Aaron Doster, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Alvin Kamara
- Sportsbooks in Las Vegas are coming off a big Week 10 after getting burnt in Week 9.
- Sharps and square bettors in Vegas both like the same side in Philadelphia at New Orleans but Houston at Washington is a different story.
LAS VEGAS — After enduring their worst Sunday of the season in Week 9, the sportsbooks in Las Vegas predictably bounced back in Week 10.
“Dallas winning Sunday Night was the absolute cherry on top of a solid Sunday.” Tim Fitzgerald, supervisor of the South Point Sportsbook said. “Comparing Week 10 to Week 9, we basically got all our money back plus 30% after all the dust settled. That’s why you’ll never see us bitch and moan over a terrible Sunday, these things happen. We know eventually things will turn around, they always do.”
Will Week 11 provide another big boost on the strip? Or will the public get the better of the house? That decision will likely come down to a few big games.
Cincinnati at Baltimore (OFF) | Over/Under: OFF
All the buzz about the Cincinnati-Baltimore game has been about the status of starting Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco. As of this writing late Friday there had been no confirmed update as to who will be starting. It could be one of three different quarterbacks, so no line has been posted.
The Westgate felt confident enough that Flacco was going to play on Wednesday when they posted Ravens -6.5 for their SuperContest. The people at the SuperBook felt like that would be the number going forward, but that’s since changed as now the buzz at the Westgate is suggesting the Bengals could be a 3-to-3.5-point favorite if Robert Griffin III or Lamar Jackson are under center.
John Murray, the director of the SuperBook, doesn’t expect to be posting a number before Sunday morning but he did say he suspects the Ravens will start Lamar Jackson, as he should be fit by Sunday
Aaron Kessler, who is the assistant sportsbook manager at the Golden Nugget, also speculated what the number could possibly be.
“If we go from Joe Flacco to either Lamar Jackson or Robert Griffin III at QB I’d expect to see a 4-5 point drop off,” Kessler explained. “I think it deserves a full touchdown but I’m not sure the market will see it that way.”
Houston (-3) at Washington | Over/Under: 42.5
The Texans are coming off a bye week and are currently riding a six-game winning streak so it’s no wonder they are getting a lot of betting support as a road-favorite against the Redskins.
According to Derek Wilkinson, a supervisor at the Westgate SuperBook, their shop may actually need the Texans thanks to a few five-figure bets on Washington.
“The Texans are on a nice win streak, but all those wins have come against questionable teams. Right now, we need the Texans due to a few 5 figure bets on the Redskins with the points. Since 3 is a key number, I don’t see that line changing, but I like the Redskins to win outright on Sunday.”
Things are different at the Golden Nugget where they’ve taken mostly Texans money, according to Kessler.
“So far we’re getting early Texans money here. In fact, a lot of that is Texans money line (-150). I get the feeling nobody seriously believes in the Redskins,” he said. “Meanwhile, they’re still 6-3 and they have a solid home record and they’re just a couple more wins from running away with this division. So who knows? But I was a little surprised the line has held the way it has.”
Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons (-3) | Over/Under: 49.5
Last week the Falcons were embarrassed in Cleveland and the Cowboys played probably their best game of the season with a win in Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football.
Usually results like that end up causing a bit an overreaction by the betting public, and that seems like it could be the case here.
“We’ve seen almost all of the action on the Cowboys at +3.5 here from the public and not sharp action yet,” Wilkinson said. “I think we’re going to get some late money on the Falcons from the wise guys if that line drops to 3 here.”
The action is much more balanced at the Golden Nugget. The Cowboys almost always attract a big handle and when they’re coming off a primetime win that amplifies things.
“This game is split real well. If you asked me about this game a week ago I’d have said it would be all Falcons money but people remember what they saw last,” Kessler said. “So I expect the action to remain balanced and I don’t think this line will move at all. It’s definitely going to be a popular betting game with what we’ve seen so far. And basically as long as the Cowboys are on TV off a win they’re going to take a lot of action.”
Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints (-7.5) | Over/Under: 56.5
Like the Dallas-Atlanta game, recency bias could play a factor in the betting market here. The Eagles are coming off a terrible effort against the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football and the Saints absolutely dominated the Bengals in Week 10. Add in the fact that the Saints have covered the spread in their last seven games and the Eagles have been inconsistent all season and you can see why the line is this high.
At the time of writing, William Hill reported that 83% of the tickets and, incredibly, 93% of the money wagered is on New Orleans. When tourist money comes in this weekend it seems possible the line could go even higher.
That’s the case at the Westgate, too, as Wilkinson is seeing both sharp and square money backing Drew Brees and Co.
“The Saints are looking like the best team in the NFL right now. We opened that line at -7 and we’re at -8 right now,” he explained. “We also have quite a bit of liability on the Saints, both public and sharp money. I could see that line going as high as 9 by Sunday and I think New Orleans will still cover it. Teaser bets and money line parlays are going to be big here too.”
It’s all New Orleans money downtown at the Golden Nugget as well.
“We’re having trouble getting any money against the Saints right now,” Kessler noted. “People are riding the Saints train every week. I can understand why, they look great, they’re scoring at will. What’s not to like?”