Weekend gambling recap; Josh Allen injury causes huge line movement

Who doesn’t love a 4-0-1 betting weekend?

When you think you’ve seen it all, well, you always know there’s more. NFL Week 10 odds betting amply proved that.

You got your money’s worth if you had any of your hard-earned cash on the Minnesota Vikings vs. Buffalo Bills matchup.

Hopefully, you’d have the underdog to get that money back and more.

Justin Jefferson’s amazing catch propels Vikings to OT win against Bills

Justin Jefferson's amazing catch propels Vikings to OT win against Bills

The Minnesota Vikings beat the Buffalo Bills 33-30 in overtime yesterday.

“The craziest bet I’ve ever seen”

Before we even get into the wild end of the Vikings-Bills tilt, we need to start with how this game played out over the past week. Some sportsbooks opened Buffalo as much as a 9-point favorite. With Josh Allen (elbow) uncertain to play, the line dropped to -3 by the end of the week. Then on Saturday, the Bills announced that Allen would likely play and the line bounced to Buffalo -6.5.

The Bills appeared to be in control with a 27-10 lead late in the third quarter. Then Vikings running back Dalvin Cook broke off an 81-yard TD run to make it 27-17. That was part of a 20-0 Vikes run capped by an extremely unusual play: After stopping Minnesota on fourth-and-goal, Buffalo went first at its own 1-yard line, aiming to ‘run out the clock.

But Allen pushed the play, and Minnesota recovered in the end zone to take a 30-27 lead. In the final 41 seconds, Buffalo rallied for a field goal to send the game into overtime, but Minnesota won 33-30.

“This is the craziest bet I’ve ever seen and the craziest result I’ve ever seen,” South Point Sportsbook Director Chris Andrews said. “We had a high of -8 Bills and a low of -3 Bills in the spread. The total was a high of 48 and a low of 43.5.”

It put Andrews and oddsmakers in Vegas and across the country in a precarious spot. Normally, the risk room is concerned with maybe one or two numbers, but the scope of this game was huge.

“We’ll be fine as long as it doesn’t come close to all those numbers,” Andrews said. “We had a lot of numbers we were trying to avoid and we avoided them all. Minnesota was good.”

Ahead of the game, BetMGM sports trader Seamus Magee said: “Bills of 3-7 points are the worst result for us.”

Andrews added: “It wouldn’t have been good.”

This fate was narrowly avoided. When the Bills took over at their own 1-yard line late in the fourth quarter, they led 27-23. Successfully runs out the clock and bettors have a good time as the books take a bath, paying Vikings bets ranging from +9 to +5 and Bills bets -3.5 or less, and refunding all Vikes pressures +4/Bills – 4.

But bettors had their moments in the Week 10 NFL odds market.

Racking up early wins

Bettors generally had their way in Sunday’s early NFL games. At BetMGM, for example, the book needed the Broncos, who were 2.5-point underdogs against the Titans. Tennessee won 17-10. The book needed the Texans to cover as 4.5 point dogs to the Giants, and New York won 24-16.

BetMGM really needed the Saints to beat the Steelers in a game where the line opened New Orleans -3 but closed Pittsburgh -1. The Steelers won 20-10 at home.

“The Vikings game was decent, but the rest [early] the blackboard was not good. Lots of red numbers on my page,” said Jason Scott, VP of Trading at BetMGM.

Andrews, a Steelers fan who regularly dons Pittsburgh gear on NFL Sundays, generally likes to see Pittsburgh do well. But on Sunday his favorite team saw his book very well.

“We got buried. We opened Saints -2.5 and closed on the Steelers -1.5. That’s a hell of a move,” Andrews said, noting that heavy bettors and the public were in Pittsburgh. “That’s usually a bad sign.”

Better for books

Of course, although bookmakers often have similar needs in games, this is not always the case. And a couple of places did well in Sunday’s NFL results.

“The combined result of the Giants and Under coverage was a great result for us,” said WynnBet Senior Trader Chris Youn. “The Lions win was another one [good result]. We had two big totals, with Jacksonville-Kansas City going under and that final touchdown in Cardinals-Rams to get the Over.”

The Chiefs outshot the Jags 27-17, holding well below their 51.5 total. The Cards outshot LA 27-17, but the Rams’ last-second TD pushed the game beyond 38 total.

“The Vikings and Packers money lines were big losers, but we gained a little bit on the spread of each of those games,” Youn said.

Green Bay, a 3.5-point underdog at home in Dallas, rallied from a 28-14 deficit with two fourth-quarter TDs. The Packers won 31-28 in overtime.

The SuperBook teamed up with WynnBet to point to the Lions-Bears result, a 31-30 Detroit win as a 3-point road puppy.

“There was a lot of public money on the Bears to cover at home, so the Detroit win was a great result for us,” said SuperBook Senior Risk Supervisor Casey Degnon. “The Broncos were another popular team, so we were happy to see Tennessee come away with a win and a cover.”

On Campus

In Saturday’s Week 11 college football odds market, The SuperBook pointed to two key results: Purdue’s 31-24 win as a 6.5-point dog at Illinois; and Washington’s stunning 37-34 upset as a 12.5-point dog at Oregon.

“Purdue’s win in Champaign against the Fighting Illini was a very good result in the spread, as well as killing some money parlays,” Degnon said. “Washington’s win at Oregon was our best result of the day. Tons of public money the Ducks were favored to cover.”

On the other hand, Washington-Oregon was not good for WynnBet, thanks to a lot of flyer bets that led to the Huskies winning outright.

“Washington’s money line was one of our biggest losers, but we got some of it back,” Youn said.

I like high stakes and I can’t lie

One of the biggest reported bets of the weekend came on the final NFL game. A BetMGM customer fired $257,607.70 (yes, 70 cents at the end, just for good measure) on the 49ers -450 moneyline against the Chargers.

All San Francisco had to do to make it a winner for this punter was win the game. The Niners trailed most of the night, but came away with a 22-16 win. The bet netted $57,246.16. Not a bad return on investment in three hours or so if you have that kind of cash.

A similar bet found itself on the BetMGM desk on Saturday and was a legitimate sweat until the waning seconds. The bettor put $240,000 on Alabama’s -450 money line for their road game against Ole Miss.

The Crimson Tide led 30-24 late in the fourth quarter, but the Rebels drove to the 14-yard line in the final minute before punting. That allowed Alabama to escape, as did the bet, which netted $53,333.

And finally, a Caesars Sports customer took a shot at a handful of NFL games with $575,000 in bets:

  • $110,000 on Packers +5 vs. Cowboys (win)
  • $110,000 Broncos +2.5 Titans (Loss)
  • $115,000 on Broncos +3 on Titans (loss)
  • $130,000 on Lions +3.5 (-130) on Bears (win)
  • $110,000 in Jeans +6.5 on Giants (Loss)

This bettor wasn’t so lucky, posting a net loss of $135,000. So if your five-team parlay went up in smoke this weekend, just remember that it could be worse. And remember to keep it reasonable. Bet only what you can afford to lose. Enjoy this Monday Night Commander-Eagles tilt.

Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and a senior reporter for VegasInsider.com. He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He is based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys playing golf in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas.

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