Week 5 Sportsbook Roundup: Bettors Are Not Enamored With the Steelers Anymore
Charles LeClaire, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Cameron Sutton
- The NFL Week 5 betting card is proving tough and Vegas sportsbooks don't expect a lot of big bets.
- One game that is proving interesting is Steelers vs. Falcons with both teams struggling.
- Sharp money seems to be backing the Giants as 7-point underdogs against the Panthers.
LAS VEGAS — The sportsbooks here don’t expect a lot of heavy bets this week given how tough the card looks, but there are some interesting betting patterns emerging, especially around the Pittsburgh-Atlanta game.
“Overall this is a really tough week,” Westgate SuperBook director John Murray said, “As a bettor I’m not even sure there’s a single game that stands out for me. The only game I’d look at is the Steelers -3 over Atlanta at home. Atlanta’s defense is so decimated by injuries. This is an absolute must-win game for Pittsburgh in a lot of ways. (The Steelers) can’t afford to fall two games behind Baltimore and Cincinnati.”
Murray’s colleague at the Westgate, sportsbook manager Jeff Sherman, is a sharp analyst in his own right. Let’s not forget, he was all over Houston last week when it seemed like Indianapolis was the obvious pick at home. Earlier this week he had some comments about this weekend’s games that were of interest to him and the Westgate.
And he agreed with Murray about the overall feelings about Week 5 — and added that bettors are falling out of love with the Steelers (usually public darlings).
“People are really getting off the Steelers. We’re already taking money on Atlanta pretty heavy and especially on the total,” Sherman said. “It’s already 57 (now up to as high as 58 at some spots around town) and I’m not sure how much this number will come down.
“The Steelers’ defense is so porous and I think that’s why people are off them. … Add to that, the Falcons secondary is decimated by injuries and you have the makings of a crazy shootout. However, we are seeing some legitimate sharp money going on the under here.”
At the Golden Nugget, sportsbook executive director Tony Miller put it fairly simply, “These two defenses are such a mess, I wouldn’t be surprised with whatever the outcome is here.”
Currently at William Hill, the book is seeing solid two-way action with 51% of the money being bet on the Falcons.
In the Panthers-Giants game, Sherman says the line movement was right where he expected it to be, “We open our lines at 4 p.m. on Sunday and the line we post is sometimes a little different than what other books will come out with. We opened this line at Carolina -7. Some other books opened much lower than that but now everything seems to have gotten to our number so now it’s no surprise to see a little pushback on the Giants as the line is down to -6.5. But I expect it to be back at -7 by Sunday.”
The Golden Nugget is seeing a lot of Giants money.
“Right now we’re taking Giants money,” Miller noted. “Not much of it, but enough to consider dropping the line to -6 for now. I think as we get closer to Sunday the number will get closer to -7 again.”
One game seeing balanced, two-way action is Chiefs-Jaguars.
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“We’re already seeing sharp groups playing both sides,” Sherman said. “When I adjusted the line to K.C.-3, -120 I’d get hit on Jacksonville at +3 at even money. It’s definitely going to be one of our higher-volume game this weekend and I really can’t figure out which way the money will go.”
The same holds true at the Golden Nugget, according to Miller. “It’s definitely coming in on both sides. I don’t expect we’ll have a big liability here. I think K.C. has a slight edge with (quarterback Patrick) Mahomes but for every point you make about K.C. you can make a perfectly legitimate counterpoint about Jacksonville. It will be a very interesting game,” he said.
The most-bet game at William Hill right now is Rams vs. Seahawks. At the time of writing, the NFC West battle makes up 25% of the total money wagered at William Hill properties.
Unsurprisingly, it seems that bettors are on the Rams train until it runs off the tracks as 89% of the money wagered on this game is going towards Los Angeles.
Derek Wilkinson, a supervisor at the Westgate, said they took one of their biggest wagers of the week on the Rams at -7 as well as the Texans at -3.