NFL betting market watch: Lines move toward underdog Bills, favored Packers

The point spread on the Buffalo BillsKansas City Chiefs divisional playoff game has been shrinking this week, but not for the reason one might expect.

The Chiefs opened as consensus 2.5-point favorites, but the line dipped to -1.5 at several sportsbooks. Circa Sports, a Las Vegas-based book popular with professional bettors, dropped its line on Kansas City to -1.5 on Tuesday after taking a money-line bet on the Bills +117 from an influential player. Circa reacted to the bet by cutting the money-line price on Buffalo to +107 and moving the point spread down to Chiefs -1.5.

“The move we made on the money line put it at a price that’s appropriate for 1.5 on the point spread,” Chris Bennett, sportsbook director at Circa Sports, said. “We just moved the point spread to coincide with the money line, not because we took a bet [on the Bills] at +2.”

Bookmakers for The SuperBook were trying to stay on the low end of the market and also moved the line toward the Bills this week, from +2 to +1.5 on Wednesday.

“We like the lower number in that game, just because we think Buffalo is better than Kansas City,” John Murray, executive director of the SuperBook, said. “It doesn’t mean that Kansas City can’t beat them in Arrowhead Stadium. But the consensus in our room is that Buffalo is the best team in the AFC.”

In the NFC, injury speculation surrounding San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sparked bets toward the favored Green Bay Packers. The Packers, who opened as low as 4-point favorites, were 6-point favorites Wednesday at most sportsbooks. Garoppolo is dealing with a “slightly” sprained right (throwing) shoulder, according to coach Kyle Shanahan, who has said he expects his starting quarterback to play.

Rookie quarterback Trey Lance, last year’s No. 1 overall pick, is Garoppolo’s backup. Lance started in place of Garappolo in Week 17 at home against the Houston Texans. The 49ers closed then as 13.5-point favorites and won 23-7, with Lance throwing for two touchdowns and an interception.

Bennett noted that line in the Texans-49ers game closed within a point of where it had opened, even after Garoppolo was ruled out.

“But that was a home game against the Texans; this is a playoff game at Green Bay,” Bennett said.

NFL betting market watch

Here is our weekly look at how the NFL betting market is shaping up leading into the weekend.

For consistency, lines, totals and betting percentages are from Caesars Sportsbook unless otherwise noted. The betting percentages are not specific to the current line or total and are designed to provide a snapshot of the early action.

Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans

Open: Titans -3 (-115), 47
Wednesday: Titans -3.5, 47
Spread action: 54% of the bets and 57% of the money wagered is on the Titans.
Total action: 62% of the bets and 73% of the money wagered is on the over.

Note: Caesars Sportsbook reported taking a $135,000 bet on the Titans -2.5 (-125). … Two of the biggest bets the SuperBook had taken this week as of Wednesday were both on the Titans: $90,000 on Titans -3.5 Tuesday and $50,000 -3 (-120) Sunday night.

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers

Open: Packers -5, 47.5
Wednesday: Packers -6, 47.5
Spread action: 76% of the bets and 81% of the money is on the Packers.
Total action: 54% of the bets and 59% of the money wagered is on the over.

Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Open: Buccaneers -3, 48.5
Wednesday: Buccaneers -3 (-105), 48.5
Spread action: 57% of the bets and 58% of the money wagered is on the Buccaneers.
Total action: 72% of the bets and 76% of the money wagered is on the over.

Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs

Open: Chiefs -2.5, 54.5
Wednesday: Chiefs -2, 54.5
Spread action: 56% of the bets and 63% of the money wagered is on the Bills.
Total action: 66% of the bets are on the over, but 74% of the money wagered is on the under.

Note: Caesars Sportsbook reported taking a $110,000 bet on under 55.

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