The Raiders christened their new Las Vegas home in style last night, upsetting the Saints 34-24 on Monday Night Football. It was a huge win for sharps and contrarians as only about one-third of spread bets took Vegas and the points. The Raiders opened at + 5.5, rose to + 6.5 and closed at + 4. Vegas always had value as a home contrarian dog but it was the late move on game day that really solidified their status as a sharp play. Late Monday afternoon and into the evening, we saw the Raiders plummet from + 5.5 to + 4. Some books even closed at + 3.5. Bettors should always pay attention to late moves like this because they happen when limits are raised and the biggest sharp bets come in. When bettors saw the drop to + 4, they knew wiseguys were all over Vegas.
Pros were also on the MNF under, but to no avail. It opened at 51.5, closed at 47.5 and landed on 58, handing public over bettors an easy cash. Overs have become a huge storyline through two NFL weeks. They are now 20-12 (62.5%) overall.
Today we have a relatively quiet slate on tap with 1 NBA game and 16 MLB games. Let's discuss a trio of matchups receiving notable sharp action from respected bettors.
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 be co-hosting The Lombardi Line from noon-1 p.m. ET and then co-hosting Betting Across America from 3-5 p.m. ET.
7:10 p.m. ET: Tampa Bay Rays (36-19) at New York Mets (24-30)
The Rays upset Jacob deGrom and the Mets 2-1 last night, winning as big + 170 road underdogs. Tonight, Tampa starts ace Blake Snell (4-1, 3.05 ERA) while the Mets counter with Seth Lugo (2-3, 4.34 ERA). This line opened with the Rays listed as short -120 road favorites and the Mets a + 110 home dog. We've seen sharps rush to the window to grab the Rays, pushing Tampa up from -120 to -130. The Mets are 18-16 against righties this season but just 6-14 against lefties. Tampa is also a favorite with a low total (7.5). Historically, low totals benefit favorites as the fewer amount of expected runs scored are more likely to come from the better team.
8:05 p.m. ET: St. Louis Cardinals (26-25) at Kansas City Royals (22-32)
The Royals stole last night's series opener against the Cardinals 4-1, cashing as hefty + 170 home underdogs. In tonight's Game 2, St. Louis starts lefty Austin Gomber (0-1, 2.37 ERA) while Kansas City counters with righty Brady Singer (3-4, 4.14 ERA). This line opened with the Cardinals listed as short -120 road favorites and the Royals a + 110 home dog. We've seen smart money pour in on the Royals, dropping the Cards from -120 to -110 and KC from + 110 to + 100. Essentially, smart money on the Royals is moving this game toward a pick'em.
9 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets
This is Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. The Lakers lead the series 2-0 and are coming off a thrilling 105-103 win thanks to an Anthony Davis buzzer-beating three pointer. Despite the heartbreaking loss, Denver managed to cover as 7.5-point underdogs. This Game 3 line opened with the Lakers listed as 6.5-point favorites, the shortest spread of the series thus far. The public is once again backing Los Angeles. However, despite receiving two-thirds of spread bets, the Lakers haven't moved off of 6.5. This signals a sharp line freeze on the Nuggets with books refusing to hand out a better number to Denver backers. The total is 214. The public is hammering the over but it also hasn't moved, signaling some liability on the under. Playoff unders are cashing at roughly a 60% clip in the bubble.