Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM

Vegas Money Moves - Week 8

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Drew Brees and Patrick Mahomes both practiced on a limited basis this week and the news sent sportsbooks scrambling to get more information and adjust their numbers.

“We’ve put limits on the Chiefs and Saints games just until we know for sure what’s going to happen with Mahomes and Brees,” said CG Technology sportsbook director Tony DiTomasso. “I don’t think Mahomes will play, but we immediately got bet at +4.5 and +4 when news came out he practiced. However, Brees will probably play and we’re sitting at -10, but there are some 10.5’s out there.”

DiTomasso had the Chiefs at +3.5 but made an air move back to +4 on Friday because the more he thought about it, the more he believed Mahomes (knee) wouldn’t play. He opened the Saints -9 on Sunday night and was bet up to -9.5 Monday and Wednesday went to -10.5 after Brees told reporters he was starting.

The Saints won and covered five straight behind back-up Teddy Bridgewater. In addition to Brees likely starting, the Saints also may get a boost with RB Alvin Kamara practicing in a limited capacity this week.

I’m surprised I haven’t heard anyone making a case for the Cardinals this week who have won and covered their last games -- two on the road -- after starting the season 0-3-1. The rookie head coach and QB combo are working well after their sluggish start, but a bet on the Cardinals would be more about the idea of Brees being rusty and halting the chemistry the team had with Bridgewater. The best Cardinals money-line is +450 at Caesars Palace and MGM Resorts.

As for the Chiefs, Matt Moore is expected to start. Last week against the Broncos, it took him a while to get rid of the cobwebs, but he looked comfortable in the second half. The Chiefs defense looked its best against the Broncos but there’s a massive difference between Aaron Rodgers and Joe Flacco. The Packers (6-1) have covered five of their games while the Chiefs lost their last two home games with Mahomes playing.

The Patriots are 7-0 (5-2 ATS) and allow only 6.9 ppg, but the Browns (2-4) have played a much tougher schedule. The Browns last three losses were to the Seahawks, 49ers, and Rams. The Patriots last six wins have been against the Jets twice, Dolphins, Giants, Redskins, and Bills all teams that the Browns are rated higher than.

. “One of my sharpest players took +12.5 with the Browns,” DiTomasso said. “He also took the Chargers +4 and laid -6 with the Jaguars. The Browns are our biggest risk with straight bets so far.”

CG books opened the Bears -5.5 in their early lines last Friday and then after getting trashed by the Saints they reopened the Bears -4.5 on Monday. CG is at -3.5 now against a Chargers squad that is currently on a 1-5-2 ATS run.

The early line on the Jaguars was -4 against the Jets but after getting shutout Monday night, the game reopened -6 on Tuesday. CG went to -6.5 after the big bet on Thursday.

“We had another guy who I consider sharp take the Giants +7, but he’s not top tier sharp, he’s more of a tier-two sharp player if you know what I mean,” said DiTomasso.

Yes, I know exactly what you mean. The Lions are now -6.5 against the visiting visiting Giants.

“Our top three side in tickets counts (public) are the Colts, Patriots and Packers in that order,” DiTommaso said.

Doug Castaneda said his Wynn book has the Colts, Packers, and Lions with the most public play while the Jaguars, Raiders, and Dolphins have the most straight bet action so far while the bulk of his action still to come Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Jeff Davis at Caesars Palace says his most public teams this week are the Colts, Packers, and Patriots just like CG books and his sharp play has been on the Broncos, Giants and Chargers.

That’s a lot of public weight on the Colts, Packers, and Patriots which should make the other sides attractive. The public has been wrong all season, for the most part. Favorites did come around last week, but it’s been an underdog season through seven weeks and it continued Thursday night with the Redskins covering +17 in a 19-9 loss at Minnesota.

Next to the Browns-Patriots, the other public-sharp divide game is the Broncos (2-5) at Indianapolis (4-2) where there are a variety of numbers to choose from ranging from Colts -6 at CG to Colts -5 at Circa sportsbook.

The Broncos looked like they had some momentum going for them with wins against the Chargers and Titans, but then laid an egg at home last Thursday against an awful Chiefs defense. The Broncos offense has been so horrible each week that they’re becoming a reliable under team. They’ve stayed under in their last three games. This week the total is 42.5.

Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 15 years.

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