Thursday, Sep 8th
Monday, Sep 12th

Early Bets. 13.21.

Why does Vegas set lines? What is their goal? Well, Vegas sets lines in an attempt to get exactly half of the action on each side of every line they post. In this case, they take the rake, guarantee a profit, and move on. So, does that mean Vegas lines are perfectly set? Furthermore, does it mean they are always perfectly set early in the week? No! Every week this season (starting Week 2), we’ll be jumping into early-week betting line inefficiencies to take advantage of before they move. This line movement can be caused by a number of factors, but the primary reasons for movements after initial line release are public sentiment and recency biases (shark money typically doesn’t come in until later in the week, when bettors have more complete information). With that, let’s jump in!

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+EV LINES (Week 13)::

SAN FRANCISCO 49ers ML @ Seattle Seahawks (-140; BET MGM):

The Seahawks have yet to play their Week 12 game as the team plays on Monday Night Football, leaving Seattle with a short week with travel across the country. The spread is currently set at 49ers -2.5, which is also a +EV bet but the presence of the hook makes the number so it’s a better bet to simply take the money line. In addition to the previously mentioned criteria, the entire country is about to watch Seattle play on national television, which is sure to have an influence on this line (one way or the other), meaning the line could move within hours of MNF. Two possibilities here:

(1) We see Russ appear healthier following an additional week of rest and Seattle’s offense looks the part, or

(2) Russ continues to be hampered by his injuries and Seattle’s offense flounders.

With those two possible outcomes in mind, I lean towards the early-week money line on San Francisco for Week 13 as the highest expected value currently (as opposed to the spread with the hook).

BALTIMORE RAVENS ML @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-165; DK):

The Ravens money line is a full 10 points lower-juiced on DraftKings compared to other spots around the industry. Similarly, the spread lacks the dreaded hook on DK, currently set at BAL -3.0. Either of these bets represents great early-week expected value so take advantage of them before the hook is added or the money line is juiced (which it already has been around the industry). 

CINCINNATI BENGALS -2.5 vs Los Angeles Chargers (-120; BET MGM):

The Bengals are up to three-point favorites around the industry but remain at 2.5 on Bet MGM against the visiting Chargers. I’d be willing to take the Bengals up to 3.5-points so two schools of thought here:

(1) Bet it now with the full point in hand, or

(2) Bet it up to 3.5-points to lower the juice before the public moves the line and you lose the juice.

Whichever way you choose to tackle this one, it currently stands as a +EV scenario.

HONORABLE MENTIONS::

LOS ANGELES RAMS ML vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (-675; DK):

Simply a value-hunt exploitative line as the Rams are juiced up to -800 around the industry. That’s a massive 15.6% boost to expected value!

DALLAS COWBOYS ML at New Orleans Saints (-220; DK):

Simply a value-hunt exploitative line as the Cowboys are juiced up to -250 around the industry. That’s a 12% boost to expected value!

ARIZONA CARDINALS ML at Chicago Bears (-300; BET MGM):

Simply a value-hunt exploitative line as the Cardinals are juiced up to -335 around the industry. That’s a 10.5% boost to expected value!