<
>

NFL bookmaker roundtable: wild-card round line moves, sharp bets

The NFL playoffs kick off this weekend with four wild-card games, and all four contests feature home underdogs. AP Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau/Brian Jones

Every Friday during the NFL season, ESPN Chalk will ask some of Las Vegas' top oddsmakers where the action has gone during the week. Here is the latest installment, covering the wild-card round of the playoffs.

1. Which NFL games have had the biggest line movement?

Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading, William Hill: The game that has had the biggest line movement is Seattle Seahawks-Minnesota Vikings. The line opened at Seattle -3.5, moved to Seattle -5, and now sits steadily at Seattle -5.5.

Jay Rood, vice president of race and sports at MGM: The Vikings moved from +5.5 to +4.5. The wiseguys are taking the points in what looks to be a low-scoring game in the cold.

Jay Kornegay, head oddsmaker at Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook: The Washington Redskins opened as a 1-point favorite at home vs. the Green Bay Packers; currently, the line is Packers -1.

Jason Simbal, vice president of race and sports at CG Technology: The Seahawks opened as 3.5-point favorites in Minnesota and went up to +6 for a brief period before settling at +5.

John Avello, race and sports operations director at Wynn and Encore: The Steelers game had the biggest move of all four games, going from Pittsburgh -1 to -3.

2. Which NFL games have you had the biggest public action on?

Bogdanovich: The game with the biggest public action has been Seahawks-Vikings. This game's action represents 36 percent of the total dollars wagered on the four wild-card point spreads combined for this weekend. Betting action for this game is heavy on the Seahawks, with 79 percent of the point-spread tickets and 81 percent of the point-spread money on Seattle.

Rood: Seahawks-Vikings. The Seahawks bandwagon is filling up fast.

Kornegay: The public likes the Seahawks, with five times as many tickets written on Seattle than Minnesota and approximately 2.5 times the money.

Simbal: Thus far the public has been on the Seahawks and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Avello: Pittsburgh is also the side the public is on. What the public sees is an offense moving the ball at will, and a Bengals team that's only beaten the Steelers three times this century.

3. Which NFL games have you had the biggest sharp action on?

Bogdanovich: The game that currently has had the biggest sharp money is Packers-Redskins, with the sharp money on the Packers. 58 percent of point-spread tickets are on the Redskins and 52 percent of the point-spread total dollars wagered are on the Redskins, but the sharp money is on the Packers.

Rood: Vikings (against the Seahawks) and the Redskins (against the Packers -- home 'dogs in the playoffs). For the Vikings, it's a defense that's getting healthy again and their power run game, and the Redskins are a high-flying team full of confidence. Both are too much to pass up for the sharps.

Kornegay: Sharp money has come in on the Vikings +6 vs. the visiting Seahawks, and the Packers when they were +1 at the Redskins.

Simbal: The smart action has been on Seattle -- they laid 3.5 and 4 very early in the week. Seattle is garnering both professional and public action.

Avello: The sharps have yet to take a side in any of the games, but they do like the under in the Seattle-Minnesota game -- they've taken it down from 42 to 40.

4. What playoff team do you have the most futures liability on right now?

Bogdanovich: The playoff team that we have the most futures liability on right now is the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals winning the Super Bowl is the worst-case scenario.

Rood: Pittsburgh Steelers. Always the Steelers. Even with a choppy year, they drew a good amount of futures money and their odds never really dropped until it was clear that Big Ben [Ben Roethlisberger] was good to go.

Kornegay: We have the largest liability on the Steelers to win the Super Bowl.

Simbal: We have the most future liability to the Steelers. The Carolina Panthers are the best for us.

Avello: In the future book, I'm in pretty good shape with the exception of the Steelers. There's always a few in there that try to be spoilers for the house.