Back in May, CG Technology released point spreads for games during each of the first 16 weeks of the season. Today, I want to check how the spreads for the week 6 games have changed since then.
There are 22 teams we can analyze using this method. Here are those 11 games, sorted by the games that have changed the most.
|Home Team||Road Team||May Spread||Current Spread||Difference|
What can we learn from these 11 games?1
The Broncos were just 3.5 point home favorites a few months ago for this game against the Giants. Remember, New York made the playoffs last year and Denver did not. But after an 0-5 start combined with a slew of injuries, the Giants look like one of the worst teams in the NFL. As for Denver? The Broncos defense looks as strong as ever, and with a 3-1 start, Denver feels like a team that should make the postseason in the AFC. An 11.5-point line is a huge number, so this says a lot about how Vegas views the Broncos and not just that the Giants are terrible.
The Dolphins/Falcons game is interesting because Atlanta’s spread has jumped by 5 points despite… the Falcons not looking very good? The Falcons are 3-1 but could just as easily be 1-3, with two wins that hinged on 50/50 plays in the final seconds. The bigger issue, of course, is Miami. The Dolphins had a hurricane-induced week 1 bye and beat the Chargers in week two; since then, it’s been ugly. Miami gained 225 yards and was shutout until the final play against the Jets in week 3, and somehow, the offense has been worse since! The Dolphins gained 186 yards and was shutout entirely against New Orleans, and then picked up just 178 yards against Tennessee last weekend.
The Cardinals were 2-point favorites a few months ago against the Bucs; now Tampa Bay is a 3-point favorite. What gives? Well, Arizona has underwhelmed while Tampa Bay has looked pretty good. The Cardinals are 2-3 with both wins coming in overtime against the Colts and 49ers. The Bucs are 2-2 but nearly beat the Patriots last week. Arizona and Tampa Bay feel like two teams moving in opposite directions, and this spread reflects just that.
Perhaps the most surprising line is the one at the very bottom: the Jets/Patriots line has not moved at all! This despite the Jets being 3-2 when many thought they would be one of the two or three worst teams in the league, and the Patriots defense being incredibly underwhelming. New England is 3-2 but could easily be 1-4; only a remarkable last minute comeback against Houston and three missed field goals by the Bucs prevented that. The Patriots rank 32nd in Net Yards per Attempt allowed and 29 in yards per carry allowed. I don’t think the Jets are as good as their record, and New England is probably better than their record, but: shouldn’t this line have moved even a little?
What do you think?
- The Bills, Bengals, Cowboys and Seahawks are on bye this week. And the lines for the Titans/Colts and Raiders/Chargers games are both off due to uncertainty about the starting quarterbacks for Tennessee and Oakland. In addition, the Lions/Saints line is also not worth analyzing by this method due to some uncertainty about whether Stafford will start this weekend, so I have omitted that game as well. The Lions were 2.5-point underdogs for this game in New Orleans in May, and are 4.5-point underdogs right now; I don’t think that is what the line would be if Stafford were healthy. [↩]