Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:53 AM

Vegas Money Moves - Week 2 Odds, Public vs. Sharp Analysis

Books need a New England win

The Patriots have been installed as underdogs for the first time in 65 regular season games as they prepare for Sunday night’s clash at Seattle. 

For this rare occurrence for New England, the Seahawks have been steady four-point favorites most of the week and in this 2020 episode, it will be quarterbacks Cam Newton and Russell Wilson squaring off for the Patriots and 'Hawks respectively.

“Russell Wilson is one of my favorite players and it’s tough to beat him, especially in a prime-time start,” said Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay.

Kornegay is correct about Wilson in prime-time as the Seahawks have covered 72% of those games under the lights.

“We have our biggest risk on the Seahawks who the sharps laid -3.5 early with us,” Kornegay said.

William Hill sportsbooks have 79% of the dollars wagered on the Seahawks and 77% of the tickets printed showing that the public has some reservations about the Cam Newton-led Patriots for Bill Belichick despite having last season’s No. 1 defense that forced three Dolphins turnovers in last week’s 21-11 win and cover. Kornegay is skeptical about the 2020 Patriots as well.

“I’m still not sold that the Patriots will be ok with Cam as their leader,” Kornegay said. “The Patriots train will derail at some point. Let’s be honest about Newton, he hasn’t been the same since Denver beat him in the Super Bowl, and he didn’t prove anything last week about being able to throw the ball accurately or throw the ball downfield effectively.”

Newton was 15-of-19 for 155 yards with no picks or TD passes, but he did score twice running the ball and was the Patriots leading rusher with 75 yards which helped the team lead the NFL with 217 rushing yards per game.

The thing I found most interesting about the Seahawks attack in their 38-25 win at Seattle was only 84 yards rushing with Wilson being the leading rusher with 29 yards while tossing four TDs. Belichick has always done well against one-dimensional teams. Something else to consider is the Seahawks have gone just 2-7 against the spread (ATS) in their last nine home games.   

For those wondering, the last time New England was catching points in a regular season game was 2016. The club was playing without QB Tom Brady, who was serving a suspension for this little blemish in his career that's referred to as "Deflategate."

The Patriots covered that game, beating Arizona 23-21 as a 9.5-underdog behind a backup named Jimmy Garoppolo. 

New England Underdog History (Regular Season L10)

  • 2016 - Patriots 23 at Cardinals 21
  • 2015 - Patriots 40 at Bills 32
  • 2014 - Patriots 21 vs. Packers 26
  • 2014 - Patriods 42 at Colts 20
  • 2014 - Patriots 43 vs. Broncos 21
  • 2014 - Patriots 37 at Bills 22
  • 2014 - Patriots 43 vs. Bengals 17
  • 2013 - Patriots 20 at Dolphins 20
  • 2013 - Patriots 34 vs. Broncos 31
  • 2013 - Patriots 20 at Panthers 24

When you look at head coach Bill Belichick's numbers above as an underdog in the regular season, you could be leaning 'dog on SNF. The future Hall of Famer has led the Patriots to a 7-3 record and he's produced an identical 7-3 against the spread mark for bettors. Plus, the three losses came by 5, 4 and 4 points. Perhaps a New England teaser look?

Sharps focus on a pair of 0-1 clubs

“In addition to betting the Seahawks, the sharps are also liking the Colts who we’ve moved to -3 -120, and also the Falcons at +4.5,” Kornegay said.

The Colts and Vikings both come off tough losses, as do the Falcons and Cowboys. Dallas started the week at -5.5 and is now -4.

“The public is starting to show support for their regular weekly teams with the top choice being the Chiefs (-8.5 at Chargers), and they’re also taking the Vikings, San Francisco (-7 EV at Jets) for sure, the Ravens (-7 at Texans), and the Bills (-5.5) at Miami,” said Kornegay.

The only one of those teams not to cover in Week 1 was the Vikings. 

Public backing 3 Popular Favorites

  1. Kansas City Chiefs
  2. San Francisco 49ers
  3. Green Bay Packers 

Station Casinos Jason McCormick cited the 49ers and Chiefs as being two of their three riskiest public plays and also added in the Packers into the mix who have jumped from -5.5 to -6.5 against the visiting Lions.

The Lions come off a horrible fourth-quarter meltdown and loss to the Bears but have covered their last six meetings with the Packers, so beware of running with the herd this week.

William Hill sportsbooks have the Chiefs as being its most lopsided game with 96% of the tickets on them and 98% of the dollars wagered. The Bills have 95% percent of the money wagered on that game and the Ravens have 85% of the money at Houston.

Jaguars receiving attention

The most surprising betting trend at William Hill is the Jaguars getting 71% of the tickets bet and 85% of the cash for their game at Tennessee.

Whenever the public overwhelmingly jumps on an underdog getting +7.5 or more, it should be met with an alert of far exceeding overreach.

Vegas listed as Home 'Dog in NFL Opener 

The Las Vegas Raiders make their home debut at Allegiant Stadium and are 5.5-point underdogs to the Saints who will be playing without wide receiver Mike Thomas, which is worth a full-point to the number.

William Hill books have seen 70% of the tickets written on the Saints and also 61% of the cash. The Saints offense didn’t look so smooth against the Buccaneers last week while the Raiders look like they have a much-improved offensive line.

But fans won't be allowed to attend the game because of COVID-19 precautions mandated by state of Nevada.

Considering this would've been the NFL opener for the Las Vegas franchise, it's fair to say that this will be the worst grand opening of a Stadium ever.

But I’m still excited about the game, team, Stadium, and Raiders season.

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