Last Friday, we took a gander at the lookahead lines for Week 2, which William Hill Sportsbook had available for betting for anyone paying attention beyond Week 1. Those lookahead lines provided ample opportunity to get ahead of the game on mispriced matchups identified by making an educated guess on how the first NFL Sunday would play out.
For example, here's what we said about the Week 2 line for Rams-Eagles, which had the home team favored by 3.5 points in Philadelphia:
I think the Rams could surprise some people on Sunday night, but this line will repost before the Sunday Night Football kickoff, so this comes down to how the Eagles look against Washington. And I have questions about the banged-up offense, which could lead to a low-scoring win in Washington. If that happens, this line should settle at Eagles -3 and perhaps move down from there should the Rams play well against the Cowboys.
What happened? The line reopened at Eagles -3 following their loss to Washington, and after the betting public found out the Rams weren't a terrible team after they took down the Cowboys on Sunday night, the bottom fell out on the Eagles as favorites in their Week 2 matchup, with the game a pick 'em as of late Monday night. (Edit: The line moved to Rams -1 as of Tuesday morning.) Now, part of that may be the injuries that are piling up for the Eagles, but keep in mind that running back Miles Sanders and right tackle Lane Johnson weren't ruled out until Saturday and Sunday, respectively, so it's possible Philadelphia is actually more healthy this coming Sunday than they were in their loss to Washington.
So while Friday's lookahead column gave us the opportunity to get ahead of the game on Week 2, here's where we'll check out the biggest spread movers for each game and see if there's any value to be had playing the other way. Why would we do this? It's simple: barring injuries, these teams are not fundamentally different than the 32 rosters that marched into Week 1, so the market runs the risk of overreacting to 60 minutes of football that may not be indicative of what will happen moving forward.
Below, we'll take a look at the biggest movers of the week from the lookahead numbers and try to figure out why the line has moved and whether there's value in fading said move. But first, here's the current spread, the line that re-opened on Sunday evening, and the lookahead number for every matchup.
Week 2 is finally here, so who should you pick? Pete Prisco, R.J. White and SportsLine's Kenny White join Will Brinson on the Pick Six Podcast to breakdown their best bets, gambling advice and more; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.
Week 2 line snapshot
|CIN at CLE||CLE -6||CLE -6||CLE -7.5|
|LAR at PHI||LAR -1||PHI -3||PHI -3.5|
|NYG at CHI||CHI -6||CHI -5.5||CHI -5.5|
|JAC at TEN||TEN -9||TEN -11||TEN -11|
|CAR at TB||TB -9||TB -8.5||TB -8|
|SF at NYJ||SF -6.5||SF -6.5||SF -6|
|BUF at MIA||BUF -5.5||BUF -4.5||BUF -3.5|
|DEN at PIT||PIT -6.5||PIT -6||PIT -6|
|ATL at DAL||DAL -5||DAL -6.5||DAL -6.5|
|DET at GB||GB -6||GB -5.5||GB -6|
|MIN at IND||IND -3||IND -3||IND -2.5|
|WAS at ARI||ARI -6.5||ARI -6.5||ARI -6.5|
|BAL at HOU||BAL -6.5||BAL -6.5||BAL -5|
|KC at LAC||KC -8.5||KC -7.5||KC -6.5|
|NE at SEA||SEA -4||SEA -4||SEA -3.5|
|NO at LV||NO -6||NO -5.5||NO -4.5|
Rams at Eagles
Current: LAR -1 | Reopen: PHI -3 | Lookahead: PHI -3.5
Why it moved: We've already discussed this matchup above, but the Eagles' collapse after building a 17-0 lead early in the game combined with the Rams hanging on in a prime-time matchup against a Cowboys team that was long favorites in Week 1 before a line swing on gameday.
Fade the move? It makes plenty of sense. If Johnson is back, the offensive line has a much better of success against the dangerous Rams front. If Sanders is back, the run game should have much more success. And the Philadelphia defense was better against Washington than the 27 unanswered points would suggest, allowing just 3.4 yards per play in the game.
Current: KC -8.5 | Reopen: KC -7.5 | Lookahead: KC -6.5
Why it moved: Have you seen the Chiefs? The Thursday night opener showed this could be yet another year where the Chiefs offense can name its point total on any given gameday, as they built a 31-7 fourth-quarter lead before the Texans piled up some garbage-time points. Meanwhile, the Chargers only managed to score 16 points against a Bengals defense that no one had high expectations for.
Fade the move? It's hard to tell anyone to fade the Chiefs, so I'm not going to do it here. But the Chargers have plenty of experience facing this dangerous offense, and with one of the better defenses in the league, there's at least a path to keep this final margin under a touchdown.
Current: BUF -5.5 | Reopen: BUF -4.5 | Lookahead: BUF -3.5
Why it moved: The Bills put together a dominant win over a Jets team that might be spending plenty of time with the Dolphins in the basement of the AFC East this year. And the Dolphins had absolutely no answer for the Patriots, their other division rival with an elite defense. DeVante Parker's hamstring injury doesn't help, nor does Ryan Fitzpatrick having to be confirmed as the starter for Week 2 after his horrific performance.
Fade the move? Absolutely. Josh Allen looked good, not great in Week 1, and he should have a tougher time against this new-look Dolphins defense. Plus Miami has been sneaky good at home in recent years, their awful start last year notwithstanding -- they went 4-1 ATS in their last five home games last year and won three of them outright despite being underdogs in all five.
Jaguars at Titans
Current: TEN -9 | Reopen: TEN -11 | Lookahead: TEN -11
Why it moved: Note that in this case that the line reopened with the same line after the Jaguars pulled off their upset, but it's now dropped two points following the Titans' squeaker of a win on Monday night that featured major concerns about their kicking game. So consider this a fade on the Titans being good enough to be double-digit favorites.
Fade the move? I wouldn't. I thought Jacksonville was mispriced heading into the season, as there were reasons to be optimistic about the offense. Plus, while they lost plenty of talent over the last year-plus, most of those players didn't want to be in the building anyway.