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 “+”).
The spread opened with the Bills as 4.5-point favorites in the earliest books and has grown to 7 points in most places. Most betters were watching for any indication that the Patriots were going to be making a change from Cam Newton to Jared Stidham but there’s been nothing to suggest that change is coming. The line movement is significant but most books that opened at the start of this week gave the Bills -6 from the get-go, so jumping to -7 is rather “meh.”
The over/under has also been boring to watch this week. The line has increased 2 points at most from 44.5 to 46.5 but that is only in one book. Most places started at 45 or 45.5 and have gone to 46 or 46.5. With the forecast being clear, there’s no reason to expect the points total to be low.
The money line has had the most interesting movements this week. The Bills opened as low as -277 but have gone up to as high as -360 in one book and most others hovering around -330. Regardless of the final number, you have to put down some serious coin in order to make money on the Bills winning on the money line. The Patriots are settling in around +270 and started the week at +250. If you have a hunch the Patriots are going to pull off the upset then there is some serious money to be made for those looking for a longshot.
As of Sunday night, the sports books are expecting the Bills to beat the Patriots by a score similar to 26-19.