You’d think this would be a relatively quiet NFL betting weekend. Six teams have byes, so there are only 12 games Sunday and Monday. Three of those have tall double-digit point spreads, which tend to slow down traffic (only sharps bet big ugly dogs, and many recreational bettors aren’t comfortable laying huge spreads). Yet, with all that, we’ve still been busy writing tickets this week at the South Point.
Let’s run through the betting action game by game. Matchups are presented in Nevada rotation order so you can make notes on your schedules.
Sunday, Oct. 24
Cincinnati at Baltimore (-6, 46.5)
I opened Baltimore -6.5. I dropped to -6 after taking a sharp bet on the Bengals. I still see 6.5’s out there. Customers are laying the six with me. I think we’ll be back to 6.5 eventually. Baltimore is getting some play on six-point teasers (asking the Ravens to just win the game). But, not as much as you might think at that price point. Sharps typically want to cross both the 3 and 7 with their teasers. The public watched the inconsistent Ravens barely get past Detroit and Indianapolis. My Over/Under opened 47. First bet was on the Over, so I moved to 47.5. Then a wiseguy bet Under. I saw the market trending that way, so I dropped a full point to 46.5. We’re still at 46.5. But, I see the market trending even lower elsewhere. I may be at 46 by the time you read this.
Carolina (-2.5, 43) at the NY Giants
This may be one of those games that hops between 2.5 and 3. I opened Carolina -2.5. First bet was on the Panthers. After I moved to three, one of my sharpest guys came in hard on the Giants. I’m back to 2.5. I see 3s out there (some with reduced vigorish). I won’t go back to three unless I take some more bets on the Panthers. The Giants could be a choice for sharps who play teasers, moving the Giants up through the 3 and the 7 to plus 8.5. The public typically only moves favorites down. Generally speaking, a team that offers clear betting value at + 3 also offers it in teasers at + 8.5, particularly in a game with such a low total. I opened 44 and I dropped straight to 43 (without stopping at 43.5) because of sharp betting on the Under.
Washington at Green Bay (-8, 48)
A lot of action on this one. I opened Green Bay -10. Sharps took Washington at + 10, + 9.5, + 9 and + 8.5. They walked me all the way down to my current line of + 8. The public is all over Green Bay in teasers and to win straight-up in moneyline parlays. Some sharps also teased Green Bay down through the 7 and the 3. Very popular betting game to this point across the full slate of options. I opened the total at 49. Sharps bet it down to 48.5 and then 48. Seeing something like that means you should check the weather! Current forecast is for windy conditions Sunday in Green Bay.
Kansas City (-5, 57.5) at Tennessee
Before Tennessee played this past Monday night vs. Buffalo, I had opened the game Kansas City -4 and took a little bit of play on the Chiefs. I reopened Tuesday at Kansas City -4.5. The rest of the market generally opened higher, which surprised me. The way Kansas City’s defense has been playing vs. quality offenses, I was afraid my opener had been a little high. Bettors laid -4.5 and -5 with KC. I moved to 5.5 and got decent two-way action for a while. Then a sharp stepped in hard on Tennessee, so I dropped back to five. Not as much teaser and moneyline play on the Chiefs as we’ve seen in recent road favorite spots. I actually took a big moneyline bet on the Titans to spring the upset. My total opened 56. They bet me Over 56, 56.5 and 57. I’m currently at 57.5. Still hardly anything on the Under (30 “grocery” dollars). Might take 58 (or more) for sharps to consider an Under bet.
Atlanta (-2.5, 47.5) at Miami
This goes on the “nobody knows they’re playing” list, as there has been very little action. It is currently, and probably will be, my least bet game of the day. I’m still at my opener of 2.5. Sharps are leaving it alone (but would likely take the dog at the key number of + 3). The public doesn’t want to lay points on the road with Atlanta, nor take a home dog that didn’t get a bye after playing in London last Sunday. My opening total of 48 is down to 47.5 after one sharp bet.
NY Jets at New England (-7, 42.5)
Two-way business at my opener of Patriots -7. But, the news here involves teasers and moneyline parlays. New England is VERY popular in both. Ticket count is about 9/1 for the Patriots. Customers aren’t laying -7. They’re laying -1 in teasers and just asking the Pats to win outright in ML parlays. Sharps know that the Jets are a divisional revenge dog off a bye week (Pats went OT vs. Dallas last week). Some may be waiting to see if sportsbooks make + 7.5 available between now and kickoff. Hardly any betting on my opening total of 42.5. That low total means points are at a premium for dog and teaser bettors. “Buying” six points in a game totaled in the low 40’s is a better bargain than doing so at totals like 48 or 55. More bang for your buck.
Detroit at LA Rams (-16, 50.5)
I opened Rams -15.5. First bet was on the dog, so I went down to 15. Then a fairly sharp customer laid -15. I went straight to -16. Bettors are starting to lay -16. I see -16.5s out there, so I have a feeling this price will go up. It might take 17 to bring in more sharp action on the Lions. If the public is going to drive it that high, sharps might as well wait for it. The Rams are getting teaser play from the public. I wouldn’t recommend that approach here. Not much bang for your buck when you’re “buying” numbers 11-16 “to make the line cheaper” in a high-totaled game. I opened 50. After one sharp bet Over, I moved to 50.5.
Philadelphia at Las Vegas (-3, 49)
We’ve been writing very good two-way business at my opener of Raiders -3. Ticket count is 3/1 for the hosts, which isn’t surprising in this city. Sharps are expected to favor the dog. Some stores are already charging a higher vig on Philadelphia + 3. I’ve taken some moneyline play on the Eagles to win outright. My total opened 49.5. They bet me Under 49.5 and Under 49, so I went to 48.5. After taking a big bet on the Over I moved back to 49. Good two-way play on the total but at different prices.
Chicago at Tampa Bay (-12, 47)
Sharps stepped in pretty hard on Chicago early on. I opened Tampa Bay -13.5. Sharps bet the Bears + 13.5, + 13 and + 12.5. I’m down to a dozen now and I’m getting some buy back on the Bucs. But, I still see the line lower in some spots. Sharps (and some followers) may keep betting Chicago + 12. My opening total of 47 has received two-way play. No reason to move it.
Houston at Arizona (-18, 47.5)
I opened Arizona -17. First bet was on Arizona. I went straight to -18 (skipping -17.5). They laid that. I went to -18.5. Wiseguys started playing the dog at that price. I’m back to 18. Decent two-play play on my opening total of 47.5. Still there.
Indianapolis at San Francisco (-4, 43.5)
Jimmy Garoppolo will get the start at quarterback for the 49ers. I opened San Francisco -3.5 and sharps laid that, so I went to -4. I’ve told you in the past that sharp bets “away” from the key number carry a lot of weight. I’m writing pretty even business at the four. I wouldn’t be surprised if the line starts to drop before kickoff. Indianapolis has covered three straight and should have beaten Baltimore outright in that stretch. This is the Sunday night game. People will be looking for reasons to bet. Is Garappolo a reason to bet? My Over/Under has been all over the place. I opened 45.5. They bet me Under 45.5, Under 45, Under 44 (I skipped 44.5) and Under 43 (I skipped 43.5). After that big drop, I started taking Over bets at 43. But, after moving up to 43.5, more Under bets came in. Preliminary weather forecast is pretty nasty. That’s what the money was telling us.
Monday, Oct. 25
New Orleans (-4.5, 43) at Seattle
Very good two-way action at my opening line of New Orleans -4.5. We have a fairly even ticket count. The money’s pretty even, too. The line could move between now and kickoff, but I have no idea which way. There probably won’t be a bandwagon effect for Geno Smith at QB for the Seahawks. New Orleans lost outright as favorites to the Giants and Carolina. People are always going to bet MNF no matter the matchup. Allegiances may stay split at 4.5 all the way until kickoff. I opened the total at 44.5. Strong Under support drove it straight to 43.5. They kept betting Under, so I dropped to 43. Not much action since the move to 43. Under money stopped, but no buy back yet on the Over.
Best of luck to you this weekend. I’ll have a special World Series report for you before the Fall Classic starts Tuesday night. You’ve probably already circled next week’s marquee college games Penn State/Ohio State, Michigan/Michigan State and Georgia/Florida. A busy sports betting market is about to get busier!
Chris Andrews is the Sportsbook Director at the South Point in Las Vegas and has been a Nevada bookmaker for 30 years.