NFL Week 9: In ‘Lookahead Lines,’ Intrigue As Broncos Trade WR Thomas to Opponent
Every week, Sports Handle will look at NFL lines, specifically “lookahead lines” to see how they’re moving and why. Lookahead lines are those posted one week prior to a game or even before the season has begun, as CG Technology does.
By comparing changes between current lines and the numbers hung days earlier, we can get a sense of where recency bias or overreactions are seeping in.
We’ll highlight the significant shifts, look for value and suggest when it’s a good idea to get behind or stay away from certain teams. Here’s a look at the NFL Week 9 line moves and what it means to bettors. (Note: odds indicated are based on current numbers at several Las Vegas sportsbooks.)
NFL Week 9 Lines, Before And After: Texans-Broncos, Rams-Saints in NFC Heavyweight Clash; FitzMagic Getting 7 At Carolina?
Houston Texans at Denver Broncos (-1)
The Texans-Broncos matchup has the most notable line movement of the week. The SuperBook made the Texans a 1.5-point road favorite last week in its early lines. Houston then destroyed the Dolphins on national TV Thursday night, 42-23. Meanwhile, the Broncos fell (and covered) in Kansas City, 30-23.
The Texans have won five straight (3-2 ATS), while Denver is 1-5 in its last six games (3-3 ATS). The SuperBook opened this number as a pick ’em on Sunday night and within a couple hours it moved to the Broncos -2.5. The Texans did suffer a big loss against Miami when receiver Will Fuller tore his ACL. Deshaun Watson’s numbers are much better with Fuller in the lineup. But is Fuller worth four points? Traditionally only QBs cause moves like that.
The public has come out ahead the last two weeks and they’re certain to be on the Texans Sunday. The Broncos are 2-2 at home this year and 2-1-1 ATS.
But then on Tuedsay an hour after the Broncos traded for WR Demaryius Thomas to their opponent this week — the Texans! — the line dropped to Denver -1.5 and to -1 as of Wednesday morning. Don’t be surprised if Houston is a slight favorite by kickoff. The Texans are playing much better over the last month but the value may end up being on Denver if it becomes a home ‘dog.