NFL Week 1 Market Moves and Vegas Look Ahead Lines for Week 2

Written By Billy Attridge

Another season of market updates and Vegas look ahead lines starts now!  When analyzing these Week 1 market moves, it’s important to note that these numbers have been beat up by professional bettors since April, so value is rapidly dwindling with each passing day.  For this week, we’ll look into why the Browns’ number is (once again) on the move, what has contributed to a seismic 4.5-point adjustment in Baltimore, and is the Denver move justified?

Pittsburgh -3.5 (-118) @ Cleveland: opened this number Pittsburgh -6.5 back in April, and since then we have seen significant movement in favor of Cleveland.  The Steelers come into this season as the AFC North favorites, and are currently 12/1 to win the Super Bowl.  Intriguing storylines surround the 2018 Steelers squad.  When will Le’Veon Bell report back to the team?  Is Antonio Brown 100% healthy coming into the season?  What should we expect from a defense that sputtered towards the end of last season without linebacker Ryan Shazier.  The Browns upgraded their roster, with the biggest improvement coming at quarterback.  Tyrod Taylor takes care of the football and uses his legs to extend plays.  The wide receiver group is improved with Landry and Gordon (we may not see “prime” Gordon for a few weeks), and TE David Njoku has potential to be a star in this league.  Gregg Williams’ defense should be able to pressure the quarterback, and the secondary could surprise if Denzel Ward is a full go.  This move on the Browns is 100% real, but is there a need to go any lower?

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Buffalo @ Baltimore -7.5 (-105):

Here’s the largest spread move of week 1 at publishing. opened Baltimore -3 on April 19th, and the Ravens have moved to 7.5-point favorites across the market.  As discussed in our NFL Win Total article, Buffalo took professional money to the under in a BIG way, moving almost 2 full games (7.5 to 5.5), while Baltimore has seen some late money to the over (8 to 8.5).  Looking at this matchup, it’s tough to see an advantage for the Bills.  On paper (and film), Buffalo may be sporting the worst offensive line in football, while the Ravens front seven is primed for another dominant year.  Buffalo will trot out possibly the lowest rated starting quarterback to play Week 1 with Nathan Peterman, whose lack of weapons on the outside could spell major issues.  While the current number offers little value, professional bettors were bullish on the Ravens in this spot laying anything under a touchdown.  This still could offer value as one leg of a 6-point teaser getting below two key numbers of 7 and 3.

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Seattle @ Denver -3 (-105):

In one of the more intriguing matchups of Week 1, Seattle opened 1.5-point underdogs in their road matchup with Denver.  The Seahawks have undergone changes this off-season on both sides of the ball, but defensively there’s been a facelift.  Gone are Michael Bennett, Sheldon Richardson, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and up until Wednesday, their star safety Earl Thomas.  They bring in Brian Shottenheimer to coordinator the offense and with him comes huge question marks.  They also lose explosive wideout Paul Richardson, as well as Jimmy Graham.  Seattle has taken considerable UNDER money on their win total, moving down from 8.5 to 7.5.  Denver has upgraded the most important position on the field, and it’s the most drastic improvement at quarterback of any team from last year to now, as Case Keenum takes over under center.  I expect to see a more dynamic and explosive offense this year, and Denver should have success this opening weekend on that side of the ball.  Sharp money grabbed the Broncos under a field goal, although there has been some resistance at 3.  While we don’t spatter off trends for fun, we try to hone in on the ones that make sense and can be supported.  This one checks both boxes:  the Denver Broncos are 30-3-1 their last 34 home games played in the first 2 weeks of the season.  Out of shape + Altitude = bad combination for visiting opponents.  While it’s unlikely for this trend to continue at such a torrid pace, with the new CBA limiting off-season conditioning and practice time, this could still be a profitable trend moving forward.


NFL Week 2 Vegas Look-Ahead Lines:

Away              Spread            Home

Baltimore         PK                Cincinnati

Carolina           +4                Atlanta

LA Chargers     -1                 Buffalo

Minnesota        +2.5            Green Bay

Houston           PK               Tennessee

Cleveland         +10             New Orleans

Miami               +1               New York Jets

Kansas City       +7               Pittsburgh

Philadelphia      -3                Tampa Bay

Indianapolis      +3               Washington

Arizona             +10.5          Los Angeles Rams

Detroit              +3.5            San Francisco

Oakland            +1               Denver

New England   -2.5              Jacksonville

New York Giants  +6            Dallas

Seattle               PK               Chicago