Vegas Money Moves - Week 2
September 14, 2018
By Micah Roberts
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Do you believe what you saw last or do you trust the initial rating prior to Week 1 NFL action? We learned a lot from just one game, but is it possible we have been swayed too far from reality from just one game?
Week 2 of the NFL is upon us and there are some fascinating mass opinions making wagers at Las Vegas sports books this week.
Here's a look at what is happening.
Colts at Redskins -6, 48.5
"Sharp money has come in on the Colts off the loss while going against the Redskins who come off a game where they may have looked better than they really are," said CG Technology VP of risk management Jason Simbal. He's basically saying bettors are expecting both teams who wavered from their true rating week return to regular form this week. CG books were bumped from Colts +6 to +5.5 on Thursday.
Panthers at Falcons -6.5, 44.5
On Sunday night the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook opened the Falcons -3.5 and within 30 minutes they were bet all the way up to -5. At that point, the trek passing the dead numbers wouldn't take much cash to budge the number higher. By Tuesday they were up to -6 and on Friday morning they went to -6.5. The Panthers will be playing with tight end Greg Olsen (foot) and offensive tackley Daryl Williams (knee). This is another one of those games as CG's Simbal mentioned where one team is off a win and another comes off a tough loss.
Vikings at Packers (OFF)
Will Aaron Rodgers play? That's the question and because he's worth so much no Nevada sports book had anumber on Friday afternoon because of it being such a variance with an in or out number. Las Vegas oddsmaker Kenny White says Rodgers is worth 6.5-points to the number with Deshone Kizer as the back-up who he says is much better than Brett Hundley who the Packers had as a back-up the past two years. William Hill sports books opened the Packers -1.5 and shut betting down Tuesday with the Vikings -2. In two days of wagering, they took 97 percent of the cash on the Vikings as well as 91 percent of the total tickets written.
Chargers -7.5 EV, 43 at Bills
Bettors don't seem to care that a West Coast team is playing a 10:00 a.m. game on the East Coast. All they know is they hate the Bills, and this week the Bills start rookie quarterback Josh Allen. Last week, Nate Peterman posted a 0.0 QB rating for the Bills. So maybe this an upgrade? Who knows, but his play should be better at home in his debut than on the road. The Westgate got as high as Chargers -8 on Sunday night, but someone grabbed that number quick and the Westgate hasn't had to go back despite almost every parlay on the game being on the Chargers. Stratosphere sports book director Ed Malinowski says this is his most bet public game.
Texans -2.5 -120, 43.5 at Titans
Both QBs, Marcus Mariota (elbow) and Deshaun Watson (concussion) are expected to play, so what gives on this game? By saying Texas are -2.5 on the road it's saying the Texans are rated at least 5-points better than the Titans. Is that true? Heck no it's not. But perception is reality after one week of play, mixed in with maybe a hint of overrating Watson's worth. The Westgate opened -1.5 and went to -2.5 -120 on Thursday. This is a major public game with 94 percent of William Hill's ticket written coming on the Texans. Last season the Titans, who made the playoffs and won a playoff game, were -2.5 at Houston and -7 at home against them. The Texans are 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings versus the Titans, 1-0 behind Watson.
Chiefs at Steelers -5, 53.5
"The way the Chiefs looked last week, I have a feeling they're going to be a popular public team every week this season," said Simbal. "They score lots of points quick and they go Over the total, that's the makeup of a popular public team. It's also part of the reason we've raised them in ratings after Week 1." And there's the genesis of the KC popularity tax. CG books were pushed down to -4.5 on Wednesday.
Dolphins at Jets -2.5 -120, 43.5
"We have some sharp money playing the Dolphins this week while the public has been on the Jets," said Simbal. "I think this is a game where we really find out who each of these teams are moving forward. Both played well last week, but the Lions defense might have made the Jets offense look better than it really is." The Jets are Stratosphere's third most public side this week, but they also have wise guy money on the Dolphins.
Eagles -3.5 EV, 44 at Buccaneers
The public thinks what QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buccaneers did last week at New Orleans was an anomaly and their first home game will see a let down against the Eagles. William Hill sports books have seen 89 percent of the cash come on Philly as well as 86 percent of the tickets written. The Westgate opened the Eagles -3.
Browns at Saints -9.5, 49
"We're not seeing a lot of action on this one," said Simbal. "I think people are skeptical of the Saints this week after losing laying a big number with them last week while at the same time wanting to respect the Browns. I really do believe the public wants to root for and bet on the Browns, but they're torn this week."
Cardinals at Rams -13, 44.5
"We raised the Rams rating after Week 1 while also dropping the Cardinals," said Simbal. "We don't really have any action the Rams right now, just some small parlay action." He said they've just been kind of slowly moving the Rams up this week. What will it take to force people into taking the Cardinals this week, who looked like the worst team in the league in a home loss against the Redskins. Before the Rams Monday night win they were -10.5 at CG books for this game and readjusted to -12.5 on Wednesday and -13 on Thursday. The Rams are the second most popular public side at the Stratosphere. The Cards have 24 new players this season and were booed loudly at home last week.
Lions at 49ers -6, 49
The Westgate had the 49ers set at -3.5 prior to the Lions awful Monday night home loss to the Jets. Bettors actually took some +3.5-flat forcing a move to +3.5 -120. But then Jets 48-17 win happened. They readjusted to -4.5 on Tuesday morning and then quickly flew up the ladder to -5.5. By Wednesday morning they were up to -6. The 49ers are just 1-8 ATS in their last nine games as favorites.
Patriots -1, 45.5 at Jaguars
The big deal here is Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (hamstring) being questionable, but I don't find back-up T.J. Yeldon being. Fournette did run during Friday's practice and the team said he's a game-time decision. This game started at the Westgate as pick 'em and was bet up to Patriots -2 and it's slowly dropped down to -1. The Jaguars get defensive end Dante Fowler Jr (suspension) back this week, the guys who had two sacks on Tom Brady in last years AFC Championship Game. The Patriots won that game 24-20 as seven-point home favorites. Pats wider receiver Julian Edelman has three more games to serve on his suspension.
Raiders at Broncos -6.5, 46
"The Raiders are just a bad team," said Simbal. "Losing Kahlil Mack dropped their rating a bit and then I downgraded them again after last week where I think the strong first-half performance was more about the crowd pumping them up and the Rams being kind of sleepy." Ed Malinowski said his Stratosphere books took sharp money on the Raiders but he's flowed up to -6.5 anyway. Several books at -6. The favorite has gone 10-1-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings.
Giants at Cowboys -3, 42.5
The Westgate got as high as Cowboys -3.5, but circled back to their opening number of -3. William Hill books have 81 percent of the tickets written on the Giants. This going to be the game that decides most sports books eventual fate on Sunday and it looks like they're going to need the Cowboys.
Seahawks at Bears -3.5 EV, 43
What was more truth identity? The Bears first half against the Packers, the Bears second-half against the Packers or the demise of the Seahawks witnessed in Denver. A little bit of all three equally? This game opened at -3 and after the Sunday night game went to -3 -120.
All spreads listed are from the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook as of Friday afternoon, unless otherwise noted.
Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 14 years.
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