Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM
Vegas Money Moves - Week 7
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Through six weeks of NFL action, the underdogs have been dominant going 56-35-1 against-the-spread, which is much to the delight of the sportsbooks in Las Vegas and around the country. However, while the public with their popular favorites can’t seem to put three teams together in a parlay and cash, the sharps have been perfectly fine taking points with bad teams and they’re at it again in Week 7 action, beginning with the Falcons and Eagles who both play teams on three-game losing streaks.
The Rams have dropped three straight games and they opened as three-point road favorites at Atlanta, and sharp money was backing the Falcons immediately to force some books off the key number and go down to -2.5.
“They (sharps) always bet the Falcons,” said CG Technology sportsbook director Tony DiTomasso. “It’s been like that every week, but I think they’ve only cashed once.”
That lone Falcons win came in Week 2, a 24-20 decision at home against the Eagles, but that’s it. Four losses since the victory over Philadelphia and they didn’t cover any of them, dropping Dan Quinn's squad to 1-5 both straight up and against the spread this season. The Rams shook up their roster this week, trading for Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey but he means little to the number. Still, he can’t hurt Los Angeles at this point. The Falcons have won and covered the last four meetings between the NFC clubs.
The betting opinion divided on the Falcons game is massive at William Hill sportsbooks with 88 percent of the tickets written coming on the Rams as well as 67 percent of the cash wagered on it. Station Casinos sportsbook director Jason McCormick says the Rams are their No. 2 public play on parlays while the Falcons are their No. 3 sharp play with limit straight bets.
The Eagles are a popular public play and the sharps like them as well. They’re uniquely aligned together on the same side. The Cowboys have lost three straight and come in limping with key injuries on the offensive line and in the wide receiver corps. The Cowboys opened as three-point home favorites in this Sunday Night Football matchup versus Philadelphia and the Eagles action has dropped the number to as low as -2 at the South Point, a book that uses exclusively flat numbers. Circa is also at -2 while MGM books are at -3 +105 and Wynn is at -3 EVEN.
Wynn sports book director Doug Castaneda said their biggest sharp plays of the week were on the Packers (-4.5 vs. Raiders), Saints (+3.5 at Chicago), and Ravens-Seahawks Under 51 which has been pushed down to 49 as of Friday.
The Packers game is interesting because there are different groups playing against each. The Raiders have been a popular sharp play at most books.
“They took the +6 with the early line and also the +5 with the Raiders,” said DiTomasso who now has the Packers -4.5.
The Jaguars are getting 85 percent of the tickets written at William Hill in their game at Cincinnati.
“We had a respected guy come in and lay the Jags -3.5 and also at -4 and then that same guy also laid -1 and -2 on the Titans (vs. Chargers),” DiTommasso said. “Someone else laid -2.5 with the Titans so when we went to +3 (-120) we immediately got action on the Chargers to take us back to -2.5 with at least knowing that +3 (-120) is an attractive number if we need some more.”
Caesars palace sportsbook director Jeff Davis said their top sharp plays this week are the Jaguars, Raiders, and Ravens. Those Ravens have 87 percent of the cash taken in at William Hill books as well. The South Point and MGM have the only Seahawks 3-flat number in Nevada after sharps took +4 and +3.5. The total in that game has dropped from 51 to 48.5 at that shop.
The big question is how the public can keep pulling cash from the ATM to bet, then lose, rinse, repeat cycle every week. Some would assume that they’re going to strike gold soon.
Station’s McCormick has seen the big public wins happen several times at his books and those bettors live and die by the ever so popular parlays. They hold a higher percentage than most books because of the large parlay action, but they also feel the sting of seven-figure and high six-figure losses when the public is right.
He said those teams this week they like the most in parlays are the 49ers, Rams and Patriots.
DiTomasso also said the Saints are also getting lots of weekly support as are the Texans. They always eventually get their big blow a few times a season and it’s already Week 7. As always, the tide turns on a season of trends and goes the other way which means the favorites day is coming.
Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 15 years.