On the lookahead line at the Westgate SuperBook, which posts lines for NFL games 12 days in advance, the Raiders opened as 1-point favorites over the Dolphins in Sunday’s matchup at Allegiant Stadium.
But after the Raiders upset the Steelers on Sunday and Miami was blown out by Buffalo, the Silver and Black were reposted as 4-point favorites — a significant line move that went through the key number of three and assumed that injured Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa would be ruled out and replaced by Jacoby Brissett.
“Depending on what you think the difference is between Tua and Brissett, you can argue there’s some value on Miami,” SuperBook director John Murray said. “I don’t know if there’s a big difference between Tua and Brissett, personally.”
Lookahead lines — which are wagered on almost exclusively by sharp bettors — rarely move much between the time the SuperBook posts them at noon Tuesday to when it reposts the numbers around 4 p.m. Sunday.
“Outside of an injury to a quarterback, it’s very unusual for one to move by more than a half point to a point,” Murray said.
But when a sharp play moves against the bettor based solely on an overreaction, it typically pays to be on the sharp side.
“If you see sharp guys willing to take something and a week later, they can actually get a better number, then generally speaking, it’s a good place to look,” Murray said. “Over the years, that’s been a pretty good method.”
There weren’t any sharp plays that moved against them this week as wiseguys at the Westgate wagered on New England -2½ (now -3), Minnesota +1½ (still +1½) and Indianapolis +3, which is now +5½ only because injured Colts QB Carson Wentz is questionable.
“The bets from last Tuesday’s numbers all moved with the sharp guys,” Murray said. “That’s generally how it goes.”
One line that moved based on perception is Arizona inching up from -6 to -7 over Jacksonville.
“Jacksonville moved not because anybody got hurt but because Jacksonville lost again and didn’t look good and Arizona won,” Murray said.
The SuperBook has offered the lookahead lines for years and the sharp bets it gets helps it set the market.
“You get valuable information from your sharp customers. It makes it easier to do the updated line on Sunday knowing what the sharps did with the lookahead line,” said Circa sportsbook manager Chris Bennett, who worked at the SuperBook for nine years.
Looking ahead to NFL Week 4, the Buccaneers are 5½-point favorites over the Patriots in Tom Brady’s much-anticipated return to New England.
“Let’s just pretend New England has a really good win on Sunday and Tampa Bay loses to the Rams, you don’t want to adjust that lookahead number too much,” Murray said. “If the number gets changed drastically without injuries, that’s when there can be value.”
The Rams opened as 2½-point home favorites over the Bucs on the lookahead line and adjusted line Sunday. But the favorite has flipped to Tampa Bay, which is now -1½ at Circa over Los Angeles.
“I think the Buccaneers are just the better team and need to be favored in that game,” Bennett said. “I don’t think the home-field advantage is all that significant. I consider LA to be close to the weakest of home-field advantages in the NFL, along with Jacksonville.”
Bennett said Circa took sharp bets on the Lions +9½ (now +8), the Football Team +9½ (now +7½) and the Bengals +4 (now +3).
The Steelers opened at -7 over Cincinnati on the lookahead line, but the number dropped because of injuries to several key Pittsburgh players, including QB Ben Roethlisberger.
The Westgate took several sharp bets on Week 4 lookahead lines, including the Jets (+6½), Panthers (+5½, +5), Cardinals (+6), Seahawks (+3½) and Broncos (+1½).