Here is our weekly look at how the NFL and college football betting markets are shaping up leading into the weekend.
Lines, totals and betting percentages are from Caesars Sportsbook unless otherwise noted. The percentages of bets and money wagered are as of Wednesday afternoon and not specific to the current lines and totals. They are designed to provide a snapshot of the early betting action.
Open: WFT -3.5, 43
Wednesday: WFT -3.5 (even), 40.5
Spread: 62% of bets, 58% of money on WFT
Total: 52% of bets on the over, 53% of money on the under
Note: Chris Andrews, sportsbook director at the South Point in Las Vegas, reported early action on the Giants at +4 and +3.5, driving the number down to -3. Andrews said he then took bets on Washington, causing the number to tick back up to 3.5.
Open: Saints -1.5, 47
Wednesday: Saints -3.5, 44
Spread: 84% of bets, 84% of money on Saints
Total: 84% of bets on the over, 88% of money on the under
Note: The early interest on the Saints included a $295,000 bet at -3.5 placed with Caesars Sportsbook. The Saints, along with the Bills, were attracting the most early action at Station Casinos' sportsbooks in Nevada.
Open: Browns -13.5, 48
Wednesday: Browns -12.5, 48
Spread: 57% of bets, 77% of money on Browns
Total: 83% of bets on the over, 66% of money on the under
Open: Bears -3.5, 45.5
Wednesday: Bears -2.5, 45
Spread: 69% of bets, 97% of money on Bengals
Total: 69% of bets, 78% of money on the over
Open: Steelers -5.5, 49
Wednesday: Steelers -6, 47.5
Spread: 62% of bets, 81% of money on Steelers
Total: 59% of bets on the over, 83% of money on the under
Open: Bills -3, 48.5
Wednesday: Bills -3.5, 47.5
Spread: 83% of bets, 95% of money on Bills
Total: 51% of bets on the under, 68% of money on the over
Note: Caesars Sportsbook reported taking a $300,000 bet on the Bills -3 on Tuesday in Nevada. The Bills, along with the Saints, were attracting the most early bets at Station Casinos' sportsbooks in Nevada.
Open: Rams -4, 47.5
Wednesday: Rams -4, 47.5
Spread: 90% of bets on Rams, 62% of money on Colts
Total: 74% of bets, 92% of money on the over
Note: BetRivers sportsbooks also reported early one-sided action on the Rams.
Open: 49ers -4, 46.5
Wednesday: 49ers -3.5, 50
Spread: 68% of bets, 82% of money on 49ers
Total: 79% of bets, 83% of money on the over
Open: Broncos -3, 43.5
Wednesday: Broncos -6, 45.5
Spread: 86% of bets, 96% of money on Broncos
Total: 52% of bets on the under, 80% of money on the over
Open: Patriots -3.5, 44
Wednesday: Patriots -5.5, 42.5
Spread: 84% of bets, 96% of money on Patriots
Open: Cardinals -3, 49.5
Wednesday: Cardinals -4, 51
Spread: 89% of bets, 74% of money on Cardinals
Total: 82% of bets, 71% of money on the over
Open: Bucs -13, 52.5
Wednesday: Bucs -13, 52
Spread: 74% of bets, 63% of money on Bucs
Total: 62% of bets on the over, 87% of money on the under
Open: Seahawks -3.5, 49.5
Wednesday: Seahawks -5.5, 54
Spread: 64% of bets, 74% of money on Seahawks
Total: 66% of bets, 94% of money on the over
Open: Chargers -3, 50.5
Wednesday: Chargers -3 (-120), 55
Spread: 84% of bets, 53% of money on Cowboys
Total: 84% of bets, 94% of money on the over
Open: Chiefs -2.5, 56
Wednesday: Chiefs -3.5, 55
Spread: 91% of bets, 90% of money on Chiefs
Total: 90% of bets, 83% of money on the under
Note: The Chiefs had attracted the most lopsided early action at DraftKings, where 97% of the money wagered as of Wednesday was on Kansas City. BetRivers sportsbooks at Circa Sports in Las Vegas also reported early lopsided action on the Chiefs.
Open: Packers -10.5, 48.5
Wednesday: Packers -11, 48
Spread: 51% of bets, 78% of money on Packers
Total: 83% of bets on the over, 64% of money on the under
A bookmaker's approach
Las Vegas sportsbook Circa Sports posts the first weekly college football lines and totals on the market at around 2 p.m. ET on Sundays.
Bettors are allowed to place $3,000 limit wagers on the virgin point spreads, which can move wildly in the first hours after being posted. It's part of the bookmaking strategy for Circa Sportsbook director Matt Metcalf, the man behind the line moves.
"I value my opinion for about two seconds, until the bettors start to go," Metcalf said.
Metcalf prefers to move his opening lines aggressively and rarely hesitates to move a spread through a key number, like 7, for example. This week, he opened San Jose State as a 3-point favorite against Hawaii. He took immediate action on the Spartans and moved the line all the way to San Jose State -8, before he attracted his first bet on Hawaii. He then moved the number back to SJSU -6.
"I'm just looking to find that first bet [on both teams], and once I see it, I'll jump back pretty hard," Metcalf said.
His strategy opens him up to being middled or losing both sides of a bet because of the line movement. For example, if San Jose State was to beat Hawaii by seven, any bets placed on the Spartans -6 or lower would win, as would any bets placed on Hawaii at +8. The possibility of losing both sides of bets placed Sunday doesn't faze Metcalf, who says it's just the cost of doing business and it's more important to find a number that is attracting two-sided action early in the week, when limits are lower.
"I'm testing the range of the number at low limits so I can figure it out," Metcalf said. "You don't want to be trying to figure out the number on Saturday with $40,000 limits."