NFC West Matchup receives attention
The biggest line move of NFL Week 6 action started 10 days ago when the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook posted their early Week 6 numbers with the San Francisco 49ers as three-point home favorites over the Los Angeles Rams.
But following the Week 5 results, the SuperBook immediately posted the Rams as favorites (-3), which was mostly based on the 49ers eye-opening 43-17 home loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Bettors thought so low of the 49ers after quartreback Jimmy Garoppolo’s return to the lineup was a disaster that they thought the 7-point move wasn’t enough and bet the Rams to -3.5 on Monday morning.
On Wednesday, 49ers money showed up pushing the Rams down to -3 (-120).
On Thursday, they bet the 49ers again pushing the game to Rams -3 flat. But by Friday afternoon it was back up to Rams -3 -120.
At the South Point, sportsbook director Chris Andrews says it’s one of those sharp-public divide games. You can guess who the public likes. The Rams are 4-1 with a top-4 defense coming off a wire-to-wire 30-10 win and cover (-7) at Washington. Meanwhile, the 49ers have two straight bad losses as 8.5-point home favorites over the Eagles and Dolphins, and the public liked the 49ers in both and got burned. They’ve learned their lesson and refuse to be burned again by the 49ers.
But the way the San Francisco reporters are talking, this game is a defining moment for Garoppolo. He’s at a crossroads. This could be it and he might be playing for his job and home. He should be motivated, so if you like the 49ers, you have the desperation narrative going for you. And it’s a home game on a Sunday night although the 49ers have gone winless at Levi Stadium (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS) which hasn’t had any fans attend this season yet.
The 49ers won both meetings last season, the Rams have covered three of the last four. The road team has covered four of the past five meetings.
Week 6 - Largest Public Leans
Los Angeles Rams
Green Bay Packers
SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay says the Rams are one of their top public plays this week, along with the Ravens (-7.5 at Philadelphia), and Packers (PK at Tampa Bay). Those are the same top-3 public plays at the South Point.
Battle of the Bays
Up north in Reno, Atlantis sportsbook director Marc Nelson also has the Packers as their top public team. The first five weeks of the season the Buccaneers were a very popular public team as people transferred QB Tom Brady’s success with the Patriots into continuous trends for 2020.
But when the Chicago Bears (+3.5) beat the Bucs, 20-19, last Thursday night, most bettors had seen enough and flipped.
The Packers are 4-0 both SU and ATS, the type of run the public loves to press until it eventually loses. Plus, Green Bay and star QB Aaron Rodgers will be playing with rest after having a bye in Week 5.
However, BetMGM VP of trading Jason Scott says their biggest liability so far through Friday afternoon was on the Buccaneers.
The SuperBook early number had the Bucs -3 (EVEN) and after the loss to the Bears, it was readjusted to Packers -1.5. But despite all the public play, there’s enough respected money on the Bucs to keep the SuperBook at pick ‘em.
The Ravens are part of the most popular 3-team parlay this week, but unlike the other two, wise guys have not shown their hand on the other side with the Eagles yet and it was sitting Ravens -7.5 all week until the SuperBook moved to -8 on Thursday. On Friday, respected money came on the Ravens to push them to -9.5 and then back to -9. BetMGM is also at -9.
Kornegay said their sharp play is on the Cowboys (-1 vs Cardinals on Monday), Browns (+3.5 at Pittsburgh), and Texans (+3.5 at Tennessee) while Andrews says the South Point’s biggest sharp risk is the Bears (+1.5 at Carolina), Jaguars (+3 vs. Lions), and 49ers.
Nelson says the Atlantis’ top wise guy plays are the Browns, Bucs, and Broncos (+9 at New England).
The Patriots canceled practice on Friday after a player tested positive for COVID-19 and there were some concerns in Indianapolis for their home game against the Bengals (+7.5) but reopened their facility Friday after tests came back negative.
Both games are still on the board, but bettors do have concerns.
“No big players (yet), covid has everyone spooked,” said BetMGM’s Scott.
Nevada’s BetMGM high rollers (whales) usually arrive Friday or Saturday night.
AFC South Trap?
The game that surprises me the most that the public isn’t on, or at least as much as the other three, is the undefeated Titans (-3.5) at home against the Texans who finally won last week. Wynn sportsbook director Doug Castaneda says the Titans are their biggest risk thus far, but they’ve got the type of players where one bet means the entire day's success. Kornegay has sharp money on the Texans.
Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 16 years.