Las Vegas Money Moves
November 16, 2012
By Micah Roberts
We got all kinds of quarterback issues this week that has affected several lines this week ranging from concussions to Michael Vick, Jay Cutler, and Alex Smith to Ben Roethlisberger’s shoulder. Smith is expected to start for the 49ers (-6) Monday night against the Bears, but the other three are listed as OUT.
The big game changer of all has been Roethlisberger. The Steelers were opened as four-point home favorites against their main rival -- the Ravens -- before they played their Monday night game against the Chiefs. When the sports books opened the game back up on Tuesday, the Ravens were a 1 ½-point favorite, a large adjustment for a starting quarterback in the league. By Wednesday afternoon, between a combination of Ravens bets and air moves by the bookmakers, the Ravens had been moved all the way up to -3 ½.
That is a massive move for one player. Early last season we figured that Peyton Manning was worth about nine points to the Colts, which is the highest point value ever associated with a player towards the spread.
Byron Leftwich will be the starter for the Steelers. It will be his first start since 2009. He has lost his past seven starts dating back to 2006 with the Jaguars. While Leftwich may be a little rusty, this rivalry doesn’t seem to care about who is playing. Six of the last 10 meetings between the two teams have been won by a field goal.
However, Roethlisberger’s impact is huge in this rivalry. The Steelers have lost all four games against the Ravens that he has missed, three of them by a field goal and the other by six points.
Roethlisberger being out also affected the total which dropped from 42 ½ to 40.
-- The Redskins opened as three-point favorites with the expectation that Vick wouldn’t play and that number has been driven up to -3.5. Eagles fans had been yelling for back-up Nick Foles to replace Vick all season. Last week against the Cowboys, they got their wish. He wasn’t too bad, but he wasn’t much better than Vick, either.
-- The Packers are three-point favorites at Detroit. The side and total hasn’t moved all week.
-- The Falcons opened as 9-point home favorites against the reeling Cardinals, who have lost five straight games. The game is up to -9 ½.
-- For some reason, we keep believing this will be the week Cam Newton comes up big, but every week, we seem to have another bad loss, whether it’s losing by a big score or losing because of late Newton mishaps. The red-hot Bucs opened as two-point road favorites at Carolina and Panthers money dropped the number to -1.
-- The Cowboys have been bet up from the opener of -7 to -7 ½ for their home game against the Browns.
-- Just when we thought the Jets were getting better after three straight covers, ending with an almost overtime win at New England, they have gone the other way and have been outscored 58-16 in their past two games. The Rams opened as three-point home favorites and have been bet up to -3 ½ at several books. Despite each team only having three wins, the Rams have been much more impressive this season.
-- The Patriots are laying a big number (-9) at home this week against the Colts, but no one has touched it yet. The Patriots haven’t covered any game this season when favored by more than seven points, and the Colts look to be much better right now than those teams the Pats couldn’t put away -- Cardinals, Jets, and Bills.
-- We just saw the Jaguars cover the big number at Green Bay, and now they get +14 ½ at Houston this week. The Texans opened as 15 ½-point favorites, but sharp money jumped all over it with the feeling that two touchdowns is just too many for any team to cover. The Texans have won and covered all three of their double-digit favorite spreads this season.
-- The Bengals, fresh off ending a four-game losing streak, opened as 3 ½-point favorites at Kansas City. Chiefs money has come in dropping the price to +3 ½ (-120).
-- The Saints are 4 ½-point favorites at Oakland. The game hasn’t been touched yet, but expect the move to come on Oakland.
-- The Broncos opened as eight-point home favorites against the Chargers, their highest spread of the season. The Broncos rating has been climbing every week as it looks like their defense, offense and special teams are all in synch. The number dropped to 7 ½, but has been bet back up to the opener.