Traffic continues to exceed expectations at Las Vegas sportsbooks. It was already crowded at the South Point Friday afternoon in advance of a huge football weekend.
Here’s a breakdown of early pro football betting. Matchups are presented in Nevada Rotation order so you can make notes on your schedules.
Sunday, Oct. 3
Washington (-1, 48) at Atlanta
I opened pick-em. Sharps bet Washington at pick-em, and kept laying -1 after my line move. Not enough there to make me lift the game to -1.5. I see it’s moving in that direction elsewhere in the market. I might be there (or higher) by kickoff. If the line settles between 1.5 and 2.5, Atlanta will get consideration from sharps for six-point teasers that cross both the 3 and the 7. Sharps like taking short dogs up. Recreational bettors usually prefer moving favorites down. Very little action on my opening total of 48. Honestly, this is a game a lot of bettors are skipping past.
Detroit at Chicago (-3, 42)
Lousy game, great action! I haven’t moved off my opener of Chicago -3. But, we’re doing a helluva lot of business. Lions bettors are taking the points. Bears backers have been laying -145 and -150 on the moneyline to win the game straight up (risk $145 or $150 to win $100, or anything in that ratio). I’m up to Chicago -155 on the moneyline now. I opened the total at 43. Sharps bet Under 43 and Under 42.5. I’m holding fast at 42 now, but I see lower numbers elsewhere. Iffy quarterbacks. Plus, I see there’s a chance of rain Sunday in Chicago.
Tennessee (-6.5, 44.5) at the NY Jets
Surprisingly good two-way action. But, never at the same price. I opened Tennessee -8. Sharps took the Jets + 8, the Jets + 7.5, and kept betting big on the Jets + 7. I had to drop to 6.5 even though I didn’t really want to. Since the drop, I’ve been getting a lot of money on Tennessee -6.5. I’ll need to dodge a seven on Sunday. Looks like a classic “pros against the public” game. Pro bettors are on the Jets at + 7 or more. The public loves Tennessee at -6.5. My opening total of 46 has dropped to 44.5. Sharps liked Under 46, Under 45.5, and Under 45. No bets on the Over yet. Weather doesn’t look to be a factor. Probably more due to Jets games finishing on 33, 31, and 26 so far this season.
Cleveland (-2, 52) at Minnesota
So far it’s been all Browns money. I opened Cleveland -1. They laid me the one. I went to Cleveland -1.5 and they laid that. They’re still laying the two, so I may have to go higher. I’m also getting moneyline play on the Browns at -130. Sharps will be looking at Minnesota at + 7.5 to + 8.5 in six-point teasers. I’m not getting a lot of action on that yet, though. They know the public likes the Browns, which could drive the spread higher. Sharps know when to bet early and when to wait. My opening total of 53 was bet down to 52. I’ve been getting some buy back on the Over at 52. But, I see other stores as low as 51.5.
Indianapolis at Miami (-2, 42.5)
Not a big betting game. Limited interest so far. I opened Miami -2.5. I took a few bets on the Colts, and saw the market trending downward. I moved to Miami -2. Light, two-way action at the new number. There’s been a lot of sharp play on the Under. I opened 43.5. Pro bettors went Under 43.5 and 43. Both offenses have struggled to move the ball this season. Oh, Indy is another short dog that sharps will probably tease through the 3 and the 7. A few of those this week.
Carolina at Dallas (-4, 51.5)
Great betting game here. I opened Dallas -4.5 before kickoff of the Monday night game vs. Philadelphia. Customers bet that hard. So, I re-opened Tuesday morning at Dallas -5. Sharps took Carolina at + 5 and + 4.5 for pretty big bets. I’m down to four, though I still see some 4.5s out there. The public will keep betting the Cowboys. I pay attention when my sharper players like a dog this much. Might be due to a big rest and preparation advantage. Carolina had a cakewalk in Houston last Thursday. Dallas got fired up for a hated divisional rival this past Monday. Sharps will take + 4.5 or better with that multi-day edge. My opening total of 50.5 has been bet up to 51.5.
NY Giants at New Orleans (-7, 42)
I opened New Orleans -8. One of my sharpest players jumped on the Giants. I moved straight to -7 without stopping at 7.5. I’m glad I did. There aren’t any 7.5’s in the market as I write this. Anyone who stopped there got it taken out. My total went up at 43.5. A very sharp bettor played Under. I moved a full 1.5 points down to 42 off that one bet. Saints have played three Unders so far, landing on 41, 33, and 41. That may explain some of the sharp Giants interest here. Points are at a premium in low-totaled NFL games.
Kansas City (-6.5, 54.5) at Philadelphia
You can probably guess that the Chiefs are big in moneyline parlays and teasers. The public doesn’t think they’ll lose outright two weeks in a row. That’s why they call it gambling! Interesting action. I opened KC -5.5 before the Monday night game. I had enough bet on KC to push me to -6. After the Eagles played so poorly in Dallas, I re-opened Tuesday morning at Kansas City -7. Sharp guys took Philly + 7 pretty quickly. I’m now at 6.5. Nothing but Chiefs money at that price. Very little action on the Over/Under so far.
Houston at Buffalo (-17, 47)
Pretty good action for a spread this high. I opened Buffalo -17.5. Sharps took the hook, then bet Houston again at + 17. I went to 16.5. Money started coming in on the Bills then. I’m back to 17. I see it even higher elsewhere in the market. Worth noting that sharps didn’t “reload” on Houston when I went back to + 17. When sharps “love” a dog at a price, they’ll often re-bet whenever they see it. Not happening here. Strikes me as more of a value bet. I opened the total at 48. I dropped to 47 after one bet from a sharper player. Not much right now outside of that one bet.
Arizona at the LA Rams (-4, 55)
Another great betting game. I opened the Rams -6. Sharps took Arizona at + 6, + 5.5, + 5, and + 4.5. I’m not a big Cardinals believer. A lot of others sure are. Sharps may be betting on a Rams letdown after the huge win over Tampa Bay. I’m getting money back on the Rams at -4. A lot of volume. But, not at the same price like we saw in that Titans/Jets game earlier. I’ll have to sweat a five. Not a common final margin. I’ve got bigger fish to fry than worrying about a five. My opening total of 54.5 is up to 55 on an accumulation of public bets Over.
Seattle at San Francisco (-3, 52.5)
All Seahawks money so far. I haven’t moved off my opener of SF -3. I may have to. We post all football point spreads at 11/10 here at the South Point. Other shops can adjust their vigorish at either 3 or 2.5. You can understand why I’m more hesitant than others to move off the key number of three. If Niners money doesn’t eventually show, I’m going to have to move. That sets up a “weak three” situation for teaser consideration. Sharps love taking dogs of + 2.5 up to + 8.5 in teasers. Here they might as well go to + 9 now knowing that the point spread will likely drop. It’s like getting 6.5 points instead of 6 on a teaser. Don’t do this on every three. Makes more sense on a “weak three” where the “true” line is more like 2.75 or so. My opening total of 52.5 hasn’t moved. Limited action has been split at that number.
Baltimore at Denver (pick-em, 44.5)
All Ravens money. My opener of Denver -1.5 was bet down to -1, and then pick-em. I see Baltimore has moved to the favorite in some spots. I haven’t been bet enough to move there yet. I probably will soon. Only very small action so far on my opening total of 44.5.
Pittsburgh at Green Bay (-6.5, 45.5)
Looks like TJ Watt is going to be back in the lineup for Pittsburgh. Sharps took the Steelers at my opener of + 7. Many are still taking them at + 6.5. But, the public is all over the Packers at that price. Green Bay will also get a lot of public consideration for “just have to win the game” bets on moneyline parlays and teasers. They all thought that about the Pittsburgh/Buffalo game and look at what happened! I’ve taken some Under bets on my opening total of 45.5. Not enough yet to move the number.
Tampa Bay (-7, 49) at New England
I opened Tampa Bay -6.5, much to my chagrin. It’s been all Tampa Bay money at -6.5 and -7. I’m getting a little back on the Patriots + 7. But, my ticket count is about 15/1 for the Bucs. Why haven’t I moved my line to 7.5? That really exposes us to a middle on the key number of seven. Sharps (and Patriots fans) would likely come in hard on New England at + 7.5. This is going to be a heavily bet game in the Sunday night TV spot. It was the most talked-about matchup all through the summer. The South Point would lose (or push) every single bet in that scenario in a huge-handle game if the final margin landed exactly on seven. Bookmakers must be responsible managers for their employers. We’re exposed enough on this game as it is. Tampa Bay is the No. 1 choice this week in moneyline parlays (KC second, Tennessee third). Tampa Bay is a very popular teaser bet. Sports books all over the country will be rooting for the Patriots to spring an upset. Not much betting yet on my opening total of 49. Over money will come in this weekend, like it does for almost all big TV games.
Monday, Oct. 4
Las Vegas at the LA Chargers (-3, 51.5)
This could generate the biggest handle for a Monday night game all season. Obviously the Raiders are bet heavily here in Vegas. The Chargers have a strong following as well. My opener of Chargers -3.5 was bet down to a field goal. I’m writing very good business both ways on the three. I expect we’ll stick there. Three seems like a good settling point in this market. My opening total of 53 has been bet all the way down to 51.5. The public will probably bet Over from now until kickoff. If you like the Over, get in now before the number rises. If you like the Under but missed out on higher numbers, patience should pay off Monday.
Good luck! If you’re a baseball fan, look for bulletins about market coverage for the MLB playoffs next week on my twitter account @andrewssports.
Chris Andrews is the Sportsbook Director at the South Point in Las Vegas, and has been a Nevada bookmaker for 30 years.