Rovell: Bettor Loses $500,000 on Browns, But Sportsbooks Still Get Obliterated by Rams Cover

Rovell: Bettor Loses $500,000 on Browns, But Sportsbooks Still Get Obliterated by Rams Cover article feature image
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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jared Goff

All day long, the chatter around the betting market was about the Rams and Browns on Sunday Night Football. Primetime games always generate large handles, but the showdown in Cleveland was getting serious action and it was lopsided in favor of Los Angeles.

The Rams ended up winning, 20-13, and covering as 4.5-point road favorites, surviving a last-minute drive by Baker Mayfield and the Browns. The result was a full-blown disaster for many sportsbooks, as we heard all week long that this would be the biggest decision of the season so far — and the books needed the Browns to cover.

How big was the Rams support? Well, consider that William Hill came out on the right side of a $506,000 wager on the Browns to cover and still took a beating in the game.

“Even with the big fluke bet we took, this result was still horrible for us,” Nick Bogdanovich, the director of trading at William Hill, said. “This game was a massive handle and we took all Rams from -2.5 to -4. And almost everything we took live was on the Rams.”

The $506,000 bet came in at a William Hill book at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City.  It was easily the biggest wager we’ve heard about this season.

“It was a relatively easy decision to take the bet,” Bogdanovich noted. “The guy is a regular customer with us.”

While nothing came close to the Browns bet in Atlantic City, there were some other five-figure bets that came in, including a few on the two games with the largest spreads in Week 3: Jets at Patriots (-21) and Dolphins at Cowboys (-22.5).

  • $20,000 bet on Cowboys (-21.5) nets $18,182.
  • $20,000 teaser on Cowboys (-13.5) and Pats (-13.5) nets $12,000.
  • $11,000 bet on Jets (+23) wins $10,000.

What other games made some noise in the market on Sunday? Take a look back at what was just another day in the life of an NFL bettor:

  • 7:30 p.m. ET: A bettor netted $299,910 on a $390,000 Packers-49ers moneyline parlay placed at PointsBet. The Packers won, 27-16, but the 49ers needed a late drive for the 24-20 victory, scoring a touchdown with a little over a minute left in the game.
  • 6 p.m. ET: William Hill has confirmed a report by VSiN’s Paul Howard that it took a $506,000 bet (placed on two separate tickets from the same bettor) on the Browns to cover as 3.5-point underdogs. The wager was placed at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. Not only is it the biggest bet of the NFL season so far, but according to William Hill spokesman Michael Grodsky it is “the biggest regular season bet I can recall.”
  • 4:18 p.m. ET: Not much has changed all day in regards to the market for Sunday Night Football. William Hill says 92% of the money is on the Rams (-3.5) on the road against the Browns.
  • 3:15 p.m. ET: Not many people believe that Kyle Allen will lead the Panthers to their first win in 2019. PointsBet reports 88% of the money at their shop is on the Cardinals (-2). William Hill says they’re seeing 80% of the dollars on Arizona.
  • 1:25 p.m. ET: The action on Sunday Night Football remains lopsided. William Hill says Browns-Rams accounts for 16% of the total amount of bets they’ve taken today and 94% of the money is on Los Angeles.
  • 12:45 p.m. ET: A big bet has come in on the Dolphins at PointsBet. They tell us it’s a $13,000 play on Miami to cover as 22.5-point underdogs in Dallas.
  • 12:35 p.m. ET: FanDuel is on an island trying to attract some Patriots money. They have moved the Jets to +20.5, while the rest of the market seems content on hanging the Pats at -21.
  • 12:25 p.m. ET: After opening as high as -7.5, the Eagles are now down to -4 against the Lions. Eighty-five percent of the money is on the Eagles at PointsBet, making it one of the book’s biggest decisions of the day. It was compounded by a $13,000 wager on the Birds at -4.
  • 11:25 a.m. ET: According to CG’s Tony DiTomasso, they’ve taken sharp money on the Broncos, Lions, Ravens, Falcons, Jets, Dolphins and Bears.
  • 11:20 a.m. ET: “We need the Packers to beat the sharps, but we need the Broncos to beat the parlays,” DiTomasso said. “The four games that are in every parlay seem to be the Rams, Packers, Seahawks and Chiefs.”
  • 10:25 a.m. ET: More Cowboys money has shown up at the Westgate SuperBook. They just took a $20,000 bet on Dallas to cover as 21.5-point favorites against Miami.
  • 10:15 a.m. ET: The biggest decision for DraftKings may end up being Broncos vs. Packers. They report that 86% of the money is on the Packers (-7), narrowly edging out the Cowboys (84%) and Patriots (80%) as the most lopsided handle so far.
  • 10:05 a.m. ET: A huge bet just came in at PointsBet. A bettor put down $390,000 on a two-leg moneyline parlay on the Packers (-360 vs. Broncos) and 49ers (-300 vs. Steelers). The wager would net $299,910 if the Pack and Niners win today.
  • 9:50 a.m. ET: There are two notable Sharp vs. Square games on the board. Jeff Sherman of the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas said the Jets and Ravens are taking pro money while the Patriots and Chiefs are public darlings.
  • 9:45 a.m. ET: Sherman also told us there’s been some sharp movement on a few teams. Smart money came in on the Broncos, Lions and Giants.
  • 9:40 a.m. ET: Even though they have to cover the largest spread of the day, the Cowboys are getting a ton of support. Eighty-two percent of the money and 77% of the tickets are on Dallas at the Westgate SuperBook.
  • 9:25 a.m. ET: This is probably the promotion of the day. The Borgata is trying to onboard new gamblers in New Jersey with a “sure win.” Today, new customers who download their app and register can put $1 on the Cowboys to beat the Dolphins and win $100. Real moneyline odds are -3334, which means you’d have to put $3,334 to return $100.
  • 9:20 a.m. ET: PointsBet, whose PointsBetting feature allows bettors to bet a certain amount per point, took some interesting action on the Eagles -6 against the Lions. A bettor is PointsBetting Philadelphia -6 at $425 per point. So a 7-point win would net the bettor $425 and an 8-point win would net $850. It goes both ways, of course, a 5-point win would lose the bettor $425 and so on. The bettor has placed a max Win/Loss at $8,500.
  • 9:10 a.m. ET: Will the Patriots and Cowboys make it look easy as huge favorites today? New England is down to “just” -21 against the Jets and we’ve heard of one big bet on New York to cover the number. A bettor placed an $11,000 bet on the Jets (+23) at CG Technology earlier in the week. It was also reported that a punter teased the Cowboys and Patriots together, moving Dallas down to -13.5 and New England down -9.5. The $20,000 bet would net $12,000.
  • 9 a.m. ET: It looks like the masses believe Daniel Jones can get the job done for the Giants today. Big Blue is getting 65% of the bets against the Buccaneers and have moved down to +5.5 across the market.