By Steve Rieder
LOOKAHEAD LINES: COLUMN OVERVIEW
Every week several domestic and off-shore books post lookahead lines for the following week’s games. Essentially, next week’s lines are being offered before this week’s games even kick-off. Lookahead lines offer tremendous opportunities because of the uncertainty that goes along with it.
As the week progresses, the NFL betting marketplace becomes more efficient. Sharps and syndicates alike find the value in the sides and totals and correct the misprices. By the weekend, almost all of the value has dried up for the NFL Sunday slate becoming the most efficient marketplace in the world. The public will still bet their favorite teams, the heavy favorites, and their 10-team parlays without realizing how -EV their plays are. At this point, sharps and recreational betters alike would find more success turning their attention to next week’s look ahead lines.
Syndicates typically don’t spend as much time or energy with the lookahead lines, not because they don’t see the value, but because of the low limits. Much like the prop and derivative marketplace, lookahead lines are ripe for the sharp bettor to take advantage of. As a rule of thumb: the lower the limit, the better the value.
Lookahead lines typically don’t adjust as quickly as the current week’s lines. If a team gets steamed in the current week’s game, it is prudent to immediately look to see if there is value on the team the following week. Much like the Sunday night openers, betting lookahead lines are the most valuable at post. Some books may post on different days and at different times, but getting to know the schedule of your book can be extremely advantageous.
LOOKAHEAD BET HISTORY (5-3)
WEEK 16 LOOKAHEAD
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM @ PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-2.5) My power ratings make this game PHI -5.5 so we have instantaneous value through 3. Washington has been playing very well recently and maybe they are still too low in my Power Ratings. Even if we give them an extra point or two, we still are actionable because we lay less than a field goal. PHI is also on a bye this week and should have ample opportunity to prepare for the game. This is a home game for PHI who then play the Giants before flying to Washington for Week 17. It is a must-win spot for both teams who are desperately trying to keep pace in the playoff race, but it is more so for the Eagles who have a worse record and have to go to WAS for the tiebreaker. WAS has a pivotal NFC East game this week against the Cowboys, while the Eagles desperately needed their bye to get healthy. WAS also lost one of their few offensive playmakers in Logan Thomas who will be out for the year. We have to play PHI in this spot and I doubt we get a better number than the lookahead.
BEST BET: PHI -2.5 @ DraftKings (-110)
CAROLINA PANTHERS @ BUFFALO BILLS (-9.5)
This is a horrible spot for the Bills. They just had a brutal game against the Patriots, which they lost, and now have to play the defending Super Bowl Champions in Tampa. Assuming they lose this contest to the Bucs, they will be 0-2 heading home to play a Carolina team that is in disarray. That seems like a good position for the Bills. However, they do have a revenge game with the Pats on deck, which could be a distraction, especially with the division on the line. With that being said, Buffalo is clearly the superior team to Carolina. Even if things go sideways, which they might, I still don't see how they won't be laying more than 10 points to a Carolina team that has no offense to speak of. BEST BET: BUF -9.5 @ DraftKings (-110)