By Steve Rieder
Every week several domestic and off-shore books post lookahead lines for the following week’s games. Essentially, next week’s lines are being offered before this week’s games even kick-off. Lookahead lines offer tremendous opportunities because of the uncertainty that goes along with it.
As the week progresses, the NFL betting marketplace becomes more efficient. Sharps and syndicates alike find the value in the sides and totals and correct the misprices. By the weekend, almost all of the value has dried up for the NFL Sunday slate becoming the most efficient marketplace in the world. The public will still bet their favorite teams, the heavy favorites, and their 10-team parlays without realizing how -EV their plays are. At this point, sharps and recreational betters alike would find more success turning their attention to next week’s look ahead lines.
Syndicates typically don’t spend as much time or energy with the lookahead lines, not because they don’t see the value, but because of the low limits. Much like the prop and derivative marketplace, lookahead lines are ripe for the sharp bettor to take advantage of. As a rule of thumb: the lower the limit, the better the value.
Lookahead lines typically don’t adjust as quickly as the current week’s lines. If a team gets steamed in the current week’s game, it is prudent to immediately look to see if there is value on the team the following week. Much like the Sunday night openers, betting lookahead lines are the most valuable at post. Some books may post on different days and at different times, but getting to know the schedule of your book can be extremely advantageous.
LAST WEEK’S LOOKAHEAD BET
Last week, our lookahead best bet was Denver -2.5. Regardless of whether or not the Broncos cover, we made the correct decision because we now have 3.5 points worth of closing line value (which is even more significant because it goes through the key number of 3). At this point, we have flexibility and several options at our disposal. We can let it ride, sell off exposure at an alternate spread, or attempt a middle opportunity by playing JAX +6. Considering I make the line DEN -6, I’ll be letting my ticket ride and hope my closing line value carries the day.
A couple to ask regarding a lookahead bet that has closing line value:
- Do I still like my original bet?
- How confident am I in my original bet?
- Am I overexposed on my original bet?
- Is there a reason to limit exposure?
- Is there value in the second play irrespective of the first?
- Is the % chance for a middle large enough to overcome the vigorish I’d be sacrificing if one side loses?
- How conservative of a bettor am I?
WEEK 3 LOOKAHEAD LINES
Moving on to this week’s lookahead lines, there is little line differential between our Power Rated lines and the lookahead marketplace. The greatest disparity is only 1.5 points. Last week we had 2 games with a 2 point differential between our line and the book’s. Not every bet needs a large disparity and not every large disparity means a bet. In fact, our best bet (DEN -2), was only 1 point off of the market and we didn’t play our two largest differentials. Every game needs careful consideration of the power ratings and a litany of other factors in order to determine if it is actionable. Let’s take a look at Week 2 leans and a Week 3 Lookahead Best Bet that I absolutely love...
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