Andrews: Inside the betting action on a wild, unprecedented NFL Week 18 schedule

January 8, 2023 01:26 AM
Andrews: Inside the betting action on a wild, unprecedented NFL Week 18 schedule

What a time of the year to be a bookmaker.

First, all of the college football bowl games and I wrote about how crazy the markets are with these lately because of all of the changes, opt-outs, transfers, etc. Now the final week of the NFL regular season and the playoff scenarios, backup quarterbacks, who needs the game, who's sitting their starters – and now we have the NFL's decision to cancel the Bills-Bengals game and how all that went down with the seeding, the coin flip. I gotta tell ya, it's been a hectic few weeks for sure.

The official Nevada rotation is all out of whack this week versus when some of these games are actually being played, so let's call it, "semi-official" Nevada rotation order. Here we go . . .


Kansas City Chiefs (-9, 52.5) at Las Vegas Raiders

We opened this Chiefs -9.5 before the Monday night game. Then the speculation was that Kansas City was going to get home-field advantage regardless and this game's meaning to them took a blow, so the number went down to 7.5. As it stands now, they might need the game, so we're back up to 9 on the Chiefs. We have good two-way action on the game. One wise guy bought the game up to 10 with the Raiders when we were at 9.5 for a decent-sized bet. Some sharps laid the 7.5, but good action both ways on this game. We opened the total 52.5. The first bet was on the Over and we went to 53, now we are back down to 52.5. Really good action on this total.


Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-6.5, 40)

We opened the Jaguars 7. They took the 7, took the 6.5. We went to 6 and we got a lot of money laying the 6, some wise guy money but mostly public and enough to move me back to 6.5. Sharp money took the 7 but it has been mostly public money since then, both ways. We opened the total 40 and haven't had any movement.


New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-3, 37)

A lot of movement here. This is a crazy one. We opened the Dolphins -2.5. They bet us the Jets all the way down. They took 2.5, took 2, and we wound up going to pick-’em. Then they started betting the Dolphins at pick, they laid 1, they laid 2, and we are now at Dolphins -3. We opened the total 39.5. They bet me Under 39.5, Under 38.5, and we're down to 37. Part of this is on the news that Joe Flacco will start for the Jets. We were at Miami -2.5 and when that came out we got bet up to Miami -3.


Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-6, 41.5)

We opened the Seahawks -6.5. Wise guys took the 6.5 and we're now at 6. The public is laying it a little bit. Good action on the game but bettors seem a little bit tentative this week, so nothing too crazy in this game just yet. We opened the total 41.5 and I have a pretty decent amount of money on the Over but not enough to move me yet.


New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-14, 43)

We opened 13.5. We went to 14 and a lot of that was with the market. Word is the Giants are essentially playing "nobody" and the Eagles may try to play Jalen Hurts. I guess that is kind of up in the air right now. As far as the total, we opened 42. They bet me Over 42, Over 42.5, and I'm at 43.


Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.5, 40)

We opened the Steelers -3. They took the 3 off me and I am at 2.5 now. The public is laying back the 2.5 on the Steelers, so I have a feeling we might get back to 3 in this game. The wise guys took the 3 but the public is playing the Steelers at -2.5. We opened the total 39, they bet me Over and I'm at 40.


Indianapolis Colts (-2.5, 38) at Houston Texans

We opened the Colts -3. I really thought this was a horrible number. They took the 3 and I went all the way to 2 with it. Then they laid the 2 and the 2.5 but I'm still at 2.5. Nothing on the total here. We opened 38 and haven't moved it.


Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (-14.5, 39.5)

We opened the Niners -14. We got a little bit of play and then Christian McCaffrey went from questionable to now it looks like he's going to play, so I went to 14.5 with the game. There's just not much interest in this game. We opened the total 40 and we're down to 39.5 based on just a little bit of action.


Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (-3, 40)

We opened the Chargers -3 and the first bet came in on the Chargers minus the 3. We go to 3.5 and they take the Broncos plus the 3.5 and plus the 3. Next thing you know, the favorite flips across the market because people start figuring the Chargers might not need the game. Then they lay me the Broncos -3, I go to 3.5, and they took the 3.5. We're back down to 3 on the game and we've got a middle here that you can drive a truck through. I need either team to win this game by 4 points or more. I told my guys this week, you have to move these lines like bowl games. It is not standard procedure this week. We opened the total 40 and haven't moved it.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-4, 40.5)

We opened the Falcons -6.5. They took 6.5, they took 6, they took 5, they took 4.5, so we are at 4 now and I am getting some money on the favorite now at -4. Public and sharp money took it with the Bucs but some sharp money laying the -4, too, I just haven't moved it yet. We opened the total 39, they bet me Over that, I went to 40, they bet me Over that, I went to 41. Then they bet me Under 41 and we're at 40.5.


Dallas Cowboys (-7, 40) at Washington Commanders

We opened the Cowboys -4.5. They laid me 4.5, laid me 5.5, laid me 6. This was around the time that Sam Howell was announced as the starter for Washington. I went to 7, they laid the 7 and I went to 7.5. Then they took back the 7.5, so we are at 7 right now. We opened the total 41, they bet me Under and I'm at 40.


Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-3.5, 42)

We opened the Saints -4, they took it and I'm at 3.5. I opened the total at 42 and haven't budged. Another game that seems to have very little interest.


New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (-7, 43.5)

We opened this 7.5 before the Monday night game. This game had been off the board for most of the week but we reopened it 7. Not much action on this game yet. We opened the total 42.5 before Monday's game and then reopened later in the week at 43.5 just to be in line with the market.


Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-9, 39.5)

We had this one at 7 before the Monday night game. Again, we reopened this later in the week and put up Bengals -9. They laid me the 9 and I went to 10 with it. They took the 10, they took the 9.5, so we are back to 9 with the game. Whereas the Buffalo game doesn't have much action, this game has a ton of action. Certainly some of the movement on the Bengals has to do with speculation and then eventually confirmation that Lamar Jackson is not going to play, but they took the 10 and the 9.5 pretty aggressively which kind of surprised me. I guess the Bengals are pretty upset about the coin-flip scenarios determining home field and such. The total is at 39.5 and we haven't moved it.


Minnesota Vikings (-6, 42.5) at Chicago Bears

This is a crazy one here, too. I said on Gill Alexander's show on VSiN on Monday, this game opened Vikings -1 and that’s one of the worst lines I've ever seen in my life. Did everybody forget how horrible the Bears are? So I opened it Vikings -2, trying to stay ahead of it. The number kept going up and when it got to 4, I continued to try to stay ahead of it and I went to 5. It was around this time that Nathan Peterman was announced as the starting quarterback for the Bears. They laid me the 5, I went 6, they laid that, I went to 7, they laid that, and I went to 8. Then the sharp guys came in and took the 8. I went down to 7 and they took the 7 as well, so I moved it all the way back down to 6. We opened the total 46.5, but with the Peterman news, it dropped quickly – from 46.5 to 45.5 to 43, and now we're at 42.5 – with some action but a lot based on the change at quarterback.


Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-5, 49.5)

We opened the Packers -4.5, they laid me the 4.5 and I'm at 5. We're writing pretty even business at the 5. We opened the total 48.5, they bet me Over and I'm at 49.5.


Chris Andrews is the Sportsbook Director at South Point Hotel in Las Vegas, a member of the Sports Betting Hall of Fame, and has been a Nevada bookmaker for over 40 years.


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