Taking note of line movements are key to winning
We are blessed in life to have many signs that foretell the future. And no, you don't have to be a fortune teller or the Amazing Kreskin to take advantage of them. Basically, some common sense, experience and a bit of diligent hard work will offer some wise rewards and often save you a lot of trouble. And many times, provide the opportunity to make some money.
Just ask anybody down in Florida. With three days to prepare for the hurricane, it saved thousands of lives and offered the gurus at The Weather Channel to plot the next move of Hurricane Irma for every county in her path. Not to make any direct comparison in any way WHATSOEVER, the wagering lines offers similar tips for smart bettors to take notice and prepare before they make their move.
NFL ALERT: Line Storm Surges
Week One offered some classic examples of "what the line tells you" in its most classic form. No game was more obvious than the Philadelphia Eagles visiting the Washington Redskins in Washington.
The Redskins had previously defeated their NFC East rival Eagles the past five out of six times. With retuning veteran QB Kirk Cousins signed to a big contract and back at the helm with some new talent it seemed obvious when the line was first posted in April at Washington -3 for this game. Yes, the Eagles had made some positive roster changes, but had as many question marks as the Redskins going in Sunday.
Flash forward to September 1st when the real money started arriving. The game was a Pick-Em at most preferred offshore sportsbooks. Strange and a serious line movement worth noting with no significant injuries occurring during the pre-season. Even major sportsbooks like Bovada and BetOnline had begun listing the Eagles at -1 by September 4th. It was like everybody was taking notice of that "storm surge" and wanted to either prepare or take advantage, depending how you judged it.
Wise bettors could can track these line change movements on key information website VegasInsider.com. Go to the individual game you're seeking to wager upon. Then double-click on "line movements". You can unlock a treasure trove of indicators of where bettors are placing their interest. It's analogous to a stock market ticker measuring performance and financial swings.
A bettor can seek information from a comprehensive list of popular Vegas casinos. And also from some of the most preferred offshore sportsbooks including 5 Dimes, BetOnline, BookMaker, Diamond Sports and Bovada. They change and update both the Vegas and Offshore line movements almost daily on VegasInsider. This is also an excellent way to keep a comparison list of where to seek a competitive "shop around" list to obtain an advantage for which NFL team you're planning to wager upon.
NFL Storm Sunday
Alas, last Sunday proved that bettors were indeed clairvoyant in going crazy pounding the Eagles. The line closed at Philadelphia at -1 to -1.5 at most books and as high as -2 at Bookmaker and Diamond Sports. By halftime, it was a bit nervous with the Eagles slim lead at 16-14 and 19-17 going into the fourth quarter. But the Birds got it together to close out a deceptively easy 30-17 win and made a lot of hard-working punters happy. The Redskins never had a "wagering lead" the entire game and didn't threaten to win or cover toward the end.
Yes, getting the Redskins +2 at home to start the season against a team they've dominated three years in a row seemed like a deal too good to be true. We can now amend that timeless old saying: if it seems too good to be true IT ALWAYS IS not sometimes. Even Redskins +12 teaser bets were sadly torn up by stubborn folks who foolishly chose to ignore the week-long forecasts.
Point spreads are not the only trackable wagers to keep lookout for. In fact, due to weather and line-up changes, the Over/Under Totals of NFL games might be more vulnerable toward taking advantage of what the line is telling you. **This does not mean it is a 100% guaranteed force to bet with the flow of action, but certainly a strong indicator to respect if you feel strongly about wagering in the other direction.
Take last Sunday evening's NBC Sunday Night Football feature game New York Giants at the Dallas Cowboys as Exhibit A.
All the attention was off-field and a judge's decision whether Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott would play. Once confirmed to suit-up, the wagering line solidified at Dallas -6 at most sports books but the Over/Under continued taking a mystifying turn. Last year the Giants defeated the Cowboys twice. Two of their three losses while going 13-3 into the playoffs. That might have affected the Total more than anyone might have noticed. Evidently smart bettors did.
When this game first hit the board in April the total was 50.5. By game time the Over/Under was diving down to 46.5 or 46 at most sportsbooks in both Vegas and offshore. It could have because so many NFL games during last Sunday were going Under the total or perhaps wise bettors sensed something wasn't right about both offenses. Or that defense would rule the night.
No doubt they were correct as the Cowboys cruised to an easy 16-0 lead at halftime. The Giants offense remained impotent in the second half looking for a clue. It was the rare opportunity for any bettor to click the remote control early and go to sleep as Dallas easily covered and all Under wagers were secured in a 19-3 final.
Moral to all this. Watch the Weather Channel and watch for these unusual and suspicious line movements and line situations. This Sunday the Kansas City Chiefs, victor over the Patriots opened up as a -4.5 favorite over the Philadelphia Eagles, coming off their own impressive win. The line is already up to Chiefs -6 at most sportsbooks and it looks like the wagering winds are picking up. Be prepared.
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, inlcuding previews and picks from Glenn, click here.