Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Lamar Jackson
It’s the first Sunday of the NFL season which means that bettors are locked, loaded and champing at the bit to get down on real NFL games for the first time in seven months.
We spoke with bookmakers across the country on Friday to get an idea of what to expect, but the real craziness will go down just before the games begin at 1 p.m. ET.
It’s one of the busiest betting days of the year, so let’s take a look at how the betting market is unfolding as big bets are flying in across the country:
- 4:05 p.m. ET: A bettor at PointsBet has won the largest amount in the company’s history in the U.S. — $600,000 on a single wager. The bettor wagered $30,000 per point on the Ravens (-6) against the Dolphins with a max win or loss of $600,000 via the company’s “Points Betting” product. The way Points Betting works is once the spread is covered, a bettor makes 1x the wager per point away from the spread. So, in this case, if the Ravens won by 6, the bettor would get nothing. Won by 7, the bettor gets 1x ($30,000); won by 11, it would be 5x ($150,000). The max win/loss for this particular wager was set at $600,000. So if the Ravens won by 26 or more, the bettor would win $600,000. Similarly, if the Ravens lost by 26 or more, the bettor would LOSE $600,000. The Ravens won by 49 — 59-10 — thanks to Lamar Jackson’s career game. PointsBet, an Australian company, is the only shop that does this kind of betting.
- 4:04 p.m. ET: Mobile sportsbooks are exposed on Eagles, Giants, Jets and Steelers because the biggest mobile sports betting states outside Nevada are New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Good start for those books as Eagles fail to cover and Jets lose outright.
- 12:45 p.m. ET: If you’ve been following along with the betting market all week you know by now that a Dolphins cover as a 7-point home underdog against the Ravens would be a big win for the house. The Birds are getting 95% of the money at DraftKings, easily the biggest number at their shop (and others as you’ll see below). The Ravens are followed by the two local teams, the Giants (84%) and Jets (82%), and then two other big favorites, the Seahawks (81%) and Eagles (73%).
- 12:40 p.m. ET: William Hill’s most lopsided game is Ravens at Dolphins, as 86% of the money is on the Ravens as a 7-point road favorite. Only one dog has seen more support — in terms of money — than the favorite and it is the Steelers who have taken 51% of the dollars as a 5.5-point pooch against the Patriots.
- 12:35 p.m. ET: The biggest win for the public today would be a cover by the Chiefs (-3.5) against the Jaguars. This has been one of the most intriguing games throughout the week and that trend has continued up until kick. William Hill, which has over 100 sportsbooks across the country, reports that the Kansas City at Jacksonville has attracted more money than any other game and makes up 17% of their total handle. Rams at Panthers (11%) and Bills at Jets (10%) are the next two most-bet contests. Pro bettors and recreational bettors happen to be split on those two matchups, as well.
- 12 p.m. ET: Earlier today we reported that the biggest bet of the morning at the Westgate SuperBook was a $45,000 (to win $10,000) bet on the Eagles moneyline at -450. Cantor Gaming’s biggest bet is also on a big moneyline, a $40,000 bet to win $8,000 on the Seahawks at -500.
- 11:30 a.m. ET: PointsBet reports that the Panthers have taken a lot of smart money and have moved from +3 to +1.5. They also noted that Jets (-2.5) vs. Bills will end up as their biggest decision today, which isn’t surprising given that they operate in New Jersey. The Jets have taken 90% of the tickets and money at their shop. Another game that has pitted sharps vs. squares is 49ers vs. Buccaneers (-1). PointsBet noted 55% of the tickets are on the Niners at their shop but 63% of the dollars are on Jameis Winston and the Bucs.
- 11 a.m. ET: DraftKings CEO Jason Robins told me a few weeks ago that his book wouldn’t be shy about taking big wagers during the season. It appears he’s staying true to his word: On Sunday morning, DK accepted two separate $100,000 wagers from the same customer: One on the Colts +6.5, the other on the Jaguars +3.5.
- 9:05 a.m. ET: The “easy” bet of the day, which we know is never easy seems to be the Eagles over the Redskins. Philadelphia is a 10-point home favorite over its division rival and one bettor at the SuperBook put $45,000 to win $10,000 on the Philadelphia moneyline — the largest wager they’ve taken today.
- 9 a.m. ET: I asked Jeff Sherman at the Westgate SuperBook to give us a quick sharp vs. square breakdown. He said the pros seem to be on the Jaguars, Bills, Panthers and Steelers. Casual money is coming in on the Chiefs, Eagles, Ravens, Lions and Cowboys.
- 8:50 a.m. ET: According to our Action Network data, the Chiefs-Jaguars game is attracting the most activity, in terms of total bets. We reported on Friday that that game was a clear Sharps vs. Squares encounter as the public is backing Kansas City while the smart money is coming in on Jacksonville.