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Line Movements in the NFL

   by ASA - 12/13/2007

With just three weeks remaining in the NFL regular season, playoff positioning becomes more and more important each passing week. While some teams are looking to play spoiler, others are looking either improve their positioning or lock up a postseason berth. Three teams in playoff contention will see significant line movement in their favor this week. Let’s check out who they are.

Arizona at New Orleans
Open – New Orleans (-3.5)

Monday Night Football is the best weekly showcase in the NFL. The teams on the marquee have the opportunity to show the country exactly what they are made of. New Orleans did just that last week, pasting Atlanta 34-14 in a nationally-televised contest. The Saints are now on the public’s radar and that will be evident in this line movement.

The Saints offense looked every bit as good as last year’s in the win, tallying 473 total yards in a well-balanced attack. Drew Brees again looked like an MVP-caliber player in leading the team and bettors won’t soon forget his and the team’s performance.

They also won’t forget the egg Arizona laid last week at Seattle. The Cardinals lost by three touchdowns to the Seahawks to fall to 2-5 away from home on the season. With the Saints coming off a dominating home win and the Cards coming off an ugly road loss, this line is sure to increase as the week progresses. If you like New Orleans, take this line now while it’s just barely over a field goal. If you think Arizona can pull off the upset, wait until closer to kickoff to get the best value.

Seattle at Carolina
Open – Seattle (-7)

Dallas and Green Bay have hogged the NFC headlines this year but Seattle is starting to make a little noise of its own. And the public is definitely taking notice. There has been heavy action on the Seahawks already this week and that line will surely clear a touchdown by the time kickoff arrives.

The Seahawks are currently riding a five-game winning streak with an average margin of victory of 12.2 points. They’ve clinched the NFC West and will now look to make a late push for a first-round bye. Carolina, meanwhile, has fallen well short of its preseason playoff aspirations. The Panthers have lost five of their last six games with the only win coming against the lowly 49ers.

Carolina has lost all of the public’s respect, especially at home where it is just 1-5 SU and ATS on the season. Conversely, Seattle is gaining more and more confidence by the week both for themselves and from the betting public. If you think the Seahawks will extend their winning streak to six, and do so in convincing fashion, take the line while it’s still at a touchdown. If you believe Carolina can play spoiler, wait until later in the week to lay your bet.

Tennessee at Kansas City
Open – Tennessee (-4)

Neither one of these teams is playing all that well right now but Tennessee at least still has hopes for a postseason berth. Heavy action is going on the Titans right now as Kansas City is fading fast down the stretch both as a team and by bettors everywhere.

The Chiefs have lost six straight games and have looked awful in each and every one of those games. Their six losses have come by 13.5 points per game and they have scored more than 11 points just twice over that span. Kansas City has covered just one of those six losses and you can be sure that the public has taken notice, especially after the 34-point thrashing it took at the hands of Denver last week.

Tennessee is still alive in the AFC playoff race and that will give it more than enough motivation. This will have a direct affect on the line movement in this game as it is sure to go up as the week progresses. If you think the Titans keep their playoff hopes alive and win big, take the line now while it’s at its lowest. If you feel the Chiefs can stop their slide at six, delay your bet until closer to game time.

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