Have you seen the wild NFL scoreboard for the last four weeks?
It’s been fantastic with the highest scoring four weeks in NFL history. The bookmakers have had to react quickly on the fly with a countermeasure, but it hasn’t been severe enough. In the first eight Sunday games of Week 4, the over went 7-0-1 aided by 68 touchdowns, extending a trend set last week and which have carried over to be 36-22-2 overall through Sunday.
“The totals hurt,” said South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews. “It was a good day, not great, but we need the Eagles (+8.5 at San Francisco) tonight.”
The Eagles would win their first game of the year, 25-20, paying out the best price of +300 at the South Point, but also barely staying under 45.5. The Eagles’ first win also makes them a half-game leader in the lowly NFC East.
The Sunday night game opened at 49ers -6.5 against the Eagles but was at -7 for most of the week at MGM books until a 49ers line surge came Saturday into Sunday that went from -7.5 to -8 (skipped 8.5 because it doesn’t matter) and eventually to -9. They closed at 49ers -8.5 but they didn’t move on money and stayed with the market instead. Books such as the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook and Circa closed at 49ers -7.5, total 45.5.
The market moves on air could be a troubling area of concern as more U.S. books are following the European model moving forward. It means that manipulation can be done easier if curated properly. Sophisticated action is already doing it, and it’s a concern for a few bookmakers doing things in the traditional way where actual money moves their number. Manipulation, calculated by someone very smart.
Chargers sharp play
Wiseguys played the Chargers early in the week at +7.5 and +7, and others followed late at +6.5, but the action on the Tom Brady Buccaneers was a force the public couldn’t resist and it closed 7.5 as the Bucs would win 38-31.
“The Chargers were frustrating as we thought they were going to be our first and only outright upset,” said Westgate SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay.
Bruce Arians: Chargers have a great one in Justin Herbert https://t.co/Ensc7RGThS
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 5, 2020
Kornegay said their top three losers on the day were the Bills, Seahawks and Saints. Tom Brady threw five TD passes to five different receivers. It was kind of cool, but none to his boy Rob Gronkowski — all season. Tampa Bay is 3-1 and might be jelling before our eyes. Chargers rookie QB Justin Herbert is Wally Pipp version 2020.
Favorites would go 5-6-1 against-the-spread, totals would go over 7-3-2 at the end of Sunday night’s game. The Bills offense and the Colts defense are really good.
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“I’m over teasers,” Atlantis Reno sportsbook director Marc Nelson said half-kidding. “We’re doing well now but the under is bad, and the 49ers and under is very bad. We still win a little to the day (regardless).”
For my friends and family in Colorado, Nelson and the Atlantis have an app at the Monarch Blackhawk casino. Also in Colorado is the SuperBook and Circa Sports.
One last thing on Nelson’s teaser dilemma. Six-point NFL teasers are still the best value in the sportsbook, especially side-to-total where if one thing happens the other is more likely. It pays the same as an action happening in two different games.
Sometimes all four sides win and the book can’t win. Ask most books what their least profitable option offered annually and it’s going to be two-team teasers in the NFL most of the time. So why not pick on that area always?
Big MGM bets
“We had a couple of decisions (from house players) that was basically a snapshot of our day where we kind of broke even,” said MGM Resorts sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback. “We would have been ahead on the day but gave up a lot with in-game play.”
The big plays MGM books in Nevada took started with Seahawks (-6.5) at Miami for $550,000, which won with the Seahawks’ 31-23 victory. They also had a play on the Cardinals (-3 -115) twice early in the week for their game at Carolina, one bet was for $300,000 and another was for $230,000.
The Panthers’ 31-21 win paid out a Las Vegas-best +150 on the money-line at William Hill sportsbooks. The disconnection witnessed last week in a home loss to the Lions with Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury and second-year QB Kyler Murray may have spilled over into Week 4. It’s something to pay attention to moving forward. I never thought of Murray as a diva, but he’s acting like it. Kingsbury needs to manage this quickly to save what was a promising season at 2-0 now at 2-2.
The big MGM bettor laid the worst of it and still won as the game closed Seahawks -4 at several books.
MGM books also had the cutest parlay of the week with someone laying $100,000 on a five-team parlay at 6-1 odds. Lots of favorites on the money line, some with first half only stipulations such as the payoff game being the Lakers -5 in the first half of Game 3. The Heat (+9) would win the first half and game, 115-104. Bet loses, but it was fun.
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Pats-Chiefs date change
The rules on the date change with the New England-Kansas City game moved to Monday in the wake of Cam Newton testing positive for coronavirus and being ruled out differed around town.
The game opened Chiefs -7, was taken off the board, then put back up after the date switch from Sunday to Monday with the Chiefs -11. It was K.C. -10.5 as the consensus as of Monday morning.
It can be confusing to follow, and there’s no edge either way, but it’s important to know the rules at the property you’re betting at.