The Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars played an NFL game at Heinz Field on November 25, 2017. The game ended in a 16-16 deadlock, so there was no winner. The point spread had the Steelers as 4.5-point favorites, while the over/under had been set at 47.5. The outcome was quite surprising, as many people had picked Pittsburgh to win.
While most gamblers may not have seen this coming, many others certainly did. Prior to the game, there was a betting line on theJags-Steelers game. The over/under of 47.5 had been set at an incredibly attractive -110 betting odds. This means that a $100 bet would return $110 if the Jaguars win, and you’ll only lose $10 if the Steelers win. Impressive!
What was the betting line prior to the game? Let’s take a quick look back at the historical data to get an idea of what to expect this season when it comes to NFL games.
A Closer Look At The Pre-Game Betting Line
Prior to the start of the season, you may have looked at the betting lines for NFL games and thought to yourself, “They can’t be this low!” If you had picked the right team, you would have been right. The betting lines were set at some pretty incredible odds. In fact, the Jaguars were favored over the Steelers by a factor of 5.0 at one point. It was a short-lived advantage for Jacksonville, as they eventually lost the game by only two points. The point spread changed several times leading up to the game, but eventually settled on the final 3.0 points.
What you need to know: Before the season began, the line had more than doubled from the opening figure. This is a strong indication that most people thought the Steelers were going to be an easy pick for the playoffs. Many expected the Jaguars to fall apart without quarterback Blake Bortles, but the team kept their head above water thanks in large part to rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew. It was an extremely volatile line prior to the game, which makes sense considering how unexpected the final result was. It fluctuated a great deal, changing by a factor of two or more on several occasions.
Looking at the season-to-date (after the first game) performance of both teams gives us a better idea of what to expect in the future. The Steelers are currently 1-2-1 ATS (against the spread), while the Jaguars are 2-1-0 ATS. We can see from this that the betting public is sharply split between the two teams. It also tells us that while it’s easy enough to pick against the spread, successful NFL bettors must always look at both teams’ performances in determining their wagers. This is especially relevant when handicapping NFL games, where you’ll often be choosing between two teams that are both capable of winning. It’s important to keep in mind that the spread only tells you about who is favored in the matchup. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll necessarily win money by playing the underdog. For example, in one game this season, the Steelers were a 5.5-point favorite against the Jaguars. However, the spread had Jacksonville as the home team, so you’d actually get paid to bet on the visiting team in that instance.
If you’re looking to gain an edge in sports wagering, you may want to consider studying the trends and statistics that apply to your chosen sport. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on successful bettors’ picks, as well as the books’ opinions when it comes to analyzing matchups. Knowing what to look out for and which trends apply to your chosen sport will ensure that you make the right choice when setting your wagers, and allow you to take advantage of any betting trends that might be beneficial to you.