Originally found on Fox Sports:
National Football League
Oct. 30, 2023 11:09 a.m. ET
As the past three weeks have shown in the NFL odds market, all it takes is one or two popular public favorites falling to turn an entire Sunday on its head. And thereby separate a lot of casual/recreational bettors from their money.
Let’s recap the weekend that was in football betting.
Moneyline Parlay Sway
A few weeks ago, John Murray, executive director of The SuperBook, explained what winning weeks come down to in the NFL these days. Paraphrasing only slightly, he said it’s all about the public’s obsession with moneyline parlays. If all the popular public teams — generally favorites, but occasionally an underdog or two — win, then the public is going to have a great day.
But all it takes to create a reversal of fortune is for one of those teams to stub its toe. Two teams, even more so. This is what Murray said before the games in Sunday’s late window: “I can tell you right now that it’s gonna be bad if the 49ers, Ravens and Chiefs all win. We are going to need one of these ‘dogs to win outright to knock out some [moneyline] parlays for us.”
Three hours or so later, Kansas City — which had won 16 in a row against Denver — lost to the Broncos 24-9, and San Fran was on the wrong end of a 31-17 decision against Cincy.
From Mixed Bag to Goodie Bag
The Chiefs/Niners losses stood in contrast to mediocre results in Sunday’s early games.
Minnesota beat Green Bay 24-10 but suffered a huge injury with quarterback Kirk Cousins tearing an Achilles. Carolina edged Houston 15-13 to get a little bit back for The SuperBook. Then in the late window, it went from mixed bag to goodie bag.
“We had a fantastic afternoon, highlighted by the Broncos’ win. This looks like another very solid Sunday for us, despite the mixed bag in the early games,” Murray said.
‘Basically Our Entire Day’
The refrain was much the same at BetMGM. Prior to any of Sunday’s games kicking off, trader Christian Cipollini discussed the national needs for BetMGM.
“We’re hoping that one of the Eagles, Dolphins, Ravens or Chiefs go down today,” Cipollini said.
It looked as if Cipollini might get his wish with Philadelphia, which fell behind Washington 14-3 in the first half. But Jalen Hurts & Co. rallied and ultimately won 38-31. Miami didn’t have much trouble in a 31-17 win over New England, and Baltimore topped Arizona 31-24.
Those three games were in the early window. So BetMGM’s last hope was the Broncos beating the Chiefs in the late window. It seemed unlikely because, as noted above, K.C. owns Denver, winning 16 in a row. But 7-point favorite Kansas City had five turnovers — three from Patrick Mahomes (two interceptions and a fumble) — in the 24-9 loss.
“The early slate wasn’t great, but the late slate was. Everything got broken up in the late games,” Cipollini said.
Added BetMGM Nevada’s Scott Shelton, with the Vegas perspective for the sportsbook: “We had another nice Sunday. The 49ers and Chiefs going down was basically our entire day. We took a couple big bets on both those favorites, and basically every moneyline parlay/teaser still alive got wiped out.”
While most books did well on Sunday, South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews’ needs were a bit different. He needed a San Fran win and cover, and the Eagles’ 38-31 victory — right on the closing number of Philly -7 — was problematic.
“We needed Washington, and it landing 7 was terrible. We opened -6.5,” Andrews said.
Which means everyone who had Eagles -6.5 got paid, and everyone who had either team at 7 got a refund.
“We really haven’t gotten nailed this year, so I guess we had it coming,” Andrews said.
Bettors did a little better to the college football Week 9 odds market. Prior to Saturday’s games, BetMGM trader Seamus Magee had this to say:
Kentucky was a 4-point home underdog to Tennessee and lost 33-27. Wake Forest was catching 21 points against No. 4 Florida State and lost 41-16. And Utah, a 6.5-point home underdog, got flattened by Oregon 35-6.
That’s three wins for BetMGM customers and an even bigger need behind the counter for an unlikely Wisconsin upset. The Badgers couldn’t deliver an outright win vs. Ohio State, but in losing 24-10, they narrowly covered as 14.5-point home ‘dogs. So that was a W for the book and an L for bettors.
Shelton said Saturday was just a back-and-forth battle between bettors and the book.
“We basically traded money all day,” he said. “We came out a small winner after Fresno State got steamed late, and we took a $200,000 bet on Fresno right before kickoff.”
Indeed, an hour before kickoff against UNLV, Fresno State moved from -9.5 to -10.5. And then, as Shelton noted, that massive spread bet came in on the Bulldogs. Fresno State ultimately won 31-24, but failed to cover for bettors.
And perhaps no surprise, with the public all over Coach Prime and Colorado — on the spread and moneyline — the Buffaloes covering on a late TD at UCLA was good for bettors. Colorado trailed at UCLA 28-9 but got a late TD in a 28-16 loss to cover as a 14.5-point underdog.
“UCLA not covering was bad,” Andrews said, speaking for the South Point and surely many books in Vegas and across the nation.
I Like Big Bets and I Cannot Lie
Per usual, Caesars Sports took a gaggle of major wagers on the NFL Week 9 odds market. Among those notable plays:
– $240,000 Texans -3 (-120) vs. Panthers. Loss.
– $220,000 Commanders +7 vs. Eagles. Push, so the bettor gets a refund.
– $210,000 Broncos +7 (-105). Profit of $200,000, for a total payout of $410,000
– $85,900 Bills moneyline -455. Profit of $18,900, for a total payout of $104,800
– $50,000 Bills -8.5. Loss, as Bills fail to cover in a 24-18 win.
“The most interesting thing I’ve seen about this game is that we took a $100 bet on Georgia moneyline -650. To win $15.”
At least the bettor didn’t have to sweat for those 15 dollars. The Bulldogs led 36-7 by the end of the third quarter and coasted to a 43-20 victory. The payout is just enough #ChilisMoney to grab a 3 For Me meal at Chili’s, including the tip!
Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and senior reporter for VegasInsider.com. He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He’s based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golfing in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas
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