The Wild Point Spread Swings For NFL’s Rescheduled Week 15 Games

Photo by Washington Football Team hopes to have Tyler Heinicke back from COVID list for Eagles game (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

A rash of positive COVID tests among the Cleveland Browns, Washington Football Team, and Los Angeles Rams prompted the NFL to reschedule these teams’ games from the weekend to the start of this week. The betting market has tried to keep up with news of which players will be playing and who will be kept out due to COVID protocols, and point spreads have swung wildly on oddsboards.

The Raiders-Browns game, originally scheduled for Saturday, is now set for Monday at 5 p.m. ET.  Seahawks-Rams and WFT-Eagles were both moved from Sunday to Tuesday.

While the betting lines have shifted, if you’ve already wagered on these games, be sure to check the rules at the sportsbooks you placed the bets. Rules vary from book to book, so your bet may still be live or it may be void after the rescheduling.

Raiders at Browns Betting Line Movement

This game has seen the most the dramatic of the point spread swings. It opened Browns -6.5 last Sunday night, but moved all the way to Raiders -1 upon news that QB Baker Mayfield was among the Cleveland players who would be held out with COVID, and then to Raiders -3.5 when it was revealed backup Case Keenum tested positive and third stringer Nick Mullens would get the nod.

Then, on Friday, when the NFL announced the game was postponed until Monday, Circa Sports moved the number to pick ‘em.  Over the weekend and into Monday morning, Mayfield remained asymptomatic and hoped for a negative test so he could play, and the Browns were back to favorite status, listed at -3 throughout the marketplace.

Alas, the line flipped again Monday, ranging from Raiders -1.5 to -2.5, upon news Mullens will indeed start.

Seahawks at Rams Betting Line Movement

This line is back in the neighborhood at which it opened – Rams -7, with a stray -6.5 or two around the marketplace – after dipping to -4.5 last week with news that more than two dozen L.A. players had tested positive. Many of these players have since provided the necessary two negative tests – including Darrell Henderson, Odell Beckham, and Jalen Ramsey – and will be able to suit up.

Meanwhile, Seattle has started to see some positive tests of its own, so watch for that news and any ensuing line swings.

WFT at Eagles Betting Line Movement

Philly was adjusted to as high as an 11-point favorite after opening around -3.5 last Sunday, as WFT’s COVID list lengthened. As Gaming Today’s Rob Miech reported last week, sharp money moved the line from 5 to 5.5 last Wednesday, and the spread kept moving into the double digits up from there. The number was ratcheted down to -8 when the NFL pushed the game back to Tuesday.

The day before the new kickoff time, the COVID situation in Washington is improving, and the team hopes to have Taylor Heinicke, or at least backup Kyle Allen, under center. The spread seems to have settled at Eagles -6.5 at most shops, with the favorite available at -6 for the savvy line shopper.

Going Forward

As positive tests are showing no sign of slowing down, the NFL has changed its protocols and will no longer test asymptomatic vaccinated players. That will mean, hopefully, fewer rescheduled games and wacky line moves for bettors to stay on top off.

About the Author
Marcus DiNitto

Marcus DiNitto

Managing Editor, News
Marcus DiNitto was news managing editor of Gaming Today. In past roles, he has been managing editor at national sports websites SportsBusiness Daily, Sporting News, and The Linemakers, as well as with licensed sportsbook operator USA Sports Gaming. Marcus graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, and studied sports and entertainment marketing at New York University.

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