News & Notes from the NFL- August 11
Thursday night marks the official start of the NFL preseason with five games on the slate including a possible Super Bowl preview when Baltimore takes on the Eagles in Philadelphia. It remains to be seen how much more time the starters may see in this first round of games given all the preparation time that was lost this offseason due to the prolonged player lockout. None the less, this weekend will provide the first glance of all 32 teams in action which may provide at least some insight into how far along (or behind) each team is after the long layoff. You would have to expect to see a good deal of sloppy play during the first few weeks of the preseason, especially on offense where timing is such a crucial issue.
Undoubtedly, there will be some teams that will look like they are already in regular season form and there will be a few that will look like they wished that the lockout was still in place. Whatever the case, the four-week preseason will continue to drive the moneyline on each team’s projected win total either up or down. The initial win total is set by Las Vegas and has little variance from one major book to another. Any fluctuations from this point on to the ‘win line’ and the vig (or cost) on the ‘over’ and the ‘under’ is driven purely by the money coming in on both sides. For example, WagerWeb.com’s win total for the Washington Redskins is currently at six and the current moneyline is -110 for the ‘over’ and -130 for the ‘under’. The betting public must have been hammering the ‘under’ as earlier in the week the line was 6.5 with a +150 moneyline on the ‘over’ and a -200 line on the ‘under.
If you enjoy wagering on win totals, now is the time to pay close attention to all of these line movements as there is value to be found all over the board. Some of the other interesting movements have the Falcons trending down a bit on their 10.5 win total with the moneyline on the ‘over’ currently at +105 and the line on the ‘under’ is -145. Kevin Kolb must be looking sharp in his drills at Arizona’s training camp as the Cardinals are trending up on their 6.5 win total at -145 on the ‘over’ and +105 on the ‘under’. If you like the ‘over’ on this one, it may be time to act as it could jump to seven wins if he looks good in a couple of preseason games.
There seems to be some skepticism on Green Bay’s ability to win 12 games this season as the moneyline on the 11.5 win total is even money for the ‘over’, but -140 for the ‘under’. Peyton Manning’s neck is causing some serious concern about Indianapolis as the ‘over’ on 10 wins is at +110 but a play on the ‘under’ will cost you 150. Just as a note, the Colts have only failed to win at least 10 games once since 1999 and that was back in 2001. The betting public appears to believe that Kansas City’s 10-win season in 2010 was a fluke as the ‘over’ on a modest win total of eight is +110, but the ‘under’ is -150. This could be the biggest value on the board with the Chiefs playing in the relatively weak AFC West and showing no visible signs of going in the opposite direction this year.