NFL betting market watch – Baker Mayfield news sends Browns from favorites to underdogs vs. Raiders


The surge of COVID-19 cases in the NFL this week has caused some significant line movement and prompted some sportsbooks to halt betting on impacted games.

Caesars Sportsbook briefly took the Raiders-Browns game off the board Wednesday, after news that Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield had tested positive for COVID-19. Mayfield is among 14 Browns players, in addition to coach Kevin Stefanski, who have been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list in the past two days, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Mayfield and Stefanski must test negative twice by Saturday to be available against the Raiders.

The Browns began the week as 5.5-point favorites over the Raiders. The line began dropping Tuesday, as the team’s first positive COVID-19 tests were revealed. The line was down to Cleveland -3 prior to the Mayfield news on Wednesday.

Caesars Sportsbook briefly dropped the line to Browns -1.5, before electing to take the game off the board. The line began resurfacing Wednesday afternoon with the Raiders as small favorites.

“We don’t want to take games down,” Adam Pullen, assistant director of trading for Caesars Sportsbook, said Wednesday afternoon. “We want betting to occur, but we want to have the best information, obviously. It’s a tough decision when it comes to taking games down.”

The line for the NFC East divisional battle between Washington and Philadelphia Eagles grew from Eagles -5 to -7 on Wednesday after Washington quarterback Kyle Allen was placed in COVID-19 protocols. Allen played last week after starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke left the game with a knee injury. Heinicke is expected to play Sunday, but 17 players are on the COVID-19 list for Washington. The Eagles began the week as 2.5-point favorites in the game.


NFL market watch

Here is our weekly look at how the NFL betting market is shaping up leading into the weekend.

For consistency, lines, totals and betting percentages are from Caesars Sportsbook unless otherwise noted. The betting percentages are not specific to the current line or total and are designed to provide a snapshot of the early action. The look-ahead lines were offered in advance of the previous week’s games. Most numbers were reopened Sunday night.

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers (Thursday)

Last week’s look-ahead line: Chiefs -3, 49.5
Sunday: Chiefs -3, 49.5
Wednesday: Chiefs -3, 52
Spread action: 78% of the bets are on the Chiefs, but 59% of the money wagered is on the Chargers.
Total action: 80% of bets and 94% of the money wagered is on the over.

Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills

Last week’s look-ahead line: Bills -9.5, 45
Sunday: Bills -12, 44.5
Wednesday: Bills -11, 43.5
Spread action: 70% of the bets and 98% of the money wagered is on the Bills.
Total action: 64% of the bets and 88% of the money wagered is on the over.

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars

Last week’s look-ahead line: Jaguars -3.5, 43
Sunday: Jaguars -3, 41
Wednesday: Jaguars -3.5, 39.5
Spread action: 75% of the bets are on the Texans, but 75% of the money is on the Jaguars.
Total action: 86% of the bets and 99% of the money wagered is on the under.

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

Last week’s look-ahead line: Cowboys -10, 45
Sunday: Cowboys -11.5, 45
Wednesday: Cowboys -10.5, 45
Spread action: 60% of the bets are on the Cowboys, but 89% of the money wagered is on the Giants.
Total action: 91% of the bets and 98% of the money wagered is on the over.

Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles

Last week’s look-ahead line: Eagles -2.5, 44.5
Sunday: Eagles -4, 43.5
Wednesday: Eagles -7, 44.5
Spread action: 60% of bets and 68% of the money wagered is on the Eagles.
Total action: Over 58% of bets and 98% of the money wagered is on the over.

Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers

Last week’s look-ahead line: Titans -2.5, 43
Sunday: Titans -2.5, 41.5
Wednesday: Titans -1.5, 41.5
Spread action: 65% of bets and 72% of the money wagered is on the Titans.
Total action: 91% of the bets and 98% of the money wagered is on the over.

Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions

Last week’s look-ahead line: Cardinals -12, 47.5
Sunday: Cardinals -14, 47.5
Wednesday: Cardinals -13.5, 47.5
Spread action: 76% of bets and 59% of money wagered is on the Cardinals.
Total action: 50% of the bets and 62% of the money wagered is on the over.

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins

Last week’s look-ahead line: Dolphins -7, 44.5
Sunday: Dolphins -8.5, 43
Wednesday: Dolphins -10, 42
Spread action: 67% of bets and 79% of money wagered is on the Dolphins.
Total action: 56% of bets and 99% of money wagered is on the under.

Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers

Last week’s look-ahead line: 49ers -7.5, 45.5
Sunday: 49ers -8.5, 44.5
Wednesday: 49ers -9, 46
Spread action: 68% of the bets and 85% of the money wagered is on the 49ers.
Total action: 93% of the bets and 99% of the money wagered is on the over.

Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos

Last week’s look-ahead line: Bengals -2.5, 44.5
Sunday: Broncos -1, 43.5
Wednesday: Broncos -2.5 (-120), 44
Spread action: 66% of the bets are on the Bengals, but 97% of the money wagered is on Broncos.
Total action: 77% of the bets and 94% of the money wagered is on the over.

Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens

Last week’s look-ahead line: Packers -2, 45.5
Monday: Packers -7, 42.5
Wednesday: Packers -4.5, 43.5
Spread action: 93% of bets and 79% of money wagered is on the Packers.
Total action: 91% of the bets and 98% of the money wagered is on the over.

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams

Last week’s look-ahead line: Rams -7, 48
Sunday: Rams -7, 47
Wednesday: Rams -5, 46
Spread action: 56% of the bets are on the Rams, but 84% of the money wagered is on the Seahawks.
Total action: 50% of the bets and 54% of the money wagered is on the under.

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last week’s look-ahead line: Buccaneers -11.5, 48
Sunday: Buccaneers -11.5, 46.5
Wednesday: Buccaneers -11, 47
Spread action: 60% of the bets and 68% of the money wagered is on the Saints.
Total action: 61% of the bets are on the over, but 88% of the money wagered is on the under.

Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns (Saturday)

Last week’s look-ahead line: Browns -5.5, 44
Sunday: Browns -6.5, 43.5
Wednesday: Browns -3, 40
Spread action: 51% of the bets are on the Browns, but 86% of the money wagered is on the Raiders.
Total action: 63% of the bets are on the over, but 89% of the money wagered is on the under.

New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts (Saturday)

Last week’s look-ahead line: Patriots -1, 43.5
Sunday: Patriots -1, 44
Wednesday: Colts -2, 45.5
Spread action: 55% of the bets are on the Patriots, but 66% of the money is on the Colts.
Total action: 88% of the bets and 66% of the money wagered is on the over.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears (Monday)

Last week’s look-ahead line: Vikings -4, 43.5
Monday: Vikings -3.5, 44
Wednesday: Vikings -3.5, 44
Spread action: 65% of the bets and 54% of the money wagered is on the Vikings.
Total action: 88% of the bets and 98% of the money wagered is on the over.



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