Every week, three betting lines are released by the various sports books around the country, primarily based on those in Las Vegas. Those are the spread, the over/under, and the money line. The spread is the number of points a team must win by to “cover.” The over/under is the total number of combined points expected to be scored in the game. And the money line indicates how much you must bet on a favored team in order to win $100 (indicated with a “-” before the number) or the amount you would win if you bet $100 on an underdog team (indicated with a “+”).
Both the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers played on Monday night this past week, which means that sports books were open and taking bets without the most recent game being available to consider in setting lines. So when the books opened on Monday with Pittsburgh still undefeated and the Bills facing a primetime game that could change opinions, Pittsburgh was a 1.5 point favorite in most books in Vegas.
That did not last, though.
By the end of the night and Tuesday morning, almost all books had flipped to the Bills being favored both in the spread and the money line. After the Bills starting down 1.5 in most spreads, they now are favored by as much as 2 with 2.5 having been available at multiple places earlier in the week. To go from +1.5 to -2 is a fair bit of movement but after betters throwing money on the Bills after the Steelers’ loss to the Washington Football Team it seems less exceptional.
The money line movement has been similar to the spread movement. Monday morning the Bills were +100 to +110 depending on where you looked, but by Tuesday they had almost universally jumped to being favored and sitting as high as -145. Most books have settled to about -125 or -130 with a few still giving -120.
The over/under is 48 almost everywhere with one book still offering the same 48.5 they have all week. Most books started at 47 or 47.5 with a few being as low as 46 to start. With weather not playing much of a factor and the Bills’ offensive reputation flying high from Monday night, betters seem to think despite Pittsburgh’s strong defense, there will be no shortage of points in this game.
Vegas predicts the Bills to win 25-23.