Rovell: Sportsbooks Have ‘Very Good Day Overall,’ Thanks to a Few Upsets
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Drew Lock
Sunday Afternoon Updates
11:55 p.m. ET: Some of the biggest bets we heard of today came through in the Sunday Night Football game — a $110,000 wager at CG Technology to win $100,000 on the Rams -1 and $50,000 on the Rams moneyline at the SuperBook — but John Murray from the SuperBook said his shop had “a very good day overall.”
It wasn’t quite as good for New Jersey operator PointsBet, but both books were aided by the Chiefs pulling the upset in New England. PointsBet had 70% of the money on the Pats, while the SuperBook took an $80,000 bet right before kickoff on the Patriots -3.
Murray also mentioned that the SuperBook “won huge” on the Redskins covering at Green Bay and the Broncos pulling off the upset over the listless Texans, who closed as 8-point favorites.
Houston’s 14-point home loss wiped out a ton of teaser and parlay liability for sportsbooks from bettors who were expecting Deshaun Watson & Co. to back-up their win last week over the Patriots with a more inspiring effort.
Darren Rovell isn’t buying Eli Manning in his return to action on Monday Night Football. PointsBet is giving everyone in New Jersey boosted odds to Fade Rovell and bet on the Over of 249.5 Passing Yards for Manning (normally -105, now +120). New customers get an exclusive promotion: Deposit $50, bet with $150. No strings attached. No rollover required.
2:37 p.m. ET: CG Technology in Las Vegas took a massive $110,000 bet on the Rams -1. L.A. faces the Seattle Seahawks at home. It’s an interesting wager in that it runs counter to a lot of what we’ve seen about this game in the marketplace.
Nearly two-thirds of the betting tickets are on Seattle as a short road underdog, per our data. That number at DraftKings was even higher this morning: 68% of tickets on the Seahawks. And earlier today, John Murray from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook had this to say about Sunday Night Football: “We’re going to need the Rams huge tonight — all the parlays are going to roll to Seattle tonight. There’s already a 3-to-1 ticket count on Seattle.”
So the big bet on the Rams might not make CG Technology all that nervous if it has similar liabilities looming on Seattle.
Live from the Westgate
John Murray from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook was kind enough to let me hang behind the scenes in the run-up to Sunday’s games. Here’s a running list of quotes, observations, etc. The most recent entry is at the top.
11:47 a.m. ET: The biggest needs looming for Westgate on the early slate? Redskins +13 at Packers, Bills +6 vs. Ravens and Broncos +8 at Texans. But it’s the later games that have Murray’s attention: “We need New England later, which is so weird to say. Whenever we need the Patriots, they never seem to come through. We’re going to need the Rams huge tonight — all the parlays are going to roll to Seattle tonight. There’s already a 3-to-1 ticket count on Seattle.”
11:40 a.m. ET: The Bengals are coming off their first win the of the season and travel to Cleveland to play the Browns. Most of the market has Cincy as a 7-point underdog, but not Westgate. “We just moved Bengals +6.5,” Murray said. Lot of money coming in on Bengals.”
11:35 a.m. ET: We talked below about the Ravens being wildly popular favorites at the Bills. The same is true at Westgate. “We are taking nothing but Ravens money,” Murray said. “I think that number is pretty high. We went to 6.5 from 6 but I think that numbers too high on the road and three extra days to prepare for that. We’re putting it down to 6.”
11:34 a.m. ET: Murray said everyone is betting the 49ers as 1-point dogs at the Saints. “Sharps and the squares. We just moved New Orleans -1.”
Sunday Morning Update
Two of the most heavily bet games on the board are also shaping up to be huge decisions for sportsbooks.
Ravens-Bills: The Ravens have won eight straight, including victories against the Seahawks, Patriots, Texans, Rams and 49ers. They’ve won at home. They’ve won on the road. And bettors are doubling down on them winning (and covering) again this week at the Bills.
PointsBet’s Matt Chaprales said they’re “absolutely slammed with Ravens money. … Major decision looming.”
PointsBet has 70% of the betting tickets and 85% of the money on Baltimore, which opened as a 5.5-point favorite and has ballooned up to -6.5. DraftKings is equally as heavy on the Ravens: 83% of the money is on Baltimore.
Chiefs-Patriots: The marquee late afternoon game is unsurprisingly attracting action from both sharp and casual bettors. The Patriots are 3-point home favorites coming off a primetime loss to the Texans.
“Never a good sign when the pros and public are aligned, especially when it’s behind the Pats,” said Chaprales from PointsBet. “That’s the scenario here, with nearly 70% of the tickets and 85% of the money laying the short number with New England.”
It’s shaping up to be one of the strangest weeks of the NFL Season.
As of Friday afternoon, the Giants-Eagles game is the least-bet game of the week at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. It’s not unusual for the Monday Night game to be an afterthought during the week, but the lack of action is a little unusual.
“It even has low volume for a Monday Night Football game,” said the SuperBook’s Eric Osterman.
One of the reasons bettors are staying away? The 5-7 Eagles don’t look like they can stop anyone and the Giants (2-10) are starting Eli Manning again. If you thought Manning would give the Giants side a boost, think again. The line at Superbook went from Giants +8.5 to +9 after the announcement.
What about the marquee games? Sunday features a few potential headliners: Ravens (-6) at Bills, Chiefs at Patriots (-3) and Seahawks (PK) at Rams. They should be generating big buzz at the window, right?
Nope. After Giants-Eagles, Osterman says Rams-Seahawks is drawing the least amount of interest.
“They see the records — Rams (7-5) and Seahawks (10-2) — and see it’s a pick ’em and wonder what’s going on,” Osterman said.
Seattle opened as 2.5-point favorites but were bet down quickly. It was -1 on Monday morning and pick ‘em by Wednesday.
Action will surely build up on those two games as kick approaches, but what about the Ravens? Usually, casual bettors can’t wait to bet the hottest team in the NFL but not for this game. Ever since the line dropped from Bills +6 to +5.5, the money stopped flowing in.
“If you didn’t get it +6 it doesn’t seem like there’s much value anymore,” Osterman said.
Perhaps the weirdest market for the weekend is Bengals at Browns (-7). Cincinnati did win last week, but the Bengals are 1-11 on the season. Public bettors usually have no interest in putting their hard-earned money on a one-win team.
Not this week.
The Bengals have been bet down from +10.5 to +7 at PointsBet. An astounding 97% of the money is currently on the Bengals, which would make the 1-win team the most-loved underdog, by money percentage, this season.
“We expect the splits to get a bit tighter as we get closer to Sunday, but as of now, both the pros and public are really backing Cincy,” said PointsBet spokesman Patrick Eichner.
Most Lopsided Money Against The Spread
1. 85%: Seahawks (+1) at Rams
2. 82%: Packers (-12.5) vs. Redskins
3. 77%: Titans (-3) at Raiders
1. 97%: Bengals (+7) at Browns
2. 89%: Ravens (-5.5) at Bills
3. 84%: Falcons (-3) vs. Panthers
1. 87%: Seahawks (+1) at Rams
2. 84%: Ravens (-5.5) at Bills
3. 83%: Steelers (-2.5) at Cardinals