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


Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jared Goff

Sep 23, 2019, 05:00 PM EDT

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.

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