As the NFL regular season begins to wind down, oddsmakers have a tough task at hand as they attempt to set lines that will generate equal action on both sides.
With many teams out of the postseason hunt at this point, the public is less willing to back an ugly side, and subsequently we see a lot of inflated lines later in the year.
Case in point, two of the NFL’s powerhouses, Seattle and New England, are favorites of 15+ points this weekend at home at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Patriots are laying 15 points against the lowly Titans, while the Seahawks are a whopping 16-point favorite against Johnny Manziel and the Browns. It would be rare to see a spread this high in October or November, but oddsmakers must adjust later in the year when the betting public is less likely to back a team with little to no motivation.
Even with all of these points being offered, it’s difficult to fade Seattle, who are a solid 9–2 against the spread in their last 11 December home games, and New England, who are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games against the AFC South division and are back atop the Super Bowl betting futures this week.
The week kicks off on Thursday when the Rams are installed as a pick’em at home to the Bucs. A rare Saturday night contest features the Cowboys, who find themselves as a 2.5-point home dog to the surging Jets. The Cowboys are just 2-9 straight up and 3-8 against the spread in their last 11 games according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
Sunday Night Football features an NFC showdown between the Eagles and Cardinals, with Philadelphia getting 3.5 points on their home turf; the first time since 2012 that the Eagles have been a home dog of more than a field goal.
The game of the week takes place in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers are 5.5-point home chalk to the visiting Broncos. The Broncos are 5-2 straight up in their last seven games on the road against the Steelers.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs are 7.5-point road favorites in Baltimore, the Jags are a field goal favorite at home to the reeling Falcons, Washington is listed as a pick’em at home to Buffalo, the Packers are three-point road chalk in Oakland, and San Francisco is getting four points at home to the Andy Dalton-less Bengals.