Tough start for sportsbooks Thursday night when Carolina kicked off NFL Week Three with a 24-9 win at Houston. Betting interest slanted heavily toward Carolina minus the points and Under 43. There are also a lot of six-point teasers still in play because Carolina -2 was such a common pick.
As we run through Sunday’s card, you’ll see several favorites that are very popular in teasers and moneyline parlays. The house will be rooting for upsets here at the South Point and at sportsbooks across the country.
Who will you be rooting for? Let’s see if sharp betting influences your thinking as you make your final choices before kickoff. Matchups below are presented in Nevada Rotation order so you can make notes on your schedules.
Sunday, Sept. 26
Arizona (-7.5, 52.5) at Jacksonville
I opened Arizona -7.5. Still there. I’m showing about a 10/1 ticket count on the Cardinals. But, there hasn’t been enough volume to lift the number. Arizona is featured in a lot of teasers because a six-point move crosses both the 7 and the 3. The Cards are also included in many money line parlays because people can’t see Jacksonville beating anybody. There’s a chance this spread will go as high as Arizona -9 by kickoff. When the market has “breached the wall” past the key number of seven, higher moves can come quickly on game day. Not much action on my opening total of 52.5. If I don’t mention a total in any game today, that means thing important has happened yet.
Indianapolis at Tennessee (-5.5, 48)
A lot of questions about the health of Colts quarterback Carson Wentz after hurting both ankles last week. Current expectation is that he’s going to play, but at less than 100 percent. I opened Tennessee -4.5. Sharps bet the Titans at -4.5, -5, and -5.5. I went to -6. When reports surfaced Friday morning that Wentz was taking snaps at practice, sharps took the Colts + 6. I’m back to 5.5. I think this line would be closer to Tennessee -4 if Indy was at full strength. Sharps knocked my opening total of 50 all the way down to 48. Some are still betting Under 48. Not enough yet to make me drop lower.
Baltimore (-8.5, 49.5) at Detroit
I opened Baltimore -9. Rumors started floating around about quarterback Lamar Jackson’s status. I dropped to -8.5, then took the game off the board for a day and a half. When it looked like he’d be ready to go for Sunday, I went back up at 8.5. This hasn’t been a heavily bet game because of the uncertainty. Baltimore will definitely be a six-point teaser choice if -8.5 is widely available this weekend. That fits the standard sharp strategy. Sportsbooks may move to -9 or -9.5 in self-defense. I’ll definitely be watching that myself. My opening total of 50 was bet down to 49.5. I’m getting Over interest at the new price. Good two-way action on the total.
Washington at Buffalo (-7, 45.5)
Sharps took the dog aggressively at my opener of Washington + 9. They also took + 8.5, + 8, and + 7.5. I’m all the way down to + 7. I’m starting to get money back on Buffalo at the seven. I’m still pretty heavy on Washington, so I’d like to take more on Buffalo before rising to 7.5. I can tell you I’ve been getting a lot of moneyline parlays that include Buffalo to win the game straight up. And, there was a lot of teaser play on the Bills when bettors could cross both the 7 and the 3 (from -8.5 down to -7.5 in progression). A messy one to explain. But, the public is rooting for Buffalo to win the game. Sharps see value at Buffalo -2.5, -2, and -1.5 in teasers, but Washington at + 7.5 or better as a straight bet. I’ll be hoping for a one-sided result that misses that big middle. My total opened 46.5. I dropped a full point to 45.5 after respected bets Under.
New Orleans at New England (-2.5, 42.5)
I opened New England -3. Friday morning, a really good customer that’s been with me a long time put $100,000 on the Saints. I dropped to New England -2.5. I can see other spots in the market adjusting downward. Some do that with vigorish rather than moving off the key number of three. I’m confident I’ll get Patriots action at -2.5. My opening total was 43. I took a pretty big bet on the Under and dropped to 42. Then I took a big bet on the Over. I’m at 42.5 right now, with even business from those two wagers.
LA Chargers at Kansas City (-7, 54.5)
Kansas City has been a very popular bet this week. I opened Chiefs -6.5. Sharps and the public bet that line up to -7. Recreational players are also heavy on the Chiefs in moneyline parlays and teasers. No interest in the Chargers yet. I’m trying to avoid moving off the key number of seven. I may have to for sharps to invest in this dog. Sharps definitely showed interest in the Under. I opened 55.5. They bet me Under 55.5 and 55. I’m at 54.5 now.
Atlanta at NY Giants (-3, 48)
One of those “nobody knows they’re playing” games. Like Denver/Jacksonville last week. I do have some money on the Falcons + 3. Not nearly enough to move off a key number. There has been some money line interest on Atlanta, too.
Chicago at Cleveland (-7.5, 45)
Cleveland is in the price range that’s going to drive teasers and moneyline parlays this week. Can’t imagine how many of those tickets will have some combination of Cardinals, Ravens, Bills, Chiefs, and Browns. On the pure team side, my opener of Cleveland -8 was bet down to -7 from sharp action. An accumulation of Browns bets at the key number lifted the line up to Cleveland -7.5. That’s where I sit now. An early forecast for wind helped drive sharp Under betting at my opener of 46.5. I’m down to 45, and I see other stores even lower. If you’re new to football betting, be aware that sharps pay significant attention to wind. They worry much less about rain or snow. Pounding Unders at windy locales on Saturdays and Sundays has made them a fortune over the years. Doesn’t always work…but more than pays the bills.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh (-3, 43)
Pittsburgh’s dealing with a ton of injuries right now. I opened Steelers -5. Sharps took the five hard. I went straight to four. Sharps took the Bengals + 4, and the Bengals + 3.5. I’m all the way down to three. This line would be more like Pittsburgh -6 or -6.5 at full strength. I think we’ll get money back on the Steelers at -3. My ticket count is still pretty strong for Pittsburgh. Line fell because all the smart money was on the dog at + 3.5 or better. Another total where wind might be a factor (but not as windy as Cleveland). My opener of 44.5 has come down to 43 on sharp betting.
Miami at Las Vegas (-4, 43.5)
It wasn’t too long ago that Vegas sportsbooks had to defend against intense local betting interest in the Golden Knights’ NHL success story. This current 2-0 start for the Raiders is starting to feel like that. Two outright wins as underdogs. A head coach and quarterback with swagger. Sportsbooks were already heavy with Raiders action when the team was supposed to finish last in a tough division. They’re the one team I have to sweat futures bets on for the Super Bowl. My opening line of Vegas -4 was bet up to -4.5. But, with concerns that Derek Carr may not be 100 percent, the number has dropped back to -4. I’m writing even business, and seeing some 3.5’s out there. Sharps have bet the Under hard in this game. Jacoby Brissett struggled last week for Miami. Carr may be hobbled. My opener of 45.5 is down to 43.5.
NY Jets at Denver (-10.5, 41.5)
I opened Denver -10.5. There’s been public play on the Broncos. Not enough to move the line. I have been getting a lot of play on Denver in teasers. This doesn’t cross the 7 and the 3. Just the 10 and the 7. Sharps wouldn’t tease this, but, the public likes moving favorites down to less scary numbers. Those that don’t want to lay -10.5 will talk themselves into -4.5 in a teaser. My opening total of 41 has been bet up half a point to 41.5.
Tampa Bay (-1, 55.5) at the LA Rams
I opened pick-em. Other shops had opened earlier around Rams -2. They were hit with Tampa Bay money. My power ratings had the Rams by half-a-point. I can’t open a game at -0.5, obviously. I read the market and went with pick-em. Early money was on Tampa Bay, so I moved to Bucs -1. Still at -1. And, still getting bets on the Bucs! I have a feeling I’ll go higher on this one. My opening total of 54.5 has been bet up to 55.5. Sharps stopped at 55. The public may keep betting Over because this game will be previewed as a shootout all weekend.
Seattle (-1, 54) at Minnesota
Haven’t moved off the opener of Seattle -1. Recreational bettors are on Seattle. I have a feeling I’ll go to -1.5 soon. If they keep betting me, I’ll move it. Sharps are hoping to see at least + 1.5 on the dog so they can move Minnesota past the 3 and the 7 to + 7.5 on teasers. The public usually only teases favorites down. Sharps like to move short dogs up. Both Tampa Bay and Minnesota may give them that opportunity in the late Sunday kicks. My opening total of 55.5 has been bet down to 54.
Green Bay at San Francisco (-3, 50)
I opened San Francisco -3.5. Sharps took the Packers pretty strong. I’m down to three. Bettors are starting to lay back -3 with Niners. They’ll have to hit the hosts harder to move me off the key number. This could end up being one of those -3/+ 3.5 games. I’ll try to avoid that if I can. My opening total of 47.5 has been bet all the way up to 50. Sharps that liked the Over wanted to get in before the public jumped on this high-profile TV game. Number will probably go higher given all the recent high-scoring prime-time showcases that have featured star quarterbacks.
Monday, Sept. 27
Philadelphia at Dallas (-3.5, 51.5)
We’ll do a ton of business on this game by kickoff. The Cowboys bring out the lovers and the haters. Philadelphia does as well to a lesser extent. Not much betting yet. My opener of Dallas -4 has come down to -3.5. Limited action so far on my opening total of 51.5. Be sure you monitor the markets on game day because that’s when this story will be told.
Best of luck to you this weekend. Market coverage direct from the heart of Las Vegas returns next week.
Chris Andrews is the Sportsbook Director at the South Point in Las Vegas, and has been a Nevada bookmaker for 30 years.