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 Buffalo Bills vs (at?) San Francisco 49ers is a weird challenge for odds makers. Not only does the game have the normal crowdless COVID-19 adjustments, but the 49ers have been an enigma from week to week. Added to things is that what was at least going to happen at the 49ers home stadium is now a short away game even for them.
Normally home teams receive a 3-pt home field advantage on the spread. Considering that the 49ers now have to pack their bags just like the Bills, take a bus to and from the airport just like the Bills, stay in a hotel just like the Bills, and prepare in a domed stadium compared to their open-air home field just like the Bills, most of those advantages have been taken away.
Here’s the take away: This is not a small inconvenience for the 49ers. This game is essentially a neutral site with the Bills having to cross two time zones on a 4.5-hour flight and the 49ers only crossing one on about a two-hour flight.
Many were surprised to see the Bills open as 3-point favorites in this game at the beginning of the week, but the line has not stayed there. About 20 percent of books now have this game as a pick ‘em with no spread and the remaining books are split on either the Bills or 49ers by 1. Money has been coming in on the 49ers to shrink the line down to what many expected the line should have been at the start. Getting the line to 0 is a good thing for Vegas, so their oddsmakers did their job.
The money line has also been fascinating to watch flip-flop around. The week opened with the Bills at -150 in most places with some having as low as -136. Now that has dropped to the Bills being anywhere from -120 to +104. Flip that around to San Francisco and you can find them having moved from +112 (for a hot minute) to +130 to now being anywhere from -107 to -122. Basically, if there is a number you feel strongly about as a better for this game on either side, as long as you expect it to be a close game you can find the bet you want in Vegas.
The over/under for this game has been remarkably consistent considering the other line movements. Most books opened at 48 and now sit at 47 with a 46.5 available in one spot. Combining the O/U and the spread, this game is expected to end with someone winning 24-23 in Vegas’ eyes.