Sometimes it’s very interesting to look at the betting lines, just to see who is favored by Las Vegas to win or lose football games. The entire industry is based on getting the point spread as accurately as possible, so it behooves the odds-makers to create the most accurate lines possible to get equal action on both teams. So sometimes checking out the lines gives some real insight into who is predicted to win.
In the NFL, spreads aren’t generally very large; three is typically the line you will see in most games, and often it will be much smaller. Seven is a pretty wide line against two fairly unevenly matched teams. You get the basic idea of what typical lines are like even if you’re not a betting expert (which I’m definitely not).
Check out the lines of the NFC South games:
Atlanta Falcons are -7.5 over the Carolina Panthers in most betting sites. They’re 7.5 point home favorites. Should be a pretty solid win for the Falcons.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers are -3 over the Washington Redskins. They’re the home team, so that works to their benefit against the line, but we’ve seen both good and bad for both teams. This is a typical NFL betting line, so I’m not too surprised.
Green Bay Packers are -8 over the New Orleans Saints. This is the line that surprised me a little. Yes, it’s in Green Bay, but the Packers aren’t just favored, they’re heavily favored.
I think it really highlights how just terrible the Saints defense is right now, and how out of sync as a team they are right now. They aren’t close to the offensive productivity they were last year or the season before, and their defense is getting close to being historically bad.
Ideally, the Redskins would pull an upset and knock off Tampa, the Falcons would take care of business and handle the Panthers, and the Packers would take cover the spread and defeat New Orleans. If all that happens, the Falcons would be sitting pretty in the division indeed.