Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:02 AM
Vegas Money Moves - Week 1
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Okay, let's get this Sunday NFL party started.
These Westgate Las Vegas Superbook Week 1 spreads featured below have been posted since April 19, just shortly after the NFL schedules were announced.
Here's a look at some of the betting patterns that are happening around town for the opening weekend.
Steelers -4, 44 (opened -7, 48) at Browns
"The wise guys are all over Browns, and that was even before the Bell situation," said South Point sports book director Chris Andrews. "They took +7, +6.5 and +6 early on, and we're also pretty heavy on the Browns money-line (+175 now). However, most of the parlay action is on the Steelers." William Hill sports books have written 65 percent of their tickets on the Steelers but the Browns have seen 59 percent of the cash. That shows some serious respect to a squad that's gone just 1-31 (8-24 ATS) the past two seasons. Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is holding out and not expected to play. Despite the Browns recent struggles, they've covered the last three meetings with Pittsburgh.
49ers at Vikings -6.5, 46 (opened -4.5, 47.5)
The Kirk Cousins era begins in Minnesota and he's got some big shoes to fill at least from a bettors perspective with the Vikings going 42-19 ATS in their last 61 games. The Jimmy Garoppolo era began last season for San Francisco, winning his last five starts after being traded from New England. "Wise guys are on the Vikings," said Andrews. "In fact, one of my sharpest guys laid -6 with us two weeks ago." William Hill sports books have seen 51 percent of the tickets written on the Vikings as well as 65 percent of the cash.
Bengals at Colts -3, 48 (opened -1, 47.5)
The Colts come off a 4-12 season, but quarterback Andrew Luck is back. The questionis just how rusty will he be. The Bengals come off back-to-back losing seasons but showed some fight last season going 9-7 ATS. They'll be playing without linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who starts a four-game suspension. "The wise guys like the Bengals," Andrews said. "They took +3.5 and +3, we're at -2.5 now." The South Point is the only sports in the state, or I guess I could say country now, that uses exclusively flat numbers. So instead of going to +3 -120, they go to -2.5. CG Technology books are also at -2.5. William Hill sports books have seen 63 percent of the tickets wagered on the Bengals but 63 percent of the actual cash has come on the Colts.
Bills at Ravens -7.5, 40 (opened -3.5, 42)
This is the most one-sided public game of the week. Hardly anyone owns a ticket on the Bills, mostly because everyone saw starting QB Nathan Peterman look awful last season. Of all the tickets written on the side at William Hill sports books, 86 percent have been on the Ravens and a whopping 95 percent of the cash has been on the Ravens as well. "We have like $100 on the Bills," joked Andrews. "We moved a lot with the Bills on season win totals from I think 7 wins down to 5.5." Wynn Resorts sports book director John Avello said he took a couple large bets on the Ravens money-line at -320 and -330. Something that will surely make Peterman's Sunday easier that no one seems to be talking about is Ravens CB Jimmy Smith being suspended for the first four games.
Jaguars -3, 42.5 (opened -4, 44.5) at Giants
This is an odd one because it's the only game of the week where the public is supporting the underdog with both ticket counts (78%) and cash (75%) at William Hill sports books. But Andrews said, "After taking a limit wager at +3.5 that it's been great two-way action."
Buccaneers at Saints -9.5, 49.5 (opened -7.5, 52.5)
QB Jameis Winston will miss the first three games due to suspension, which is why there's such a significant move, but not many were going to side with the Bucs anyway. Ryan Fitzpatrick gets the start. "The public is on the Saints, but it's not a flood just because the of the big number," said Andrews. William Hill sports books have seen 75 percent of the tickets written on the Saints as well as 78 percent of the cash. Also to note, New Orleans RB Mark Ingram begins serving a four-game suspension this week.
Texans at Patriots -6.5, 51 (opened -7, 51)
Last season in this matchup, we were all wowed by the skills of Houston QB DeShaun Watson in the Patriots 36-33 Week 3 win over the Texans. The Pats were -13 then. Now, there's enough belief in Houston's chances to keep the public from piling on the usual favorite Patriots who have gone 26-10-2 ATS the past two seasons. "This is the game getting the most attention from bettors and it's getting great two-way action," said Andrews. William Hill sports books have seen 61 percent of the tickets played on the Patriots as well as 65 percent of the cash. It's still shaded the Pats way, but it's there's plenty of Texans support out there. Wynn's Avello says they're "heavy on the Pats." One key item to note is that Tom Brady won't have his comfort blanket as wide receiver Julian Edelman starts a four-game suspension.
Titans -1.5, 45 (opened -2.5, 47) at Dolphins
William Hill sports books have seen 63 percent of the tickets come on the Titans as well as 70 percent of the cash. Andrews joked that "no one knows they're playing." Translation: it's the least attractive game on the board for bettors.
Chiefs at Chargers -3.5, 48 (opened -3, 48.5)
"This is another one of those games around 3 where sharps laid the -3 with the Chargers and then others are taking +3.5," said Andrews who is staying at -3.5 for the moment despite a recent limit wager on the Chiefs +3.5. William Hill sports books have seen 58 percent of the tickets written on the Chargers as well as 64 percent of the cash.
Seahawks at Broncos -3 EV, 42.5 (opened -2.5, 42)
The Broncos flamed out last season with a 2-10 ATS run and then went out and got QB Case Keenum, but the offensive line is still shaky. The Seahawks defense got pushed around last season like we've never seen before in the Pete Carroll era and their o-line is still shaky as well. But the public has identified who they like as William Hill sports books have seen 67 percent of the tickets written on the Broncos as well as 88 percent of the cash. The South Point was seeing the type of action, but it's turned the last few days. "We took some good action on the Broncos at -2 and -2.5, but now they're taking the +3," said Andrews. Boyd Gaming and Station Casinos, the two biggest chain of casinos for locals, both have the Broncos -3 EVEN.
Cowboys at Panthers -3 EV, 42.5 (opened -2.5 -120, 45)
William Hill sports books have seen 64 percent of the tickets written on the Panthers as well as 77 percent of the cash. "We got bet with Carolina at -2.5 and when we moved to -3 we saw Cowboys action taking it," said Andrews. "I think the Panthers could be one of those sneaky good teams in the NFC this season. " On a side note with the total dropping, Dallas has stayed 'under' the total in 19 of its last 26 road games.
Redskins at Cardinals -1, 43.5 (opened -1, 45)
Both teams get a change of pace with underrated conservative QBs -- Sam Bradford for the Cardinals and Alex Smith for the Redskins. "We haven't seen too much action on this game, it's stayed at -1 the entire time," said Andrews. William Hill sports books have seen 51 percent of the tickets written on the Cardinals as well as 61 percent of the cash. Arizona has stayed 'under' in 15 of its last 20 home games.
Bears at Packers -7.5, 47.5 (opened -9, 48.5)
The Packers have covered seven of the last nine meetings against the Bears and seven of the last nine have also gone 'over' the total. And the regular Joe is all over them again. "The public is all over the Packers, but the wise-guys love the Bears," said Andrews. William Hill sports books have seen 51 percent of the tickets written come on the Packers while 69 percent of the actual cash is on the Bears. Wynn's Avello says this is their biggest parlay game so far with the Panthers being tied together on a lot of them.
Jets at Lions -6.5, 45 (opened -6.5, 44)
William Hill sports books have seen 62 percent of the tickets written come on the Jets but 57 percent of the cash came on the Lions.
Rams -4, 48.5 (opened -1.5, 49.5) at Raiders
The Rams had the highest scoring offense (29 PPG) in the NFL last season and seven of their eight road games went 'over' the total. Jon Gruden makes his Oakland debut for the second time but won't have the teams best player, defensive end Kahlil Mack, who was traded to Chicago. William Hill sports books have seen 72 percent of tickets written come on the Rams as well as 84 percent of the cash. This number figures to rise much higher, especially since its the last game of the week and will have all the liability built up from the first 14 games piled into a big bundle of risk. Don't be surprised to see Rams -6 or -6.5 by kickoff, so you know the drill: if you like the Rams do it now and if you like the Raiders, wait until Monday.
Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 14 years.