Giants by 2.5, Ravens by 1 and more
I was scanning the NFL lines on Thursday afternoon, prepping for my call with Bryan Leonard of footballwinners.com, and I noticed something: There were lots of big matchups -- nice job by the NFL schedulers -- but there weren't a lot of moves. Sure, many games moved a half-point in one direction or the other. But a lot of them, eight in fact, hadn't move at all. And only one game, Ravens-Saints, had shuffled more than a point off the opening number.
It's not surprising, really. At this point in the year lines are tighter than the four corners on my bed at summer camp. (I could make a serious bed.) "I would say, halfway through the season, lines get really tight," says Leonard. "That's when bookmakers have a great feel for every team. They have seen enough of the starters, they have seen enough of the backups. There is not a lot of opportunity left."
Naturally, because I am a great, instinctive reporter, I asked Bryan, "Umm, if there's no opportunity, why do you bother handicapping it anymore at that point? Why not move on to college hoops?"
"Because," Leonard says, "it's all anyone ever talks about. If I want to make money as a handicapper I have to be able to offer up NFL opinions."
Which is why I asked him to weigh on this week's moves -- or lack thereof.