The Seattle Seahawks had opened at a 2.5 point underdog for their Week 5 showdown with the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams are 3-1 and lead the NFC West by one game over both the Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. The spread has moved to 1.5 in favor of the Rams since it opened late Sunday night.
The details prove that Vegas is very unsure about the outcome of this game. Next to the spread, you are provided a plus or minus (often) three-digit number. That number is the wager you must make in order to win $100. For the majority of the spreads that Vegas makes, the +/- is -105. The five extra dollars you bet turns out to be the “juice” or money vegas makes if you happen to lose the bet as they will be paying out $100 of that $105 to the person that wagered the opposite bet. If that number was +105 you would be awarded $105 dollars for a $100 bet.
For the Seahawks game the +/- is set at -110. When the +/- for against the spread rises it shows an uncertainty from the oddsmakers. First, because they expect an uneven amount of money on one team. Likely based on the recent success for both teams, much of the money will come in on the underdog Seahawks. Second, however, is that the oddsmakers are uncertain of the outcome and in anticipation of uneven wagering they have to increase the amount of “juice” they bring in.
If the Rams were to cover the final spread (likely .5 or EVEN at close) and 75 percent of the money was on the Seahawks, Vegas would lose a lot of money, however, that extra $10 per bet on the losing side would help cover that cost.
Money line bets are bets placed without a spread, purely a win or lose from a team. Money line bets carry much larger +/- to compensate for the lack of odds. Vegas’ insecurities about this game are also apparent in this regard. Games oddsmakers are very unsure of, often the case when a star player is questionable, will be off, meaning you can not make a money line bet.
Only a quarter of the major Vegas books have money line bets available for the Seahawks games and those that do have the +/- between +105 and +120. This number is very low for an underdog team, suggesting Vegas believes the Seahawks have a good chance to win.
The money will continue to come in on the Seahawks side so if you plan on betting the Seahawks do it soon while they are still getting a point-and-a-half.