The NFL is back, and pointspreads are on the move at your friendly neighborhood sportsbook.
The lines for Week 1 actually have been up for months; they began showing up soon after the NFL released its schedule in May. And there’s been plenty of movement, including for the Thursday night opener between the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens and this year’s Super Bowl favorites, the Denver Broncos.
Denver opened a 7.5-point favorite, but was giving as many as 9 at the start of the week. The Broncos have serious revenge on their minds, after the Ravens came from behind in stunning fashion for a playoff victory at Mile High last season.
The biggest line movement has taken place on the New England-Buffalo game. The Patriots began as 5-point favorites, but were giving 10.5 points to the banged-up Bills to start the week. That’s what happens when your top two quarterbacks are hobbled and you’re forced to consider starting an undrafted rookie like Jeff Tuel.
The Patriots have won 17 of their last 20 games against AFC East rivals, going 11-7-2 against the spread in that stretch. New England has won three straight against the Bills, but is only 1-2 ATS.
The Indianapolis Colts are also growing favorites in their home opener against the Oakland Raiders. After opening as 7-point favorites, the Colts were -9.5 as of Monday. That move likely has as much to do with the Raiders’ struggles in the preseason as it does with anything the Colts have done.
The Miami Dolphins’ visit to Cleveland is the only game on the board that has gone over the fence. The Dolphins opened as 1.5-point favorites, but the Browns started the week as small 1-point favorites.
There also has been some line movement in the NFC North showdown in Detroit between the Lions and Minnesota Vikings. The Lions opened as 3.5-point favorites, but were giving as many as 5.5 points as of Tuesday at Bovada