As we approach Week 5 of the NFL season, sportsbooks have been busy adjusting the odds on the upcoming slate of games. The opening four weeks of action haven’t disappointed, containing pretty much everything you could ask for: upsets, last-minute finishes and plenty of points. Ahead of Week 5, odds at sportsbooks have been on the move in a big way since opening.
Monitoring line movement is one of the best ways to assess where the money is going for NFL matchups. There are two types of bettors that frequent online sportsbooks: the public and the sharps.
The betting public is your average joe who likes to casually wager on football. The public will bet mostly favorites and tends to pay more attention to the teams that are receiving the most media attention.
On the other hand, sharp bettors tend to go against the grain and find value where not many others do. Books will shift lines depending on where the sharps are placing their bets. The sharpest bettors get their action in shortly after the odds are released, as they anticipate which way the lines will move.
So, which lines are on the move in Week 5? Here’s a breakdown of the biggest odds changes of the week.
Biggest NFL Line Movement of the Week
Panthers vs Falcons: Opened Falcons -3.5, now -1
This matchup is far from the best game of the week. In fact, it could end up being one of the worst games of the week. Regardless, that hasn’t stopped bettors from hammering the Panthers’ spread against a lifeless Falcons team that fell to 0-4 last week in a MNF loss against the Packers.
At 2-2, Carolina has fared better than expected so far this season. The Panthers are coming off back-to-back wins over the Chargers and Cardinals, an especially impressive feat considering they didn’t have the services of superstar running back Christian McCaffrey for either of those games.
Atlanta looks like a team that’s simply going through the motions right now, and the fate of head coach Dan Quinn remains up in the air as his seat gets hotter with each loss. The Falcons are a tough team to back right now, so the movement toward the Panthers makes sense.
Eagles vs Steelers: OVER/UNDER Opened at 47.5, now 44
The Steelers received a surprise bye last week after it was revealed that the Titans, their Week 4 opponent, had multiple players test positive for COVID-19. With the Pittsburgh-Tennessee affair pushed back to later in the season, the Steelers will enter Week 5 with fresh legs.
In a campaign that’s only four weeks old, Philadelphia has been a tough team to figure out. Injuries to the offensive line have made life tough for starting quarterback Carson Wentz, but the North Dakota State product had his best game of the season in last week’s 25-20 triumph over the 49ers.
The Steelers have one of the top defenses in the NFL, so Philly is going to be in tough to replicate their Week 4 effort vs the 49ers. Betting action indicates this is going to be a lower-scoring game than the oddsmakers initially projected, hence the movement on the UNDER.
Rams vs Washington: Opened Rams -9.5, now -7
The Rams entered Week 4 as hefty -13.5 chalk against the lowly Giants, but L.A. wasn’t able to cover the massive spread in a 17-9 win over Big Blue.
Next up on the docket is a road clash with Washington, which will have a new starting QB with Kyle Allen replacing Dwayne Haskins under center. Aaron Donald is a matchup nightmare for any offense, and Washington’s questionable offensive line will likely surrender multiple sacks to the Rams’ stacked defensive front.
Despite Allen making his first start for Washington, bettors are expecting his team to put up a fight against the Rams and keep this one within a touchdown.