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!
Cordarrelle Patterson as the skeleton key that unlocked Atlanta’s offense was not what we all expected (that statement is about 80% a joke). Truthfully, the bigger impact to this team’s offense is likely Russell Gage; not because Gage is a standout talent, but because teams have simply been able to dedicate so much defensive attention to both Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts when Gage is off the field, hence the Patterson explosion in Week 4, Basically, due to an aging and immobile quarterback and only two points of emphasis on the offense, Atlanta hasn’t been able to get anything going. We also saw a faint glimpse of what this Jets offense can be, if and when, Robert Salah removes the training wheels. Both teams are capable enough on offense, and poor enough on defense, that this game should have no issue playing to its modest opening over, particularly if Russell Gage returns; as in, if he returns to the lineup, Atlanta’s offense should be much more dangerous, effectively forcing Salah and the Jets to allow Zach Wilson’s downfield aggression to come out. Bet the over before we get news on Gage.
A pick’em divisional game with the Rams coming off a lopsided loss (the late touchdown to Robert Woods made it appear less of a blowout on the scoreboard, but they got demolished by the Cardinals) and the Seahawks avoiding the first three-game losing streak with Russell Wilson under center. The EV in this early week line comes through those two recency bias influences, as the Rams should be more heavily favored here, even on the road. Seattle’s defense is in shambles currently, and although their offense can inflict damage in a hurry, they are typically not looking to do so unless trailing. Take the early week misprice and move on here.
All about that hook. Divisional games should almost never carry lines greater than seven points, and that is exactly what we have here. The Cowboys have turned their focus back to the run with Michael Gallup out (as written up in Week 4’s Edge writeup) and the Giants have ceded only 107.0 rush yards per game. Yes, the back end of the Giants defense has struggled, but we’re left with two relatively conservative offenses and two improving defenses. But again, the hook is everything here as far as early week EV goes.
Although thoughts on this line can be debated, the value comes in the form of a line priced just above the “magic spread with a hook” range. Lines typically priced above or below one of these ranges are highly unlikely to pierce back into the magic range due to public perceptions. This provides us with a high likelihood of getting in on a home favorite at the lowest spread. If this line moves, it is likeliest to move in favor of the Cardinals, meaning we get the most value by betting it now.
Same process as the games above, with a little bit of three of them. The line falls just outside the “magic spread with a hook” range, the Titans are coming off an overtime loss to the Jets, and both Julio Jones and AJ Brown missed Week 4’s contest. All of that combines into a scenario where the likeliest line movement throughout the week is in favor of the favorites.
This game and line can be debated but the value of no hook for the home favorites here is value worth taking.
Same reasoning as above. Take the EV of no hook and move on.