We have an AFC vs NFC matchup Thursday, September 23rd as the Carolina Panthers fly down to Houston to face the Texans. The Panthers, who are 2-0 to start the season, look to continue their success against a Houston team that exceeded expectations already. Without their star QB, Deshawn Watson, the Houston Texans have been hard to predict their success. Everyone doubted them in week 1 and they ended up beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 37-21. In week 2, they struggled against the Cleveland Browns losing 31-21, but have shown hope in their offense.
The Panthers struggled in week 1 just getting by a Jets team that is in shambles winning 19-14. In week 2, they put a beatdown on their division rival, The New Orleans Saints, winning 26-7 and putting on a tremendous defensive performance. The Panthers have not only won their last two games but have covered the spread as well. They are among 5 teams that have covered the spread the entire season, (Panthers, Texans, Broncos, Raiders, and Cowboys). Will the streak continue?
Carolina started as a -4.5 favorite against the Texans. Bettors have since moved that line to -8 as 72% of the total bets placed have been on the Panthers bringing in 82% of the total money bet. This means that not only is the betting majority on Carolina, but the majority of the money is on Carolina as well.
The over/under opened at 43.5 points and with 62% of the public and 71% of the money on the over, the line has moved to 43. This is what is called “reverse line movement” when the direction of the betting lines does not match where the money is being placed.
The Moneyline for Carolina opened at -300 and has moved to -400 after 45% of the betting public placed 67% of the total money bet.
What Do The Insights Mean?
The insights for this game are tricky. For the spread, Vegas set the line at -4.5, meaning Carolina has to win by 5 or more to cover the spread. That has since moved to -8 meaning Carolina has to win by 9 or more to cover the spread. I believe the line has been moved too far and I would stay away from anything over -5.5. Adding Carolina to a 6-point teaser is a safe move causing them to only have to win by 3 points to cover.
As for the over/under, reverse line movement always catches my eye. Vegas is seeing the majority of the public bet the over 43.5 and moved the line down to 43 points. If the line continues to drop to 42 or 41 points, I would then say the over is what’s considered a trap. In order for Vegas to make money, they need to keep the amount of money even on both sides of a bet. When 71% of the money is on the over yet the line is dropping, that tells me Vegas is looking to cash out big. I would only bet the under if you see the line drop to 42 or lower. A half-point drop, to me, does not signify enough reverse line movement to bet against it.
The Moneyline is the safest option, but the bet that will give you the lowest return. at -400, you would have to bet $400 to win $100. Not a terrible price to pay when betting against a Houston Texans team with no QB and a low-ranked defense.
Those are the betting insights for tonight’s Thursday Night Football game. Check back this weekend for more info on the betting lines for the Sunday games!