5 early point spreads to keep an eye on

We’ve been tracking the line movements for the 13 NFL games scheduled for Week 6 and have come across some interesting information in the process. The following five point spreads have experienced some of the most movement since opening at the Las Vegas Hilton Sunday evening.

To track the lines or see what the betting public is up to, check out the NFP Sportsbook Sniper.

Last week’s record: 3-2 (3-2 overall)

HOUSTON TEXANS (3-2, 1-1 road) at BALTIMORE RAVENS (3-1, 2-0 home)

Time: 4:05pm eastern
Opening line: Ravens -5.5
Current line: Ravens -8 (2.5-point swing)
Current betting patterns: 65% of bets placed are on Baltimore

Analysis: Did you really expect something different? Mario Williams and Andre Johnson are out for the Texans, while the Ravens are rested and refreshed coming off their Week 5 bye. Keep in mind that Baltimore is 4-0 against the Texans since 2002 and is 8-2 against the spread in their last ten games coming off a bye. The oddsmakers opened this game too low and early Baltimore bettors may find themselves with a nice middle opportunity come Sunday morning, should the line continue to move in the Ravens’ direction.

Interesting trend: The Texans are 1-4 against the spread in their last five road games and 0-4 against the spread in their last four games as an underdog.

Pick: Ravens -6.5 (got it early in the week)

CAROLINA PANTHERS (1-4, 0-2 road) at ATLANTA FALCONS (2-3, 1-1 home)

Time: 1:00pm eastern
Opening line: Falcons -6
Current line: Falcons -4 (2-point swing)
Current betting patterns: 54% of bets placed are on Atlanta

Analysis: Last year it would have been unthinkable for the line to move towards a 1-4 underdog playing on the road at Atlanta, but these aren’t the Falcons we all know and love from 2011…and this isn’t the same, underperforming Panthers team from years past as well. Cam Newton and the Panthers are 4-0-1 against the spread this season and have been playing some highly competitive football, while the Falcons are just 1-4 against the spread this season and have been underperforming, to say the least…hence the movement in Carolina’s direction.

Interesting trend: The Panthers have covered the spread in four straight games while the Falcons are 1-4 against the spread in their last five games as a favorite.

Pick: Panthers +4

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (4-1, 2-0 road) at DETROIT LIONS (5-0, 2-0 home)

Time: 1:00pm eastern
Opening line: Lions -5
Current line: Lions -4 (1-point swing)
Current betting patterns: 70% of bets placed are on Detroit

Analysis: A Week 5 blowout win over Tampa Bay, a 2-0 road record and an opponent coming off a Monday night game are three likely reasons why this line has moved towards the 49ers. Still, the Lions are 4-0-1 against the spread this season and in addition, I find myself asking if this 49ers team is as good as their record indicates. Jim Harbaugh has his squad playing some tough, aggressive football, but do you really feel comfortable going against the Lions with Alex Smith under center for the Niners?

Interesting trend: The Lions are 18-6-2 against the spread in their last 26 games overall and 10-0-1 against the spread in their last 11 games following a straight up win.

Pick: Lions -4 (but I’ve got an uneasy feeling about this one)

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (0-5, 0-2 road) at CINCINNATI BENGALS (3-2, 1-1 home)

Time: 1:00pm eastern
Opening line: O/U 38
Current line: O/U 41 (3-point swing)
Current betting patterns: 92% of bets placed are on the OVER

Analysis: Professional handicapper Warren Sharp of Sharp Football Analysis.com did an excellent job of breaking down this game for my Wednesday column, so I’ll leave the analysis to him. You guys can check it out by CLICKING HERE.

Interesting trend: The OVER is 4-0 in the Colts’ last four games overall and 4-1 in the Bengals’ last four games overall.

Pick: OVER (buy the half point to 40.5)

BUFFALO BILLS (4-1, 1-1 road) at NEW YORK GIANTS (3-2, 1-1 home)

Time: 1:00pm eastern
Opening line: O/U 48.5
Current line: O/U 50 (1.5-point swing)
Current betting patterns: 82% of bets placed are on the OVER

Analysis: Buffalo currently ranks third in the NFL in scoring (32.8 pts/gm) while New York ranks ninth (25.4 pts/gm), so you can see why this total started moving north. Add in the fact that the OVER is 8-1-1 in the ten games played by these two teams this season and you have a line that will probably continue moving right up until kickoff. If you’re waiting for me to give you a reason why the UNDER looks like a good play, get comfortable because it’s going to be a while.

Interesting trend: The OVER is 4-0 in the Bills’ last four games as an underdog and 5-1-1 in the Giants’ last seven home games.

Pick: OVER 50

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

Upcoming Games

Aug 5th, 8:00 PM

Dallas

Pittsburgh

@

Aug 12th, 7:30 PM

Washington

New England

@

Aug 12th, 7:30 PM

Pittsburgh

Philadelphia

@