The first Sunday of the NFL regular season certainly didn't disappoint. Clear-cut favorites went 6-5 ATS (this excludes Seahawks/Falcons and Cowboys/Rams which closed around a pick'em at most books). However, the five dogs who covered also won outright, providing additional payouts to brave bettors who sprinkled some dough on the moneyline.
Here are the favorite covers
-Patriots (-7) beat Dolphins 21-11
-Bills (-6.5) beat Jets 27-17
-Raiders (-3) beat Panthers 34-30
-Ravens (-7) beat Browns 38-6
-Chargers (-2.5) beat Bengals 16-13
-Saints (-4) beat Bucs 34-23
Here are the dog covers (and wins)
-Bears (+ 2.5) beat Lions 27-23
-Jaguars (+ 7) beat Colts 27-20
-Packers (+ 1.5) beat Vikings 43-34
-Cardinals (+ 6.5) beat 49ers 24-20
-Washington (+ 5.5) beat Eagles 27-17
Washington and Jacksonville were especially sweet for contrarian bettors and sportsbooks. They were two of the most lopsided and unpopular plays of the day. Both received only about one-third of spread bets and came up huge for the house. Washington received sharp reverse line movement + 6 to + 5.5. Jacksonville opened + 7, was bet up to + 8 and then on game-day fell back down to + 7, signaling late smart money in their favor.
Wiseguys cashed their biggest play of the day when the Rams beat the Cowboys 20-17 on Sunday Night Football. In the most heavily bet game of the day, more than two-thirds of bets were laying the points with the Cowboys. However, despite this overwhelming support, we saw Dallas fall from -2.5 down to a pick'em. Why would oddsmakers hand out a better number to the public when they were already on Dallas to begin with? Because pros loaded up on Los Angeles, causing massive reverse line movement in favor of the contrarian home dog.
Sharps did, however, lose their Falcons play agains the Seahawks. More than two-thirds of bets were on Seattle, who opened -1 and got bet up to -2.5. But then Sunday morning pros steamed the Falcons, dropping them from + 2.5 down to a pick'em or even -1 favorite at some shops. The public got the last laugh as the Seahawks rolled 38-25.
Surprisingly, overs went 8-5. Typically, early season play is good for unders as the defense is ahead of the offense. But that failed to stay true on Sunday, which was good news for the public who leaned on nearly every over.
Today a new week begins with 2 Monday Night Football games, 2 NBA games (including Nuggets-Clippers Game 7), 7 MLB games and 1 NHL game. Let's discuss where the smart money is flowing for both MNF matchups.
For an updated breakdown of Monday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at noon ET. I'll also be joining Michael Lombardi and Patrick Meagher on The Lombardi Line at 12:25 p.m ET to offer a market update for Monday Night Football, NBA, MLB, NHL and more.
7:10 p.m. ET: Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants
The Steelers struggled out of the gate last season, starting 1-4 and losing Ben Roethlisberger to a season-ending injury. But Pittsburgh showed resilience to go 7-4 the rest of the way to finish a respectable 8-8. Meanwhile, the Giants struggled under rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, finishing with the 4th-worst record in the NFL at 4-12. This non-conference showdown opened with Pittsburgh listed as a 3.5-point road favorite. The public is rushing to the gate to lay the points and bet against the G-Men. With three-quarters of bets pounding backing the Steelers and a healthy Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh moved from -3.5 to -6. When the line got to -6, we saw some sharp buyback hit the Giants + 6, which has since dropped the line down to 5.5. Early smart money did pour in on Pittsburgh at -3.5 and -4. Where it stands now, the Giants are offering value as a home dog with an inflated line. New York is also super contrarian in a heavily bet Monday Night Football game, receiving only one-quarter of bets. We've also seen some sharp under money, dropping the total from 47 to 45. The forecast calls for 10-12 MPH winds at MetLife Stadium, which also aids the under.
10:20 p.m. ET: Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos
The Titans were one of the most impressive stories of 2019. Tennessee benched Marcus Mariota, inserted Ryan Tannehill, went 9-7 and won two playoff games, eventually falling to the Chiefs in the AFC Title Game. The Broncos started 0-4, turned to rookie quarterback Drew Lock and rebounded to go 7-5 down the stretch to finish 7-9. This line opened with Denver listed as a 2.5-point home favorite. Pros and Joes pounced on the opportunity to grab Tennessee as an underdog. This combination of sharp and recreational money pushed Tennessee from + 2 down to a pick'em. Then we saw the big injury to Broncos star defensive end Von Miller. This led to a flood of recreational money on the Titans. Roughly three-out-of-four bets are now laying the points with Titans, which has pushed Tennessee all the way to -3. At this point the Broncos now offer value with the key number of + 3 at home in a contrarian game with an inflated line. Denver does have one distinct advantage. Historically, playing at altitude at Mile High has been tough for visiting opponents, especially early in the season. We might also be looking at a low-scoring game. The total has dropped from 42 to 40 since opening. One injury to keep an eye out for tonight is Denver wide receiver Courtland Sutton. He's listed as questionable with a shoulder injury.