The 2nd Sunday of the NFL season was about as thrilling as it gets for bettors. Favorites went 13-1 straight up but only 7-7 ATS as many dogs barked and kept it close. If you like rooting for points, Sunday was for you. Much to the delight of public bettors and the chagrin of sportsbooks, Overs went 9-5 on the day.
The Falcons were the sharpest play of the day and ended up cashing for wiseguys even though Atlanta choked away the game in embarrassing fashion. The Falcons opened + 7 against the Cowboys and fell all the way down to + 3 on game-day thanks to an avalanche of smart money. Some books even closed at + 2.5. The Falcons jumped out to an early 20-0 lead and led 39-30 with roughly 3-minutes left in the game, only to lose to the Cowboys 40-39. Still, despite the epic collapse, Atlanta covered for sharps.
Wiseguys also cashed an epic fade the trendy dog play on the Colts. Despite three-out-of-four spread bets backing the Vikings, we saw Indianpolis go from -3 to -3.5, signaling sharp reverse line movement in their favor. The Colts easily won and covered 28-11.
The biggest contrarian play of the day to cash was the Chargers. Only about one-out-of-five bets were brave enough to take Los Angeles (+ 9) at home against the Chiefs. The Chargers only lost by three points, 23-20. Contrarians also cashed on the Dolphins (+ 5.5, lost to Bills 31-28) and Broncos (+ 6.5, lost to Steelers 26-21).
The public had big wins and covers with the Rams (+ 2, beat Eagles 37-19), 49ers (-7, beat Jets 31-13), Packers (-6.5, beat Lions 42-21), Ravens (-7, beat Texans 33-16), Cardinals (-7, beat Washington 30-15), Jaguars (+ 7, lost to Titans 33-30) and Seahawks (-4.5, beat Patriots 35-30). All of these teams received at least two-thirds of spread bets.
Today a new week begins with Monday Night Football, 11 MLB games and Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Let's discuss where the smart money is flowing for three matchups tonight.
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 12 p.m. 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.
6:05 p.m. ET: Philadelphia Phillies (27-26) at Washington Nationals (20-32)
We're entering the final week of the MLB and postseason berths are at stake. Philadelphia is getting hot at the right time (won three of their last four) and has a 74% chance to make the playoffs according to ESPN. Meanwhile, the Nationals are way out of it and have nothing to play for at this point. In tonight's series opener, the Phillies start undefeated Zach Wheeler (4-0, 2.62 ERA) and the Nats counter with veteran Anibal Sanchez (2-5, 7.38 ERA). This line opened with the Phillies listed as hefty -145 road favorites and the Nats a + 135 home dog. Pro money has poured in on the Phillies, pushing this line up from Philly -145 to -155. Some books are inching closer to -160. Road favorites have cashed at roughly a 60% clip this season. The Phillies are 19-13 as a favorite and the Nats are 10-18 as a dog. The Phils have had Washington's number this season, going a perfect 6-0 thus far.
8:05 p.m. ET: St. Louis Cardinals (26-24) at Kansas City Royals (21-32)
These Interleague foes are trending in completely opposite directions. The Cardinals are riding a four-game winning streak and now have an 80.6% chance to make the playoffs according to ESPN. On the other hand, the Royals have lost three straight and are eliminated from postseason contention. Tonight, St. Louis starts veteran Adam Wainwright (5-1, 2.87 ERA) while Kansas City counters with Carlos Hernandez (0-0, 3.86 ERA). This line opened with the Cardinals listed as -145 road favorites and the Royals + 135 home dogs. Heavy money has rushed to the window to lay the minus number with St. Louis, pushing the Cards from -145 up to -150. Some shops are closer to -155. The Cards are + 11 in run differential this season and the Royals are -34.
8:15 p.m. ET: New Orleans Saints (1-0) at Las Vegas Raiders (1-0)
This Monday Night Football matchup features a pair of non-conference teams coming off impressive wins. The Saints humbled Brady and the Bucs in Week 1, winning and covering 34-23 as 4-point home favorites. The Raiders outlasted the Panthers on the road, winning and covering 34-30 in a shootout as 3-point favorites. This line opened with the Saints listed as 5.5-point road favorites. The public is all over New Orleans, which pushed this line up from Saints -5.5 to -6. Some books even reached -6.5. But then Saints star wide receiver Michael Thomas was ruled out with an injury and this line ticked back down to 5.5. The Raiders, who are making their Vegas debut at Allegiant Stadium, have value as a home contrarian dog with an inflated line in what will be the most heavily bet game of the week. The total opened at a high 50.5 and has fallen down to 48.5 due to the Thomas injury and some smart under money.