Vegas Money Moves – Week 11

In almost every NFL season, oddsmakers have had to battle the perception-reality divide when offering numbers on teams the public absolutely hate. It’s the raw number of a team’s true rating the oddsmaker makes to the adjusted number by the bookmaker to add in the stink-tax of a few extra points to lessen the smell and tempt bettors to get some. 

The Browns had been that team in previous seasons to have the public routinely bet against despite the inflated number. But the bookmakers often attracted sharp action on Cleveland, who sniffed out an inflated number on the favorite. The Dolphins started out 2019 being that team the public hated due to losing their first seven games and not covering in their first four, but the inflated number caught up and couple with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick being inserted into the lineup and the Dolphins have now covered their last five and also won their first two games of the season in the past two weeks.

The new favorite team to bet against is the winless Cincinnati Bengals (0-9) who have failed to cover the inflated number in their last two games. They travel to Oakland in Week 11 action and are double-digit underdogs for the third straight week.   

“We’re going to need the Bengals the most on Sunday,” said CG Technology sportsbook director. Tony DiTommaso “We’ve had separate groups lay the Raiders already and ticket counts are almost 8-to-1 in favor of the Raiders. I mean, really, who is going to bet the Bengals?”

CG books already have the best numbers offered on the Bengals +12 (so does Boyd Gaming books), but DiTommaso conceded that maybe it’s +13 that will finally attract some money to offset the risk.   

“We’ve taken a lot of sharp action this week, or at least more than usual by Friday afternoon,” DiTommaso said. “We’ve had the Lions game up in a circle (limited action) due to QB Matt Stafford’s status and the sharps laid the Cowboys -3.5, -4, -5, and -6.”

CG books are now up to -6.5 with Stafford being listed as 'out' and back-up Jeff Driskel expected to start again.

“Even with Driskel playing, I don’t think the Cowboys are a touchdown better than the Lions on a neutral site, and this game is in Detroit. So what, are they -12.5 of -13 if this game is in Dallas,” said DiTommaso  

“We had multiple sharp groups jumping all over the Falcons at Carolina,” DiTommaso said. “They took +7, +6, and +5.”

The Panthers are four-points home favorites at most Nevada books with highs of -4.5 at the Westgate SuperBook and Wynn.

“They took the +11 and +10.5 with the Cardinals (at San Francisco) and we’ve had nothing on the Eagles so far but the ticket counts are already 8-to-1 in favor of the Patriots (-3.5 at Philadelphia),” said DiTommaso. “We also saw sharp action lay multiple numbers with the Redskins up to -2.5 (at home vs. Jets) and we also took limit wagers on the Dolphins +6.5 and +6 (at home vs Bills), but then we had another group come lay the Bills -6.”   

Westgate SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay has had the betting group hit him on the same teams with their most prominent large action coming on the Bills -6, Redskins -1.5, and Cardinals +11.

Caesars Palace sportsbook director Jeff Davis' top sharp action at his chain of books has been the Redskins, Cardinals, and Bills. His top public teams of the week so far have been the Patriots, Raiders, and Panthers.

Wynn’s Doug Castaneda says his sportsbook has taken the most sharp action on the Raiders, Cardinals, and Rams who are -6.5 at home against the Bears.

Up north, Marc Nelson said his Atlantis sportsbook in Reno has seen the Patriots, Vikings (-10.5 at home against the Broncos), and Ravens (-4 at home vs. Texans) be their most public games. They also have wise guy play on the Cardinals.    

The Cardinals are tied with the Packers at 7-3 against the spread, the best cover teams in the NFL. The Rams, Patriots, Saints, and Raiders are next best at 6-3 ATS.

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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