Vegas Money Moves – Week 8
Bettors Leaning Low
Howling winds and a brisk chill in the air is in effect at almost every one of the 12 sites for Sunday’s Week 8 NFL action with the exception of the indoor game at Detroit, down south near the equator in Miami, and of all places a sunny Denver which had snow last week.
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has seen all their opening totals lowered over the course of the week, with the exception of Kansas City (vs. N.Y. Jets) where the winds are only at 11 mph and the total has remained steady at 49.
The unders have been cashing the past few weeks after a fury of overs to start the season.
What goes up must eventually come down, so what we have here this week is a natural balance of inflated numbers evening out added in with sweeping winds in the great lakes region that has got the attention of sharp money combined with air moves by the bookmakers to adjust to the conditions.
Pros on Minnesota
The Vikings have been a popular sharp bet everywhere in Nevada taking +7 and +6.5 at Green Bay where it’s supposed to be 37 degrees with 25 mph winds. The total has dropped from 55 to 50.5 as of Friday and you can believe that it will only get lower closer to game time. William Hill sportsbooks have seen 96% of their cash on the total in this game taking the under. It’s their second-largest disparity they have on any total.
The Raiders pass attack figures to be slowed at Cleveland where there’s a 90% chance of rain with 27 mph winds. While the Browns have been -2 or -2.5 for most of the week, the total has dived from 54.5 to 50.5. Looks like a running game being the key here with Josh Jacobs and Kareem Hunt going head-to-head in the slop. Clock ticking, chains moving, and low scoring. My first look on Sunday was a dead over, but the weather changes everything.
The Patriots travel to Buffalo for lovely Upstate New York weather, with rain having a 50% chance, 45 degrees, and 21 mph winds. The Bills have been bet up from -3.5 to -4 on the basis of Cam Newton struggling and the Pats losing three straight, but the total has dropped from 44 to 41.5 which is the lowest total we’ve seen since Week 4 when the Broncos and Jets were 41. The South Point and Reno Atlantis have seen big public play on the Bills while Station Casinos has seen sharp action on the Patriots.
Tennessee-Cincy gets attention
Cincinnati's Joe Burrow is heaving the ball more than any rookie QB in NFL history, but he’ll have to do it Sunday with an extreme handicap of 21 mph winds rolling off the Ohio River against the visiting Titans, who are six-point road favorites over the Bengals. The total has dropped from 54.5 to 52.5.
Jason McCormick at Station Casinos says the Titans are one of their most weighted public sides.
Marc Nelson at the Reno Atlantis said he had respected money bet the Titans, but his public likes them as well.
Doug Castaneda says his Wynn sportsbook’s biggest risk this week is the Bengals so far. As you can see, this game is all over the place with lots of differing opinions throwing down cash.
Here’s an equation to check out: High winds make passing accurately difficult making the ground game more reliable to move the ball. The Titans have Derrick Henry, the Bengals starting RB Joe Mixon is out for the second straight week.
Sharps vs. Public
The Wynn’s second-biggest risk is the Seahawks who are -3 (Even) at home against the 49ers where the weather is good but the total still dropped from 54 to 53.5. The Seahawks still have the worst defense in the league allowing 479 yards per game (YPG), but also have QB Russell Wilson playing the weekly magician and leading an offense averaging 33 points per game.
The Saints have gone from -2.5 road favorites at Chicago to -4 after the Bears horrendous showing last week on Monday Night Football. It’s going to be 38 degrees with 20 mph winds and the total has dropped from 47 to 43.5 despite the Saints going over the total in their last six games. William Hill bettors have bet the under at a 97% rate, their largest disparity of the week.
Miami is going to be gorgeous as always with winds at 10 mph, but the total didn’t drop from 49 to 46 because of it. Perhaps sitting a hot Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB and starting rookie Tua Tagovailoa has something to do with the drop. But the spread has remained at -3.5 despite sharp play everywhere on the Dolphins taking the points. The public likes the Rams and it may be the starkest sharp/public divide of the week.
Week 8 Sharp Leans
The Chiefs laying -19.5 at home to the Jets isn’t finding many suitors either way, but the underdog usually covers in these instances. However, who wants the Jets even though they did cover their first spread (+9.5) of the season last week in an 18-10 loss to the Bills.
Only the Cowboys remain as an ugly 0-7 ATS this season, and they’re much worse now than at any point of the season as rookie third-stringer Ben DiNucci from James Madison is expected to start at QB for Andy Dalton who got assaulted in the face while sliding last week by the Football Team.
None of the Cowboys came to his defense. They allowed their QB to take a cheap shot and no one paid the price on Washington, their chief rival. The Cowboys would not be my first choice to partner up in a foxhole.
Week 8 Public Leans
Anyway, the Eagles are 9.5-point home favorites for the Sunday night game after no line was offered for most of the week. Winds are expected to reach as high as 15 mph. Philly is banged up everywhere except QB, but this Cowboys team looks to have quit. Maybe DiNucci can spread the field downfield more than Dalton. I think just about everyone can other than Philip Rivers, who's still starting at QB for the Colts.
The game of the week is the Steelers at Baltimore where the Ravens have dropped from -5 to -4 despite sharp action reported on the Ravens. Winds expected to be 11 mph. Why wasn’t this game flexed by NBC instead of the Cowboys disaster? Maybe it’s because people always slow down on the highway to watch the aftermath of a car crash. Is the Cowboys crash riveting?
Have a great weekend, enjoy the games.
Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 16 years.
Where to place a bet this NFL Season?
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