Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM

Vegas Money Moves - Week 9

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The Sunday night game with the Patriots (-3) at Ravens is shaping up to be the largest wagered upon game of the week and it's a daunting cloud hovering above Nevada sportsbooks because it will be the final game posted of the Sunday’s Week 9 NFL action and ignite larger than normal payouts on live parlays and teasers leftover from the first 11 games.

“We’re going to kind of be in the same situation we were in last week with the Patriots against the Browns where the large wagers were on the Browns but the ticket counts were heavy on the Patriots side,” said CG Technology sportsbook director Tony DiTommaso of the Patriots 27-13 win as 10-point favorites.

But the difference this week is the Ravens will be the Patriots biggest challenge this season. It’s certainly the lowest spread posted on them so far this season. The Ravens come in with the No. 1 ranked rushing game (208 ypg) in the NFL and the No. 2 scoring offense (30.6 ppg) average 30.6 ppg behind the Patriots (31.3 ppg).

“We could see the move coming when one of our sharper players took +160 on the Ravens money-line,” DiTommaso said.

CG’s split now has the Patriots -162 and the Ravens +142. The side has run from an early opener of Patriots -4.5 to -3.5 on Monday and then down to 3-flat on Thursday.

But the public doesn’t care what the Patriots spread is, they just want some more of the Belichick-Brady machine that has stayed undefeated and covered six of their eight games. What’s not to like about a Patriots squad that has averaged a 31-6 score through eight games?

William Hill’s sportsbooks across the country have seen 77 percent of their tickets written on the game taking the Patriots while the Ravens have collected 56 percent of the actual cash taken on it.

Caesars Palace sportsbook director says their top public side is the Patriots and their most one-sided sharp wagers have been on the Ravens.

It’s the ultimate public-sharp divide, Pros vs, Joes, or wise-guys vs. squares to the extreme.

If a few of the popular public favorites cover on Sunday, such as the Seahawks (-5 vs. Buccaneers), Packers (-3 at Chargers), Browns (-3.5 at Denver), it will make the Patriots risk go through the roof. As of Friday afternoon, just about every book is lopsided with larger wagers on the Ravens.

The sharp-public divide is also happening in two of those games.

“We took Bucs action at +6 for $30,000 and we’ve also taken some Chargers,” DiTommaso said of respected money plays.

One of the biggest disparities at William Hill is the 2-5 Browns with 95 percent of the action at 2-6 Denver. Apparently, third-year QB Brandon Allen making his first NFL start is a big deal to the public. But did they see Joe Flacco in action for most of the season? There can’t be that much of a drop-off, especially since Allen is far more mobile and the Broncos defense has put them in situations to win almost every week.

CG books posted the Broncos as 1-point favorites in their early lines last week and currently has the lowest number with the Browns -3.5 several books have -4.

“I don’t think there’s that much of a difference between the two,” DiTommaso said. “The guys in the office and I were talking about Flacco’s worth to the number and we all kind of agreed he was maybe a point or 1.5, but certainly not 4 points.”

DiTommaso adjusted the Browns to -3 on Tuesday despite not agreeing with it because of the market. There’s no reason to go below the most key number in the NFL if everyone else is higher, but it looks like he’s staying on the cheaper side of the market waiting for Browns money to push him.

To clarify, Allen has never thrown a pass in the regular season, but he spent the last two seasons with the Rams and picked up some good habits. As for the defense, they’ve quietly been ranked No. 4 by allowing only 304 ypg. Six of their eight games this season have stayed under and 10 of their last 11 at home have stayed under. The total is a steady 39.

DiTommaso also said he took a large wager on the Bears +5 at Philadelphia and currently has the Eagles -4.5 while other books at Circa and Caesars have the Eagles -4.

Up north at the Atlantis Reno book director Marc Nelson says he’s taken some large respected money on the Redskins (+10 at Buffalo) and his most popular bets made in tickets counts have been the Seahawks, Packers, and surprise-surprise, the Patriots.

It’s going to be a fun week to watch unfold knowing the public is due for a big week. The big public parlay week always happens once or twice a season in the NFL, but hasn’t yet through eight weeks.

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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