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Rovell: What’s Behind Lopsided Money on Week 8 Games?

Rovell: What’s Behind Lopsided Money on Week 8 Games? article feature image

Justin Berl/Getty Images. Pictured: Lamar Jackson (right) and T.J. Watt.

A team that’s 5-1 opened as a 6-point favorite against a team that is 6-0 and, at least at one Las Vegas sportsbook, bettors are betting as if the 6-0 underdog is free money.

Those teams? The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers.

“It’s all Steelers money,” said Eric Osterman of the SuperBook. “On everything — spread, parlay, moneyline.”

How could it be so lopsided?

“The public thinks of this in a real simple manner,” Osterman said. “They saw the Steelers last week, still undefeated, and they don’t remember seeing the Ravens. Well, they had a bye.”

It’s not just at the Superbook, it’s also at the more public books.

At FanDuel and DraftKings, 84 and 76 percent of the money, respectively, is on the Steelers — even now down to -3.5.

But how much does the public really know about the teams it is betting?

Osterman thinks there’s possibly false confidence setting in. Example: The Tennessee Titans-Cincinnati Bengals game.

“We opened the game at Titans -3.5,” Osterman said. “And there was no interest in the Bengals. Went all the way to -5.5. People can only think of Derrick Henry and are ignoring how bad the Titans defense is. It’s just like they ignored how bad the Seattle defense was the week before.”

With 90 percent of the money on the Titans at -5.5, it’s the second-most lopsided game as far as money goes this week at FanDuel.

The most lopsided money game in Week 8 is the Minnesota Vikings against the Green Bay Packers. 94 percent of the money at FanDuel is on the Packers, who moved from -7 to -6 after the game was briefly taken off the board on Friday after it was announced that a Vikings player had COVID-19.

“It’s now standard when a team has a player that tests positive for COVID for us to immediately pull that game off the board,” Osterman said. “If that player isn’t a key player, we don’t know if they’ll hold out someone who is because they were with that player.”

After it was announced that it was linebacker Todd Davis, the game came back on the board.

After the Dallas Cowboys were trounced last week, 25-3, at the hands of the Washington Football Team, there has not been much interest in the Cowboys even though the Philadelphia Eagles don’t seem to be that much better.

“We put it on the other size of the 7, so Eagles -7.5 and we took one bet there by a guy we respected before we moved it to -8.5,” Osterman said.

By Friday, the line had hit -11, with our PRO Report showing an astounding 87 percent of the money on the Eagles.

NFL PRO Report, where we highlight key factors that provide betting edges — like large wagers, historically profitable betting systems, model projections and expert picks — that when combined with sharp money can powerfully detail the smartest bets on a given slate.

Speaking of green things that fly… The Jets are 19.5-point dogs against the Kansas City Chiefs, the third-largest spread in the NFL in the last five years.

“The data showed that this probably should have been -21.5, but we didn’t want to give the sharps the 21, so we opened at -19.5 and it hasn’t moved off that point,” Osterman said.

At that number, most sportsbooks show the action being fairly balanced. The Action Network PRO Report actually has 62 percent of the money on the Jets as of Friday afternoon.

With Odell Beckham Jr. out for the year with a torn ACL, money has come in pretty heavily on the Las Vegas Raiders (+2.5) pretty much everywhere. Combine that with the absence of tight end Austin Hooper and the public can’t seem to rationalize how the Browns will keep up their scoring pace.

Hint: It’s their defense that often wins and loses games.

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