Week 4 NFL Odds: Lookahead Lines Report
The only way to consistently put yourself in a position to gain positive expected value (+EV) while betting on NFL sides is to beat the closing line. Sportsbooks gradually increase the limits they let bettors get down as the week progresses, indicating that the book feels they've priced the game correctly. So unless you're waiting later in the week because you're betting five to six figures on a side, you're +EV increases if you can get down on a number before it's sharpened by the whales.
Each week of the season, I'll provide a first glance at the upcoming NFL slate through the lens of lookahead lines. This brief lookahead window offers a sneak peek at how teams are valued by bookmakers before the start of the week. It's also an opportunity to act before the games are posted and sharpened on Sunday evening- after the previous week's games are complete. These lines are a true indicator of how bookmakers value each team, without the influence of the recency bias that comes after watching eight hours of football earlier in the day. Depending on the bookmaker, and bettor for that matter, you may or may not be able to get the type of action down that you'd like, depending on your unit sizing. The key is understanding where the value is on the board in any given week, and that is easier to do once you know what the opening number is. The limits are lower in this lookahead window, but that's not a problem for about 95% of you reading.
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When I take a position on a lookahead line, I believe the current number will beat the closing line. It's an effort to get ahead of the market movement to land the best of the number, which is ideal. Basically, I'm parlaying my handicap. In essence, if I'm right in my Week 3 evaluation of the team and market, I will have an advantage in predicting where the line movement will come first in Week 4.
For reference, I'll use the initial odds released by Westgate back in May to show you how the game opened. Then, I'll note each current Week 4 lookahead line at FanDuel, with the spread listed based on the home team:
|GAME||CURRENT LINES (9/21)||SEASON OPENING LINES|
|Lions @ Packers||-1.5||+1.5|
|Falcons @ Jaguars (LONDON)||-3||-4|
|Broncos @ Bears||+2.5||+1.5|
|Vikings @ Panthers||+3||+1.5|
|Buccaneers @ Saints||-3.5||-3.5|
|Ravens @ Browns||+1.5||-1|
|Rams @ Colts||+1.5||+1|
|Bengals @ Titans||+1.5||+4.5|
|Dolphins @ Bills||-3.5||-3.5|
|Steelers @ Texans||+4.5||+3.5|
|Cardinals @ 49ers||-14.5||-9.5|
|Raiders @ Chargers||-4.5||-4.5|
|Patriots @ Cowboys||-7.5||-3.5|
|Chiefs @ Jets||+7.5||+1|
|Seahawks @ Giants||+1.5||-1|
Week 4 Lookahead Lines Takeaways
- It matters less in Week 4, but I'm always on the hunt for scheduling and travel advantages. For the most part, these things are already baked into the number, but I believe there are instances each week that aren't accurately accounted for in the market.
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