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Who says only quarterbacks move betting lines?
Entering this week, the Denver Broncos were slim home favorites over the Tennessee Titans in one of the tightest lines of the NFL's Week 1 schedule. After Von Miller suffered a freak ankle injury Tuesday that's likely to end his season, that line flipped to the Titans (-2, 41) being favored at theScore Bet as of Wednesday afternoon.
That's just one of a handful of line movements ahead of this weekend's action, though it's easily the most dramatic. The Broncos were circled as tasty home 'dogs, having won nine of their last 16 outright in that spot, but now the Titans head into Denver riding a 4-1 run against the spread as road chalk.
How the Broncos weather Sunday's test without Miller could have a sizable effect on their weekly lines for the rest of the year. Denver is an underdog or pick 'em in 10 of its final 15 games and a short favorite in four of its other five games. A strong showing - or outright disaster - against Tennessee could flip a few of those lines before we even reach Week 2.
Here are some other notable line movements ahead of Week 1.
Opening line: Panthers -1
Surprise, surprise: The betting market is closing in late on Las Vegas. Whether it's because of their intriguing offense, rebuilt defense, or proximity to the Vegas strip, the Raiders are getting plenty of love ahead of their Week 1 bout with the Panthers.
Carolina was as high as -1.5 at some shops but could get as many as 3.5 points by kickoff as sharp money floods in on the road favorites. Don't be too quick to dismiss the Panthers under new head coach Matt Rhule, who went 34-15 ATS as a home 'dog in college and takes over a team with legitimate offensive talent.
Opening line: Lions -1.5
The betting market really hates Mitchell Trubisky, huh? This line opened at pick 'em at some shops and had been sitting at Lions -1.5, which makes sense - the Bears are considered the better team in the futures market, and home-field advantage matters less this year than ever.
The Lions money came in steadily over the last week, though, coinciding with the Bears' decision to stick with Trubisky over challenger Nick Foles. For all of the flaws in Detroit's defense, it's hard to fault bettors for fading the Bears quarterback until he makes them pay.
Opening line: Steelers -3
It's surprising to see a line jump this much without a major injury or quarterback change, but that's what happens when a public team like the Steelers gets a favorable Week 1 matchup with a traditional dumpster fire like the Giants, who are 1-8 in their season opener since 2011.
There's certainly less value on Pittsburgh than there was before, but this is still a good spot for the road favorite. In 2019, teams giving at least five points on the road were 28-8-1 ATS with a dominant 35-2 record straight up.
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.