Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:52 AM

Vegas Money Moves - Week 5

Sharps leaning to QB Change

Second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins just played his best statistical game last week in the Washington’s 31-17 home loss to the Ravens, but head coach Ron Rivera felt it was time for a change after their third straight loss and backup Kyle Allen will start Sunday as the Rams visit.

Sharp money appears to be fired up about the QB change as they’ve been betting the Washington’s at Nevada sportsbooks at all numbers from as high as +9.5 all the way down to where it sat on Friday afternoon at Rams -7.

Perhaps the bet is simply against the Rams (3-1) who make their third road game to the East Coast time zone. They won 37-19 at Philadelphia in Week 2 and lost a week later 35-32 at Buffalo. The Rams also gave us a sneak preview to how bad the Cowboys would be in Week 1 with the Rams 20-17 win a cover. Last week they struggled to put the kill move on the Giants winning 17-9 but failing to cover 13.5-points.

Whatever the reason, Washington is the top sharp move of the week. So let’s get acquainted with Allen again, but first, let’s look at Haskins career-best day form last week against the Ravens quality defense. He was 32-of-42 (71.1%) for 314 yards, no touchdowns, but no picks. His 90.4 rating was the best of his young career as well. But they didn’t win. Rivera is sending a message not only to Haskins but the entire team. Maybe the team got the message and play better this week.

Déjà Vu for Allen?

Allen is known very well by Rivera because it’s the same coach who gave him his first career start at Carolina in 2018. He also started Allen over Cam Newton last season beginning in Week 3 and Allen lit it up with four TD passes, and no picks on 19-of-26 passing in a 38-20 win over the Cardinals. Allen would lead the Panthers to four straight wins totaling seven TD passes and no picks. Rivera was a genius, and when Newton would be healthy enough to start again wasn’t even a question anymore.

The Panthers had their QB of the future. But then the wheel fell off when he threw three picks in a 51-13 loss at San Francisco. He’d beat Marcus Mariota and the Titans the following week, but then would lose his next seven starts and Rivera would bench him before Week 14. And Rivera would get fired after the season.

Houston, you still have a Problem

The next most bet game by the sharps around Nevada is another shake-up game, but they’re taking the opposite side. The Houston Texans fired head coach and GM Bill O’Brien and gave the interim coaching job to defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. The 0-4 Texans (0-4 ATS) opened the week as a 6.5-point home favorite against the Jaguars (1-3), and they absolutely love the Jaguars in this spot to as low as -5 at Circa Sports.

The selling point on the Jaguars isn’t because the road team has gone 13-4-1 against the spread in their last 18 meetings. It could be that the Texans are rated much lower than many oddsmakers have them rated. It could be that Jacksonville has a more efficient QB.

Texans signal caller Deshaun Watson has been sacked 16 times, more than any other QB and more than half of those are his fault. He runs into sacks better than anyone. Watson could use some help as the trade for a third-string running back (David Johnson) for the best wide receiver (DeAndre Hopkins) isn’t working out well. The Jaguars play this week makes sense for more than one reason.

Backing the Browns

The third most popular sharp play this week is the Browns at home against the Colts and their No. 1 defense in a nice matchup of two 3-1 teams. The SuperBook opened the Colts -2.5 and the number has fallen all the way down to pick ‘em at William Hill sportsbooks.

After a surprising Week 1 loss at Jacksonville, the Colts have won and covered their last three with all three games staying the under the total.

They have imposed their will on the Vikings, Jets, and Bears, which isn’t exactly a scary gauntlet.

The Browns kind of have the same story, except it’s their offense that has taken off with the league’s No. 1 running game, averaging 204 yards per game.

Cleveland started off Week 1 with a disappointing 38-6 loss at Baltimore, but it has won its last three (all three games went over) by scoring at least 34 points and have covered the spread in the last two. The wins were against the Bengals, Washington, and the Cowboys, three teams likely not to make the playoffs.

Lone Star Fade

Speaking of the Cowboys, South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews says he had respected money bet the Giants at +9.5 which has dropped the Cowboys down to -8.5. The Giants No. 32 ranked offense has looked awful through four games but the Cowboys No. 30 ranked defense has made every offense look good. And for whatever it’s worth, even though the winless Giants are 0-6 ATS in their last six meetings versus the Cowboys, they’re 14-3 ATS in their last 17 road games.

Public leaning KC -- again!

BetMGM’s Jason Scott says their biggest risk so far is the Chiefs to cover -12, a number that was once at -13.5 at a few books but is down to a low of -11.5 at Circa Sports. The Chiefs are their biggest risk because of parlays and teasers mixed in with straight bets. It’s not necessarily a sharp play, but the public risk is mounting.

The top teasers plays this week will be the Chiefs, Rams and Cowboys, along with these matchups.

Top Teaser Consensus Teams

  • Cardinals (-7 at Jets)
  • Steelers (-7 vs. Eagles)
  • Ravens (-13 vs. Bengals)
  • Cowboys, Seahawks (-7 vs. Vikings) - SNF
  • Saints (-7.5 vs. Chargers) - MNF

Those are the biggest favorites of the week, majority at home, and the logic of the teaser is to take a moderate favorite to just win, or crossover key numbers getting below 7 or 3.

Andrews says their biggest public plays this week are the Chiefs, Rams, and Steelers.

Station Casinos sportsbook director Jason McCormick says their top public plays are the Seahawks, Steelers, and Rams.

That’s it for now, have a great weekend.

Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 16 years.

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