After seeing all kinds of early line movement last week, things have been stagnant so far for the Week 5 slate. Ten of the 15 games haven’t moved from the opening line and only one of the remaining five has shifted more than a point. Maybe the oddsmakers have adjusted. We’ve played a quarter of the 2018 NFL regular season and things should become clearer. However, that hasn’t exactly been the case.
Many are wondering if the New England Patriots are contenders. After a sluggish start they returned to form last week and opened as a 10-point favorite in their Thursday night tilt with the Indianapolis Colts. Things have definitely changed in the NFC West. The Rams are clearly the class of the NFL through four weeks and they opened as a 7-point road favorite against Seattle. The Seahawks haven’t been a touchdown home dog in the Pete Carroll era and it’s been nearly a decade since it last happened. The Giants went into Seattle laying 7.5-points during the 2010 season and left with a 41-7 victory.
Let’s take a look at a few games that have had line movement in the last few days.
Week 5 Major Line Moves
Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers
Opening Line: Chargers -7.5
Current Line: Chargers -5
A preseason favorite to win the AFC West, the Chargers haven’t been convincing in the early going and their narrow comeback win over the Jimmy Garoppolo-less Niners last week apparently scared some backers off. The Bolts opened as 7.5-point chalk and are getting slightly more than 50 percent of the public action. But sharp bettors hammered the Raiders forcing the line down to Bolts -5. The Silver and Black avoided the dreaded 0-4 start and got Chucky his first victory in his second stint, but there are a number of concerns with this team.
Both teams can move the football and score points, and they’ve proven inadequate at stopping teams, which makes me lean toward taking the over on the total of 53.5. The Chargers should be better defensively with the talent they have and the absence of Joey Bosa has set them back. Giving up 27 points to the Niners with C.J. Beathard at quarterback is inexcusable. Another plus for the Raiders is that this will feel like a home game for them. They still have a presence in Southern California and the StubHub Center will have plenty of silver and black on Sunday.
Denver Broncos at New York Jets
Opening Line: Jets -2
Current Line: Jets -1
It’s hard to imagine the Jets being favored over anybody at this point even if they are playing at home. Since opening the season with a thrashing of the Lions, New York has lost three straight while going 0-3 ATS. They scored more points in their 48-17 win in Detroit than they have in their last three games combined. The Jets opened at -2 but that was quickly wagered down a point and the Broncos are getting pounded by the public with over 75 percent of the early action.
There’s a reason why the Jets are favored and the sharps are backing the home team. The Broncos are playing only their second road game and they were pummeled by Baltimore in the first. They are also playing on a short week and Case Keenum hasn’t been the savior John Elway thought he would be.
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
Opening Line: 49ers -5.5
Current Line: 49ers -4.5
Recent form and injuries led to a slight move on the opening line in this matchup. Teams tend to play an emotional game right after losing a star player and the Niners did that last week. Playing their first game without Jimmy G, they lost a late lead and fell to the Chargers, covering the 10.5-point spread. Kyle Shanahan has to feel like he had his soul ripped out of his body and trying to keep his team motivated after such promise before the season is going to be a chore now that the Niners are 1-3.
The Cards are getting a majority of the early action and the line was wagered down from +5.5 to +4.5. It hasn’t been the start Steve Wilks is looking for in his maiden season as coach, but the Cards showed life last week with Josh Rosen at quarterback and they should have beaten the Seahawks, but a missed field goal late was their undoing.
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