Bettors are moving the opening week’s lines of the NFL season toward the Jacksonville Jaguars instead of the Chiefs.
The NFL season is still month away from kicking off, but that hasn’t stopped sports bettors from already getting their wagers in on the opening week of action, and the way the line has moved so far is telling that early bettors are believing more in the Jacksonville Jaguars than you might expect.
Right now the line for the Week 1 game between the visiting Kansas City Chiefs and host Jacksonville Jaguars, according to Odds Shark, is at 4.5 points in favor of the road team. Given that home teams are almost always given a three-point boost for playing in front of a friendly atmosphere, that’s a good sign overall that the Chiefs are expected to win. That’s a no-brainer based on last year’s stats.
However, it’s telling that the line for this game has slowly shifted over time from -5.5 for the Chiefs to -4.5, meaning oddsmakers have shifted the lines to create more action for K.C.’s behalf.
A quick primer here: Vegas will shift the line for a particular game when they want to create bidding action in a particular direction. Remember, a sports book makes out best when the bets are equal on both sides. Given that one side will win and another will lose, there’s the least amount of risk involved, in the eyes of Vegas, if both sides have equal bidders.
So an example of this can be found in the Chiefs-Jaguars lines. If the Jaguars are getting a lopsided amount of believers, then Vegas will shift the lines in favor of the Chiefs. This means that most bettors are believing that the Jags will at least surprise the Chiefs with a closer than anticipated game and they’re betting that Jacksonville will at least keep this opening home game closer than the allotted points.
Now, Vegas is responding by slowly shifting the line closer to the Jaguars side so that bettors will remember K.C.’s offensive prowess and Super Bowl hopes and call this a potential blowout. In that way, they lure bettors to take K.C. at -4.5 to balance things out.
Given that the line hasn’t moved that much overall, it likely means that the majority of bettors on Week 1 like the Jags with the points but it’s not an overwhelming amount. If the line continues to -4 and even beyond, then you’ll know just how much more bettors are underestimating the Chiefs.