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Usually by mid-morning on Monday, the NFL betting line has settled in.
But that’s not the case this week with the Washington Redskins-Dallas Cowboys matchup.
The head oddsmaker for Las Vegas Sports Consultants, Ken White, said the Redskins-Cowboys line was the toughest Week 4 NFL line to make.
LVSC recommended opening Dallas as eight-point home favorites. However, after seeing the line climb to Dallas minus 13 at Internet sportsbook Pinnacle, White and crew readjusted their number sending out the Cowboys as 10-point chalk.
“The Redskins offense is getting there,” White said. “But the Cowboys just look like the best team in the NFL right now. They beat up a very good Green Bay team.”
The Cowboys knocked off the Packers by 11 points as 3-point road favorites despite traveling on a short week following a hotly-contested Monday night victory against Philadelphia.
Dallas just could be the No. 1 team. That’s maybe why some places opened the Cowboys as high as minus 11. The line was still fluctuating Monday afternoon between 10 ½ and 12.
“Thirteen definitely was too high,” White said.
Green Bay at Tampa Bay was another tough line to make, White said. He thought the Packers should be a slight favorite, while most of the other LVSC oddsmakers believed Tampa Bay should be minus 2 ½ or three.
LVSC ended up sending out the Buccaneers minus three to its many Nevada hotel customers.
Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden is using Brian Griese as his starting quarterback ahead of Jeff Garcia. According to White’s ratings, Garcia is worth one point more than Griese on the betting line.
“But if Gruden feels more comfortable with Griese than you can take away that one point,” White said. “It’s not that important.
“Tampa Bay is playing well. Gruden is doing a good job.”
White is surprised by the early line movement on the San Francisco-New Orleans matchup. LVSC sent out New Orleans minus 8 ½.
The line currently is down to Saints minus six.
“The 49ers won at Seattle but the Seahawks have a lot of injuries,” White said. “Winning at home against Detroit isn’t impressive. The 49ers really haven’t beaten anybody.
“The Saints are an excellent offensive team. They’re 1-2 and can’t afford a loss at this point.”
Aside from the Cowboys, the biggest pointspreads in Week 4 are with a couple of road favorites.
Denver is laying nine or 9 ½ at Kansas City, while Buffalo is favored by eight or nine points against St. Louis.
The Chiefs and Rams are the two worst teams in the NFL. White wouldn’t be shocked if the Chiefs ended up closing as double-digit underdogs to the Broncos.
“There won’t be one general public ticket on Kansas City,” he said. “It will all be Denver and Over parlay money.”
White’s opening number on Buffalo-St. Louis was Bills minus 8 ½. The line was in the eight-to-nine range around town.
Some may be leery of laying another big number with Buffalo after the Bills failed to cover this past Sunday laying nine at home versus Oakland. The Bills were fortunate to eek out a one-point victory.
The Bills haven’t laid this kind of lumber in five years.
“The Bills are in new territory,” White said. “… But the Rams really are in rough shape.”
St. Louis is averaging 9.7 points, while surrendering an average of 38.7 points, worst in the NFL. The Rams have lost the past 15 times they’ve faced winning teams, covering just two of the 15.
The Rams rank 31st in offense and last in defense. The scary thing is they may not have hit rock bottom yet. That could occur if they fail to cover this big of a spread at home.