Reverse Line Movement and Fishy Lines for NFL Week 14
Last week the reverse contrarian line movements we pointed out went 3-3. This week, there are more totals than spreads that are fishy; however, we’ll see how lines move as we approach Sunday.
Houston Texans at Chicago Bears
There is reverse contrarian line movement on the spread and total in this game. The spread moved from Texans -2 to -1.5 despite 82% of bets on Houston. I have no faith in either of these teams, so I likely won’t take a side here. I will explain why sharp money might be coming in on Chicago.
The Bears’ ground game is showing signs of improvement. Chicago running back David Montgomery ran for a season-high 103 yards plus 40 receiving yards against the Green Bay Packers two weeks ago. Last week, Montgomery rushed for 72 yards, including four receptions for 39 yards against Detroit. It’s the best back-to-back weeks Montgomery has had all season. The Texans’ defense ranks 31st against the run, allowing 150.9 rushing yards per game. Additionally, Houston ranks 29th in rushing touchdowns allowed, surrendering 16 touchdowns on the ground, respectively. If Chicago can continue pounding the run against Houston, it could allow the Bears to control game flow.
Speaking of the Bears run game, the sharp movement on the spread can be correlated to the sharp movement to the under. With 82% of bets to the over, but the total dropping from 46 to 45.5, it could indicate Chicago runs out the clock. This movement could also be due to the Bears ranking 28th in the NFL, averaging 20.5 points per game. The Texans average 24 points per game this season. The total for this game is about a point or two higher than these teams’ averages combined. Although the Texans lost 26-20 to the Colts last week, 24 of Indy’s points were scored in the first half. Houston limited Indianapolis to two points in the second half. Although these defenses have been struggling, with Houston ranking 30th and Chicago dropping from the top 10 to 15th, it’s the offenses I’m concerned about.
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars
There’s nothing to figure out about the spread in this game. It has been hanging around Titans -7.5 most of the week. The total has moved here, going from 54 to 52.5 despite 64% of bets on the over. The Titans’ main weapon is running back Derrick Henry. Henry leads the NFL with 1,317 rushing yards. As for the Jacksonville defense, it struggles against the run, ranking 30th, allowing 136.9 rushing yards per game. AJ Brown returned to practice on Friday despite sitting out Wednesday and Thursday with a right ankle injury. If there’s any lingering injury for Brown, it wouldn’t surprise me if they limit his play and turn to Henry with a lead. If Tennessee just runs the clock out against a Jacksonville team averaging 20.9 points/game, the Titans won’t need to run up the score in the second half.