NFL Betting Market: All 'Moves' are not Created Equal


Payne Insider - Posted on 24 September 2014

Written By: Billy Attridge

 NFL Betting Market: All 'MovesBetting the NFL is unlike betting any other sport. The amount of public money that saturates the market on a weekly basis allows professional bettors the opportunity to capitalize on line adjustments based purely on public action. For every investor claiming the NFL betting market is too tight, professional bettors understand it's the market with the least efficient money in conjunction with the opportunity to invest larger sums than any other american sport market. The public has a tendency to overreact; teams are constantly being evaluated based on what they accomplished (or did not) the previous week, and bet accordingly.

It is widely known that 3 and 7 are the most important key numbers in NFL wagering; by adding the two aforementioned win margins together it works out that 3 and 7 point victories account for 19.2% of all NFL games. So entering the market at optimal times is crucial when games are aligned around these key numbers. As it pertains to Giants at Redskins on Thursday Night Football, New York backers should have grabbed +4.5 or better, while Washington supporters interested in laying the wood could have laid as low as -3.

Monitoring line moves around 3 and 7 can be very indicative of how professional bettors and the NFL betting market sees a game. In Week 1, we saw the Minnesota Vikings open as a 6-point underdog, only to be bet through the 3, and close 2.5 at a number of the sharpest sports books. At this point, the market is screaming that the number may not matter in this contest (it didn’t, as the Vikings steamrolled the Rams 34-6). Moving through the 3 is an extremely strong move, especially on game-day, when betting limits are at their very highest. A move from +3.5 to +2.5 (1 point move) carries more weight in terms of strength than a move from -10.5 to -13.5 (3 point move). It's imperative to have a broad understanding of the NFL betting market, and how it works. Factoring in key numbers, the time of week betting limits increase and then reach their peak, as well as, betting percentages are a collection of tools all bettors should incorporate in their NFL handicapping.

Which games in Week 4 should you keep an eye on? The Vikings, Bills and Chiefs all opened at or above the largest key number in the NFL and are trending downwards or below the 3. Money has driven Minnesota from +3 (+100) to +2.5 (+102), the Bills from +4 (-110) to +3 (-110), and the Chiefs from +4.5 (-110) to as low as +3 (+110), as of Wednesday afternoon. As these games dance around the 3, it is imperative to watch for further market moves in that direction, or potential resistance. Using a Live Odds feed and monitoring NFL line movements at the sharpest offshore betting establishments is a beneficial weapon all bettors should add to their arsenal.

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