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NFL Betting: Miami’s Week 1 Blowout Loss Has Bettors in a Frenzy


Heading into Week 1, talk of the Miami Dolphins tanking this season really heated up. So much so that bettors took the opening summer line of +3.5 vs. Baltimore and pushed it all the way to +7 — a near unprecedented move for an NFL game not involving a key injury. Heck, the Indianapolis Colts lost one of the league’s best quarterbacks in Andrew Luck and the betting markets adjusted only three points.

But it didn’t take but a quarter for every sports bettor on the planet to realize, the talk of tanking was in fact real and the Dolphins may not win a game.

These days, the NFL betting landscape is considered to be fairly sophisticated. Unlike college football, it’s tricky to consistently win in the NFL on “feel” or by firing away on who you feel is “better team.” But the transition from Week 1 to Week 2 can be notoriously reactionary, especially regarding teams that looked “bad.” Tampa Bay, the New York Giants, and Denver Broncos all laid eggs in Week 1 and were bet against off of Week 2’s openers. Meanwhile, a team like Oakland, who no one wanted anything to do with in Week 1, played well in its win over Denver and sure enough, received betting support in Week 2.

But those are nothing more than small half-point or one-point moves. New England-Miami’s point spread move borders on comical.

Early in the betting cycle, BetOnline opened New England -15 while Las Vegas’ Westgate went with -14.5. CRIS and Pinnacle later opened -15. That may not seem eye popping but consider this: Since 1989, only 15 NFL teams have been asked to lay over two touchdowns on the road — none since 2007.

Unlike college football, it takes a lot to really move a point spread in the NFL yet CRIS barely made it to its lunch break on Monday before being forced to bump the line up to -17.5. And it didn’t stop as -17.5 eventually became -18, -18.5 and for the time being, -19. And with -19 not exactly a key number and there being no indication the markets are even considering buying back on the Dolphins, it’s very reasonable to think bettors will be witness to the highest road team point spread in history (New England closed -20 at Baltimore in 2007 and won 27-24). Real bettors will tell you no team, no matter how bad, is off limits…if the price is right. One game into the season and the Miami Dolphins are testing that theory and some.