week 5 in the second half of a back-to-back road stint. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Cincinnati is 1-4-1 ATS in their last six home games or maybe it’s the Dolphins’ 8-0 ATS mark over their last eight outings against a team with a winning record. And don’t forget, the road team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings between these two squads.

Chicago Bears (3-1, 1-1 road) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3, 0-2 home)

When: Sunday, 4:05pm ET
Open: Chicago -4
Current: Chicago -5.5

Analysis: Here’s a perfect example of how little faith the early bettors have in Blaine Gabbert and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite back-to-back home games and a Week 5 date against a Chicago team playing on short rest and in the second half of a back-to-back road stint, the early action still came in on the Bears. Keep in mind that Lovie Smith’s team goes on the bye in Week 6 and would love nothing more than to go on a short vacation with a 4-1 record. Jacksonville is just 5-16-1 in their last 22 games against a team with a winning record while the Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.

Tennessee Titans (1-3, 0-2 road) at Minnesota Vikings (3-1, 2-0 home)

When: Sunday, 4:25pm ET
Open: Minnesota -6.5
Current: Minnesota -5

Matt HasselbeckWith Jake Locker nursing a separated shoulder, Matt Hasselbeck returns to the starting lineup.

Analysis: Starting quarterback Jake Locker is expected to miss Sunday’s game with a separated shoulder, which leaves veteran Matt Hasselbeck to deal with the Minnesota crowd noise in Week 5. The Titans are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games overall while the Vikings—despite a 3-1 overall record—are just 1-5 ATS in their last six home games. Minnesota’s been playing some good football, but the early bettors likely thought that getting 6.5 points with the dog here was just too good to pass up.

Denver Broncos (2-2, 0-1 road) at New England Patriots (2-2, 0-1 home)

When: Sunday, 4:25pm ET
Open: New England -6.5
Current: New England -7

Analysis: A half point adjustment may appear to be an insignificant move on its face, but the early bettors grabbed the Patriots at -6.5 to avoid a potential push situation on the key number of 7. New England is 5-1 ATS in their last six games against AFC opponents while the Broncos are just 1-7 ATS in their last eight games played in the month of October. But here’s something you should keep in mind before firing on this game: Tom Brady is just 1-5 ATS in his last six showdowns Peyton Manning.

San Diego Chargers (3-1, 2-0 road) at New Orleans Saints (0-4, 0-2 home)

When: Sunday, 8:20pm ET
Open: 52.5
Current: 54

Analysis: The Saints are averaging 27.5 points per game this season while the Chargers enter Week 5 scoring an average of 25.0 points per contest. In addition, the over is 33-14-4 in San Diego’s last 51 road games and 8-1 in the Saints last nine games overall. It should be interesting to see if the public pushes this total even higher, especially when you consider the fact that this is the Sunday night game and bettors may be looking to chase their money.

Atlanta Falcons (4-0, 2-0 road) at Washington Redskins (2-2, 0-1 home)

When: Sunday, 1:00pm ET
Open: 52
Current: 50

Analysis: This game looks like a shootout on paper, but take note that the under is 10-3 in the Falcons’ last 13 games following a straight-up win and 9-3 in the Redskins’ last 12 games against a team with a winning record. Atlanta can play some defense and the best way to slow down Robert Griffin III and the Washington offense may be to run the ball with Michael Turner in an effort to grind down the clock.

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

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