Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:52 AM

Vegas Money Moves - Week 9

Public starts Week 9 with a "W"

The sportsbooks got off to a horrible start in Week 9 of the NFL season with the Green Bay Packers capturing a 34-17 road win at the injury-plagued San Francisco 49ers, a game that was no sweat for Packer backers who laid up to -7.5.

“We got beaten up good last night on the Packers,” said BetMGM Vice President of trading Jason Scott. “Our customers couldn’t find the 49ers button.”

What kind of effect did the 49ers last-second TD have on the total that dropped from 51.5 down to 48?

“It was the cherry on top to completely ruin my night,” Scott said.

Onto Sunday's Action

Now the bookmakers look to get some of the Thursday losses back by balancing out Sunday’s 12 games where there’s an undefeated team playing a team that is 0-8 against the spread, the Football Team is favored, sharp money is finally turning on the Bears, and an old school AFC West rivalry with Las Vegas invading Los Angeles.

Top vs. Bottom

First up is the 7-0 Pittsburgh Steelers (6-1 ATS) visiting the 2-6 Dallas Cowboys, who have failed to cover a spread this season.

The public is jumping all over the Steelers at all books in Nevada and they don’t seem to mind laying -14 which is why Station Casinos sportsbook director Jason McCormick tested the waters to see if any Cowboys money was to be had at +14.5. The hook didn’t attract anyone over the counter or the phones, so maybe the proper number is +15 or +16 to help balance the tilted one-way betting.

You can’t blame the public for betting against something that has cashed every week.

Betting against the Cowboys pays out better than the ATM, and now the Cowboys have their fourth and fifth string quarterbacks scheduled to play with head coach Mike McCarthey keeping who will start, either Cooper Rush or Garrett Gilbert, tight under his sweat jacket. Sure, the Steelers will really be thrown off defensively by practicing for Gilbert when Rush starts.

Cooper Rush, from Central Michigan, should get the start just because he knows offensive coordinator Kellen Moore’s offense better since being on the team the last two seasons. The Steelers average score this season is 30-20.

Headed East -- Again

Another popular public team, and the top public team at Station Casinos which is the capital of public bettors in Nevada, is the 6-1 Seattle Seahawks laying -3 (Even) at the 6-2 Buffalo Bills.

Despite owning the worst defense in the NFL, 460 yards-per-game, QB Russell Wilson can’t be stopped these days and the offense is averaging a league-best 34.3 points per game. The public hates the Bills this week because they’re on an 0-4 ATS run.

Plus, Seattle has won and covered its two games in the Eastern Time Zone this season with wins at Atlanta (38-25) and MIami (31-23) in Week 1 and 4 respectively.

The public also loves their 7-1 Chiefs who have covered six of eight games, the last one covering -19.5 against the Jets. Surely they can cover -12.5 at home against the 3-5 Panthers, right? Sharp bettors disagree and have been taking the points all week from +12 down to +10.5. Star running-back Christian McCaffrey is expected to return to action this week for the Panthers and carry his normal load after practicing the last two weeks.

Public vs. Sharps

The public and the sharps are both on the same sides of the Bears-Titans game and have pushed the number from Tennessee being a six-point home favorite to -6.5.

The 5-3 Bears (5-3 ATS) have been a popular sharp money bet in recent weeks, but they’ve jumped ship and are laying the points with the 5-2 Titans, who find new ways not to cover weekly going just 2-5 ATS.

Both teams come off two straight losses.

Two 5-2 teams match-up as Baltimore (3-4 ATS) plays at Indianapolis (4-3 ATS) and the public and sharp money are divided on this one as well.

The public has the Ravens as the fourth-most bet team in parlays this week while sharp money took +2.5 at +2 on the home dog at a few books. However, the Ravens are Circa Sports biggest risk of the week thus far. The SuperBook has the Ravens -1.5 with a total set at 48. The Colts rolled to a 41-21 win at Detroit while the Ravens come off a 28-24 home loss to the Steelers.

South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews says they’ve taken sharp action on the 3-4 Broncos (+4) at 2-6 Atlanta, but he didn’t move the number. The total has stayed at 50 all week as well. Both of the Falcons (3-5 ATS) wins this season have come in the last three weeks and both were on the road.

The Broncos (5-2 ATS) will be playing their fourth road game in the Eastern Time Zone and have covered the previous three, and won the last two outright.

Practices in Denver have been limited this week due to a COVID-19 outbreak which included VP John Elway getting infected.

The 2-5 Washington Football Team (4-3 ATS) opened as 3.5-point home favorite against the 1-7 New York Giants (5-3 ATS) and sharp money pushed it past the most key number of ‘3’ down to -2.5.

QB Daniel Jones has never lost to the Washington’s going 3-0, including their only 2020 win in Week 6 against them. The 20-19 win was ugly and magnified more by Washington head coach Ron Rivera going for a 2-point conversion in the final seconds instead of the kick to tie. Washington moved the ball well that day and deserved to win.

BetMGM's Scott says though action has been light so far, their biggest risk has been on the 4-3 Las Vegas Raiders at +1.5 and +1 at the 2-5 Los Angeles Chargers with a total that has surprisingly dropped from 54 down to 51.5, although six of the past seven meetings have stayed under between the pair.

The Chargers have covered five of seven games, but come off a heartbreaking loss at Denver. The Raiders (4-3 ATS) come off a gritty 16-6 win at Cleveland.

Las Vegas vs. Los Angeles, wow, in the NFL. I still get a smirk every time I see it in lights or hear announcers say "Las Vegas Raiders." I hope NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell does too, the guy who just a few years ago wouldn't let Las Vegas buy ads for the Super Bowl.

Up north at the Atlantis Reno, book director Marc Nelson has taken the same public action as down south in Las Vegas, but his respected money was a bit different getting plays on the Dolphins +4.5 at Arizona, and Jaguars +7 at home against Texans.

Circa Sports director Matt Metcalf says their most handled game of the week already is the Sunday night game with the 5-2 New Orleans Saints (2-5 ATS) looking to sweep the 6-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4 ATS) in a huge NFC South battle from Raymond James Stadium.

Metcalf says action has been steady on both sides with a slight lean towards taking the +4.5 with the saints who beat the Bucs, 34-23, in Week 1 with Saints being four-point home favorites.

It’s unusual for the Sunday night game to have the most action before the early games start on Sunday.

It’s especially rare for a Friday afternoon to have it already be the top played game.

Week 9 - Public vs. Sharp Leans


  • Saints
  • Giants
  • Panthers
  • Colts
  • Jets
  • Dolphins
  • Jaguars
  • Titans
  • Broncos


  • Seahawks
  • Chiefs
  • Steelers
  • Ravens
  • Titans

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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