Circa Million Week 4 odds
There is a lot less uncertainty this week in the NFL markets from an injury standpoint. We do have a lot of players with the “questionable” designation, but not as many quarterbacks are in question as what we had last week. Specifically, we know that Joe Burrow is going to play, but we’ve also seen some backups named starters or can assume based on practice reports that some injured guys are fine.
But, it is always an interesting, and sometimes really insightful, exercise to see what the Circa Million lines look like compared to those of the liquid betting markets. Remember that the contest lines open on Thursday morning and do not move. They are “static” or “stale” lines, meaning that what you see is what you get in advance of the Saturday 4 p.m. PT pick deadline.
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Here is a side-by-side of the Circa Million lines and the betting market odds as of Thursday morning for Week 4:
We’ve got a few more differences and discrepancies than usual, which I find really fascinating. Let’s dive into them a little more:
Dolphins at Bills (-3 / -2.5): To be fair, this line is kind of split between 2.5 and 3 in the markets and the 2.5s that are out there do have extra juice. At time of posting contest lines, Circa had Buffalo -3 at even money, so it makes sense that they’d go with 3. That may ultimately be the number, especially with what the markets are showing us with that extra vig on the Bills side below the key number.
Vikings (-5 / -4) at Panthers: This is one where see a disagreement between Circa’s market number at time of release and also the rest of the market relative to the contest line. Some books are as low as -4. Circa was one of the few at -4.5, but the expectation here would appear to be that this number could go higher. It does seem like Bryce Young will be back, but maybe the market feels like that could be a bit of a downgrade at present from Andy Dalton? Either way, it seems like underdog money is hard to find on the Panthers and a contest of this size is typically going to have more of that “groupthink”, “public” mentality, so we see that Vikings line shaded north.
Ravens at Browns (-2.5 / -3): This is the one I happen to find most interesting because of the equity of the key number of 3. Are bettors willing to trust in Deshaun Watson and the Browns with what is perceived to be some good line value at 2.5? The betting markets actually have a lot of -3s out there, including Circa at the time that the contest line was posted. The 3s all have extra juice on the Baltimore side, though, which is a potential indication that 2.5 is the right number, as the Ravens have had some encouraging injury reports during the week and 2.5 was where the line ultimately started as of Monday.
Steelers (-2.5 / -3) at Texans: This is a tricky game to handicap overall because the Texans looked so good last week against a Jaguars team that many of us thought would walk to the AFC South crown. The Steelers are a tough team to gauge with their three data points, but the Texans are closer to the Raiders than they are the Browns and 49ers. The markets are split on this game with some -3 at even money and some 2.5 at extra juice. The Circa Million line to be 2.5 will get a lot of people looking at Pittsburgh and I wonder if that’s a little bit of a sneaky move by the crew behind the counter or if that’s where they think the line ultimately settles.
Bengals (-2 / -2.5) at Titans: This one is a little surprising. The Titans looked so awful against Cleveland last week and the Bengals looked a little bit closer to normal. At the same time, Joe Burrow is clearly compromised and that’s something that we will have to respect on a weekly basis. The one thing that this number being 2 suggests to me is that the crew at Circa does not anticipate this line getting to 3 in the market and I think that says a lot.
Seahawks (PK / +1) at Giants: Some books have shifted to the Giants side, but there may be some underlying, anti-Giants sentiment expected to come in as the week goes along. Remember, this was one of the luckiest teams in the NFL last season in terms of wins in close games. The Seahawks appear to be a legitimately good team that is just ironing out some kinks. I do think that the Seahawks may get a little more love as the week rolls along.