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Opening Line Report - Week 8

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Just when they get Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey back, the New Orleans Saints lose their most important weapon, Reggie Bush.

The Saints will be without Bush when they play San Diego Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London. Bush is worth two points on the betting line, according to Las Vegas Sports Consultants senior oddsmaker Mike Seba.

The linesmakers at LVSC recommended an opening number of Chargers minus three. The line, though, already was creeping higher on Monday.

“It has to be 3 ½,” Seba said. “No way will it close three.”

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San Diego has been a huge disappointment. LaDainian Tomlinson hasn’t crossed the goal line in three straight games. The Chargers’ defense ranked 28th going into Monday missing pass-rushing star Shawne Merriman.

Luckily for the Chargers they play in what has become a weak AFC Western Division. The Saints aren’t as fortunate. At 3-4, they can’t take another loss with each of the three other NFC South Division teams only having two losses.

Carolina pounded New Orleans, 30-7, on Sunday.

“The Saints are just reeling,” Seba said. “Losing that game to the Panthers put them in a real mess.”

This is considered a home game for the Saints. Normally they would be playing on carpet inside their dome stadium, which is suited to their fast-paced, high-octane style.

But now the Chargers figure to have a field edge because Wembley Stadium is a grass field, San Diego’s normal surface. Rain always is likelihood, too, when playing in London.

The New York Giants defeated Miami, 13-10, at Wembley Stadium last year. The game was played in sloppy conditions under a steady rain that negatively impacted both offenses.

The Giants-Dolphins game dipped well ‘under’ the total of 47. The Chargers-Saints total was 46 on Monday afternoon.

Tennessee is the lone unbeaten team in the NFL and finally generating some respect in the betting market. The Titans were installed as four-point home favorites for their Monday night matchup against Indianapolis.

Bookmakers cleaned up on the Colts-Green Bay Packers game Sunday when the Packers easily won. There was one-sided action on Indianapolis.

Because of that, Seba isn’t anticipating Colts money to show up in this Monday matchup.

“I can’t imagine it going lower than four,” he said. “If anything it might go to 4 ½.”

Keep in mind, though, the Colts lost to Green Bay without their top defensive player, safety Bob Sanders, missing their best running back, Joseph Addai, minus their No. 1 guard, Ryan Lilja, and top cornerback, Kelvin Hayden.

The Titans have yet to defeat a team with a winning record.

If you think Miami should be installed as a home favorite against Buffalo try again. The Bills were slight road chalk on Monday. LVSC’s send-out on the matchup was Bills minus 2 ½.

“I would have argued for three,” Seba said. “It’s ridiculous to think of Miami as the favorite or that it will be a letdown spot for Buffalo. It’s a division game and Buffalo usually brings a lot of people for this game.

“Plus the novelty of Miami’s Wildcat formation is wearing down.”

There are two double-digit favorites this week: The New York Jets are minus 12 ½ hosting the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston is minus 10 at home to Cincinnati.

Underdogs of 10 or more points are 8-1 against the spread this season.

Also this week there are two instances of West Coast teams playing early start times with a three-hour time difference from what they are used to.

The Oakland Raiders are plus seven at Baltimore and Arizona is plus 4 ½ at Carolina. West Coast clubs are 1-9 against the spread this year when going from west to east with an early start time.

  
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