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NFL Week 15: Odds Update, Spread Moves to Watch and Betting Splits

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

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With no more bye weeks, Week 15 features a full slate of NFL action, including two Saturday games. Unfortunately, many teams have been struggling with COVID concerns, resulting in a steady stream of players being ruled out all week. PointsBet Sportsbook analyst Michael Korn noted the book is taking a cautious approach to the line adjustments, while still making spreads available as much as possible despite the volatility.

“As bookmakers we’ll be more vigilant leading up to the games and keeping a much closer eye on these lines with everything going on with the COVID stuff,” Korn said.

The lines will undoubtedly continue to shift as we get closer to the weekend, so let’s look through the early-week betting splits for some of the most interesting games in Week 15.

Team Open Current Bet Count % Handle %
Kansas City Chiefs -3.5 -3 78 77
Los Angeles Chargers
Las Vegas Raiders -1.5 85
Cleveland Browns -6 63
New England Patriots 51
Indianapolis Colts -1.5 -2.5 51
Houston Texans 68 88
Jacksonville Jaguars -3.5 -4
Washington Football Team
Philadelphia Eagles -3 -7 54 68
Tennessee Titans -2.5 -2 63
Pittsburgh Steelers 68
Arizona Cardinals -13.5 -13 79
Detroit Lions 51
Carolina Panthers 83
Buffalo Bills -11.5 -10.5 78
New York Jets 67
Miami Dolphins -8.5 -10 68
Dallas Cowboys -11 -10.5 70
New York Giants 52
Atlanta Falcons 58
San Francisco 49ers -8 -9 56
Cincinnati Bengals 68 69
Denver Broncos -1 -3
Seattle Seahawks 58
Los Angeles Rams -7 -4.5 78
Green Bay Packers -5.5 -5.5 88 91
Baltimore Ravens
New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -10.5 -11 55 58
Minnesota Vikings -3.5 -3.5 63 57
Chicago Bears

The week begins with a Thursday Night Football matchup between two AFC West contenders in Los Angeles. The Kansas City Chiefs opened as -3.5 favorites and briefly moved up to four before dropping back down to the key number of -3. Korn expects the line to stay around -3 in this game, and noted that Justin Herbert ranks in the top-10 for MVP bet count at PointsBet Sportsbook while Mahomes is only 12th in MVP wagers.

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The first of two Saturday games already experienced heavy movement early this week, with the spread shifting 7.5 points from the opener. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is expected to miss Week 15 after testing positive for COVID-19, and the Raiders moved from +6 underdogs to -1.5 favorites on the road. Korn added that the heavy handle on Las Vegas with so many bets on the Browns is unusual.

“That’s a big split, sometimes you’ll see a 60/60 split but a 60 with an 80 on the other side is pretty significant,” Korn said. “I can still see some slight buyback since I don’t think Baker is worth more than a touchdown, but he’s definitely in that touchdown range.”

The late Saturday game is an exciting matchup between two of the hottest teams in the AFC. Both the Patriots and Colts experienced significant increases in odds to win the AFC in recent weeks, and this could be a potential playoff preview down the road.

AFC Championship Odds

AFC Championship Odds

The spread betting has been split early in the week, but with the line inside +3 many New England backers are taking the moneyline instead. The Patriots received 65% of the moneyline bets so far this week, but the line still moved from Colts -1.5 to Colts -2.5. Korn expects more bets to come in on the Patriots as the public bets on this game heading into the weekend.

“This is a prime example of a game that could be sharps vs. squares,” Korn said. “You’ll probably get a ton of public money on the Pats, and the sharp side is going to be the Colts so this is looking like a quintessential pros vs. joes game.”

New England still leads the race for the AFC East, but there is still time for the Bills to gain ground. Korn thinks it’s worthwhile to grab Bills futures at a buy-low price after losses to competitive foes. New England still took over double the bet count received by Buffalo in the AFC East race but the handle margin has shrunk between them to under 1.5.

“If you like Bills futures, now is the time to get them because their price has never been this high and three of these last four games are easy matchups, Korn said. “It wouldn’t be shocking if they were able to take that [second] game against the Pats too. If you were high on the Bills all year, don’t shy away from this big price now after losses to good teams.”

AFC East Odds

AFC East Odds

The highlight of the Sunday late afternoon games is in Baltimore, where the Green Bay Packers are favored by 5.5 over the Ravens. The line briefly dipped to 4.5 at PointsBet Sportsbook before going back up to Packers -5.5. Korn said this line implies Jackson is likely to be active, and any news suggesting his absence could cause a shift towards Green Bay.

“This is a weird one, everyone’s all over the place here and a lot of places opened at -7, but this [-5.5] assumes he will play,” Korn said. “If Lamar is out, he’s definitely worth around a touchdown, if not more.”

Bettors are more skeptical that Baltimore will have its starting quarterback available, with overwhelming support for the Packers early this week. For Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers will take the field as one of the betting favorites to win this year’s MVP award. Rodgers is one of only two quarterbacks with odds of +1000 or better, and his current +500 line is the peak of his market so far this season.

MVP Odds

MVP Odds

Another Sunday afternoon matchup with major playoff implications is the divisional contest between the Saints and Bucs. New Orleans will start Taysom Hill at quarterback once again, facing off against MVP favorite Tom Brady. Brady moved below even odds for the first time all season at PointsBet Sportsbook as he continues to pull away from the field, with league-best marks in passing yards and touchdowns entering Week 15. Brady is tied with Kyler Murray in MVP bet count at PointsBet Sportsbook, but received more than three-times the handle of second-place Matthew Stafford.

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