Vegas Money Moves - Week 9
November 2, 2018
By Micah Roberts
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Nevada sports books got off to a great start in NFL Week 9 action on Thursday night when the Raiders laid down in a 34-3 loss at San Francisco, who was starting third-string quarterback Nick Mullens. The spread moved from 49ers -3 to the Raiders being -1.5 after the Mullens announcement and the public couldn't get enough of the Raiders and the Over, a total which dropped from 47.5 down to 44 mostly on air.
Now the books get to tackle Sunday's card and things are looking positive for most betting shops because the action isn't too weighted on multiple games.
"If we can get the Ravens to win in the early games, I think we'll be positioned well to have a decent day if we can get one of those bigger underdogs to cover or win outright," said CG Technology VP of risk management Jason Simbal, who noted it's been a rough past two weeks with bettors doing very well.
The Ravens won at Pittsburgh, 26-14, in Week 4 as three-point underdogs. The home team always seem to be -3 in this AFC North rivalry, but lately, it's been the Ravens getting the money going 6-1-1 against the spread in the last eight meetings.
"The Steelers game has been our most bet game of the week so far and it's mostly from the fans (public)," Simbal said. "We had one respected bettor also play the Steelers for the limit."
William Hill sports books have seen 74 percent of the cash taken on the Steelers and 78 percent of the tickets are written on the Steelers as well. CG Tech books have the Ravens -2.5 -115 and the South Point, which uses exclusively flat numbers, is Ravens -2.5 flat. Every other book in Las Vegas is using Baltimore -3 (Even).
Based on CG Tech and South Point's number on the Ravens, you can expect the rest of the city to follow suit. Meaning if you like the Steelers lay the -120 at +3 to get the most key number in the NFL. If you like the Ravens, wait it out a little longer and you may be able to lay -1.5 at some point. If a book gets off -3 (Even), it won't take much action to get them down to -1.5.
The most weighted game at William Hill books is the Chiefs (-8.5) getting 99 percent of the action at Cleveland and 95 percent of the tickets written. A new head coach and offensive coordinator for Cleveland this week isn't exactly lending confidence to bettors. However, Simbal did say he took a limit wager on the Browns at +8.5 moving him to +8. The Mirage has the Chiefs at -7.5 so at least a couple people like the Browns to respond.
"Our next most bet side has been the Chargers taking +1 at Seattle, but it's mostly from fans," said Simbal who has the Seahawks -1 (-105) at home.
The Rams are a perfect 8-0 straight up and they'll be tested at New Orleans on Sunday against a hot Saints squad that has won six straight and covered their last five. The Rams are the highest rated team in the NFL but have had trouble covering the large numbers on a weekly basis, going 1-4 ATS in their last five.
"The most sharp action we've seen has been on the Rams taking +1.5, pick 'em and also on the money-line at a small plus-price," said Simbal. "But other than that it's a fairly evenly bet game as far as ticket countsgo. Only eight more tickets written on the Rams over the Saints."
William Hill books have 59 percent of the tickets written on the Rams, but have 65 percent of the cash on the Saints.
"Sharps are also on the Jets +3 and +3 (-115) pushing us to +3 (-120) in what is likely just a play against Miami and (Brock) Osweiler," said Simbal.
The Dolphins won 20-12 at the Jets in Week 2, but that was with starting QB Ryan Tannehill. Since Osweiler came up with a huge 31-28 home win against the Bears they've lost their last two games with the defense giving up 74 points. Miami has gone 'over' in its last three games while the Jets have lost two straight and gone 'over' in four of their last five.
"They (sharp money) also laid -1 with the Redskins while most of the fans have been taking the Falcons," said Simbal.
The Falcons have regrouped and won their last two games while the Redskins have won and covered their last three with all three staying 'under' the total. This total is steady at 48 points at most books.
"We haven't seen a great deal of bets on the Bears-Bills game maybe because the price is too high (-10), but we did see one person buy off -10 to -9.5 and another guy buy up to +10.5 -120 with the Bills," said Simbal.
William Hill books have seen 83 percent of the cash wagered on the game taking the Bears.
"The sharp total plays of the week are the Lions-Vikings Under 49.5 and we're at 49 now. The Dolphins-Jets total has gone from 44.5 down to 44 and they also bet the Packers-Patriots Under 57," Simbal said.
Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 14 years.
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