Rovell’s Week 8 NFL Blog: Bettor Survives $100K Scare With Steelers Comeback
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mason Rudolph
We’re on to Week 8. Let’s take a look at biggest NFL betting storylines from Vegas to Jersey. I’ll cover all of the big bets and report what bookmakers are seeing behind the counter.
11:30 p.m. ET: Less than a quarter into Monday Night Football, one Las Vegas bettor was having some major regrets. As we reported earlier tonight, this bettor was so confident that the Steelers would beat the winless Dolphins straight-up that he wagered $100,000 on Pittsburgh’s moneyline to win just $11,764.
The bet did not get off to a good start: Miami was up 14-0 before the first quarter even ended. But the Steelers went on to score 24 unanswered points to turn a temporary sweat into a 5-figure winner
6:10 p.m. ET: There hadn’t been a ton of notable activity around this lackluster Monday Night Football Game (Dolphins at Steelers) until Jimmy Vaccaro tweeted that a bettor wagered $100,000 on Pittsburgh’s moneyline (-850) at the South Point in Las Vegas. The bet would profit $11,764 if the Steelers emerge from MNF victorious.
When I asked Vaccaro if the bet was from a sharp client, he replied, “No.”
Pix-burg… what would yinz think? 💡 pic.twitter.com/KDkKwc4Z2L
— Jimmy Vaccaro (@JimmyVaccaro) October 28, 2019
PointsBet told me it took a $19,725 wager on the Dolphins at +14. The New Jersey operator also said 90% of the money is on Miami to cover at its shop.
11:34 p.m. ET: It wasn’t easy, but the bettor who put $180K on the Packers to cover -3.5 at PointsBet went home happy on Sunday night. Thanks to a huge fourth quarter from Aaron Rodgers & Co., including a miracle TD pass on third down, the Packers escaped Arrowhead with a 7-point victory.
This bettor netted $124,137 on the wager.
8 p.m. ET: New Jersey sportsbook PointsBet took a $180,000 bet on the Packers -3.5 against the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. Because the bettor chose to adjust the spread, it’s juiced at -145, meaning the net payout would be $124,137.
From talking to sportsbooks throughout the day, they all need the Chiefs to cover as home underdogs tonight against Green Bay.
4:18 p.m. ET: A bettor who risked $315,000 on a two-team moneyline parlay at DraftKings won big, netting $271,551 thanks to Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning 51-yard field goal in the Colts’ 15-13 victory over the Broncos. The Jaguars cruised to a 29-15 win over the Jets to secure the other leg.
12:46 p.m. ET: William Hill, the largest retail sportsbook in North America, said the three games that have generated the most money wagered are:
- Browns at Patriots: 18% of overall handle
- Broncos at Colts: 12% of overall handle
- Packers at Chiefs: 11% of overall handle
Perhaps more interesting is the lopsided activity the book is seeing on those three contests.
- The Patriots are getting 80% of tickets and 69% of money in their matchup vs. Cleveland.
- The Colts are getting 91% of tickets and 80% of money in their matchup vs. Denver.
- The Packers are getting 77% of tickets and 79% of money in their matchup vs. K.C.
11:54 a.m. ET: Massive bet just into DraftKings: A client is risking $315,000 on a Jaguars/Colts moneyline parlay. Jacksonville hosts the Jets, while Indy hosts the Broncos. If both teams win outright on Sunday, this bettor would net $271,551.
11:10 a.m. ET: Here are the most lopsided games at FanDuel today, in terms of betting tickets and actual money wagered:
- 95% of bets and 93% of money on Seahawks (at Falcons)
- 94% of bets and 89% of money on Colts (vs. Broncos)
- 84% of bets and 72% of money on Rams (vs. Bengals)
- 81% of bets and 75% of money on Patriots (vs. Browns)
- 79% of bets and 78% of money on Green Bay (at Chiefs)
- 78% of bets and 74% of money on Houston (vs. Raiders)
If you’re curious about totals, PointsBet said it has 93% of the money on the Over in Lions-Giants (moved from 49 to 49.5), along with 90% of the money on the Under in Bills-Eagles (moved from 42 to 40).
10:50 a.m. ET: Overall, the biggest needs so far today for Jeff Sherman and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook are Chargers (at Bears), Browns (at Patriots) and Chiefs (vs. Packers).
If you’re sensing a theme between the Westgate and FanDuel, both books will be huge Browns and Chiefs fans today.
10:20 a.m. ET: Jeff Sherman of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook checks in every Sunday morning with a breakdown of who the sharps and who the public are betting at his shop (see chart below).
What’s most interesting to me is that you usually see the sharps and public on the same side in few games, but not this week.
The biggest bets Sherman & Co. have taken so far this week at the Westgate:
- $22,000 to win $20,000 on Bears -3.5 vs. Chargers
- $22,000 to win $20,000 on Jaguars -6 vs. Jets
- $22,000 to win $20,000 on Bengals +14 vs. Rams
- $20,000 to win $20,000 on Raiders +6.5 at Texans
- $22,000 to win $20,000 on Browns +12 at Patriots
10:15 a.m. ET: The games that have the most attention over at DraftKings’ headquarters? Broncos-Colts, Seahawks-Falcons and Bengals-Rams:
- 97% of the money on Colts -5.5 vs. Broncos
- 92% of the money on Seahawks -7.5 at Falcons
- 84% of the money on Rams -12 vs. Bengals (in London)
10:05 a.m. ET: Just heard from Tony DiTomasso over at CG Technology. Their biggest needs today are: Lions -7 vs. Giants, Bears -4 vs. Chargers, Rams -13 vs. Bengals (in London), 49ers -5.5 vs. Panthers and Broncos +5 at Colts. Quite a few favorites today, which is rare, but it jives with what we’re seeing in our Action Network aggregate data, as well: The Giants, Chargers and Panthers are all getting the majority of money wagered as road underdogs.
10 a.m. ET: Today could be a wild day, with four double-digit favorites on the slate (Saints -12 vs. Cardinals, Rams -13 vs. Bengals (in London), Patriots -11.5 vs. Browns and Steelers -14 vs. Dolphins). The last time that happened this early in the season was back in 2013.
Interestingly, two of PointsBet’s most lopsided picks are the big dogs:
- 97% of the money on Dolphins +14 at Steelers
- 93% of the money on Cardinals +12 at Saints.
Friday, 5 p.m. ET
Toughest Game To Call: There are plenty of games this week befuddling bettors — namely Cardinals/Saints (will Drew Brees play?), Packers/Chiefs (how will K.C. fare without Patrick Mahomes?) — but the most balanced game seems to be Eagles-Bills.
“Colt” Following: One team that has gotten a lot of support this week is the Colts, who beat the Houston Texans last week 30-23. Their opponent, the Denver Broncos, disappointed again losing 30-6 to Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football.
The Colts are 4-1-1 against the spread this year, which leads the league (80% cover rate). That’s historically been a theme with Indianapolis, which has gone 48-39-4 against the spread (55.2%) over the past five seasons. Only four teams have a better percentage.
Where The Money Is: Before I start this column each week, I peruse on our Action Network money percentages to see the sides getting the most cash. You can see real-time data here, but at the time of writing, here were the most-bet spreads in terms of money:
1. Seahawks -7 at Falcons — 94% Seahawks
2. Dolphins +14 at Steelers — 85% Dolphins
3. Rams -12.5 vs. Bengals (in London) — 83% Rams
While this is an extremely useful big-picture look at the slate, I like to get the same info from individual books to see where they’re trending. Here’s a sampling from a few:
1. Raiders (+7) vs. Texans – 93% Raiders
2. Broncos (+5.5) vs Colts – 87% Colts
3. Jets (+6.5) vs. Jaguars – 83% Jets
1. Bengals (+13) vs. Rams – 94% Rams
2. Buccaneers (+2.5) vs. Titans – 89% Buccaneers
3. Packers (-3.5) vs. Chiefs – 80% Packers
1. Broncos +5.5 vs. Colts – 97% Colts
2. Seahawks -6.5 vs. Falcons – 93% Seahawks
3. Browns +11.5 vs. Patriots – 91% Patriots
1. Seahawks (-7) vs. Falcons – 96% Seahawks
2. Buccaneers (+2.5) vs. Titans – 82% Buccaneers
3. Chargers (+3.5) vs. Bears – 78% Chargers
The three teams to show up in multiple books’ top 3? Seahawks (who will likely face Matt Schaub), Buccaneers (who will also face a backup QB in Ryan Tannehill), and the Colts (who face a Denver team that’s coming off a primetime blowout loss).
Sometimes, even bookmakers themselves are sometimes surprised when they look at where the money is. On Friday, we asked the SuperBook’s Eric Osterman what game had the most money on it, counting parlays and teasers. Osterman went to look it up and came back with Jets-Jaguars, a game he didn’t expect.