Weekend gambling recap; Josh Allen injury causes huge line movement

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

When you think you’ve seen it all, well, always know there’s something more. Betting on NFL Week 10 odds indeed demonstrated that in a big way.

You got your money’s worth if you had any of your hard-earned dollars on the Minnesota VikingsBuffalo Bills showdown.

Hopefully, you had the road underdog to get that money back and more.

Justin Jefferson’s jaw-dropping catch propels Vikings to OT win vs. Bills

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

‘Craziest Betting I’ve Ever Seen’

Before even addressing the wild ending to the Vikings-Bills tilt, we have to start with how this game evolved over the past week. Some sportsbooks opened Buffalo as much as a 9-point favorite. With Josh Allen (elbow) uncertain to play, the line got as low as -3 late in the week. Then on Saturday, the Bills announced Allen would likely play, and the line rebounded to Buffalo -6.5.

The Bills seemed in control with a 27-10 lead late in the third quarter. Then Vikings running back Dalvin Cook ripped 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 had first down at its own 1-yard line, aiming to run out the clock.

But Allen fumbled the snap, and Minnesota recovered in the end zone to take a 30-27 lead. In the final 41 seconds, Buffalo rebounded to get a field goal and send the game to overtime, but Minnesota went on to win 33-30.

“That’s the craziest betting I’ve ever seen and the craziest result I’ve ever seen,” South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews said. “We had a high of Bills -8 and a low of Bills -3 on the spread. The total had a high of 48 and a low of 43.5.”

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

“We’d be OK as long as it didn’t fall anywhere near all those numbers,” Andrews said. “We had a lot of numbers we were trying to avoid, and we avoided all of them. Minnesota outright was good.”

Pregame, BetMGM sports trader Seamus Magee said: “Bills by 3 to 7 points is the worst outcome for us.”

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

That fate was averted – barely. When the Bills took over at their own 1-yard line late in the fourth quarter, they led 27-23. Successfully run out the clock, and bettors have a heyday while books take a bath, paying out on Vikings bets ranging from +9 to +5 and Bills bets of -3.5 or less, and refunding all the pushes on Vikes +4/Bills -4.

But bettors had their moments in the NFL Week 10 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 road underdogs against the Titans. Tennessee won 17-10. The book needed the Texans to cover as 4.5-point ‘dogs at 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 of the [early] slate was no good. Lots of red numbers on my page,” BetMGM vice president of trading Jason Scott said.

Andrews, a Steelers fan who regularly dons Pittsburgh gear on NFL Sundays, generally likes to see Pittsburgh do well. But his book got dinged pretty good by his favorite team Sunday.

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

Better for the Books

Of course, while bookmakers often have similar needs on games, it’s not always the case. And a couple of spots did well to the NFL Sunday results.

“The combined result of the Giants covering and the Under was a great result for us,” WynnBet senior trader Chris Youn said. “The Lions winning was another [good result]. We had two totals that were big, with JacksonvilleKansas City going Under and that final touchdown in CardinalsRams to get the Over.”

The Chiefs beat the Jags 27-17, staying well below the 51.5 total. The Cards beat L.A. 27-17, but the Rams’ final-seconds TD pushed the game beyond the 38 total.

“The Vikings and Packers moneylines were big losers, but we did win a bit to the spread on each of those games,” Youn said.

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

The SuperBook joined WynnBet in pointing to the Lions-Bears outcome, a 31-30 Detroit victory as a 3-point road pup.

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

On Campus

In Saturday’s college football Week 11 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 winning in Champaign against the Fighting Illini was a very good outcome on the spread, as well as killing some moneyline parlays,” Degnon said. “Washington winning at Oregon was our best result of the day. Tons of public money was on the favorite Ducks to cover.”

On the flip side, Washington-Oregon wasn’t good for WynnBet, thanks to plenty of flier bets taking the Huskies to win outright.

“Washington moneyline was of our biggest losers, but we did get some of it back on the spread,” Youn said.

I Like Big Bets and I Cannot Lie

One of the largest reported wagers 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 49ers moneyline -450 vs. the Chargers.

All San Francisco had to do to make a winner of that bettor was win the game. The Niners trailed most of the night but came away with a 22-16 victory. The bettor netted $57,246.16. Not a bad ROI over the course of three hours or so if you’ve got that kind of cash.

A similar wager came across BetMGM’s counter Saturday, and it was a legit sweat until the waning seconds. The bettor put $240,000 on Alabama moneyline -450 for its road game against Ole Miss.

The Crimson Tide led 30-24 late in the fourth quarter, but the Rebels drove all the way to the 14-yard line in the final minute before stalling out. That allowed Alabama to escape, as did the bettor, who netted $53,333.

And finally, a Caesars Sports customer blasted away on a handful of NFL games with $575,000 in wagers:

  • $110,000 on Packers +5 vs. Cowboys (win)
  • $110,000 on Broncos +2.5 at Titans (loss)
  • $115,000 on Broncos +3 at Titans (loss)
  • $130,000 on Lions +3.5 (-130) at Bears (win)
  • $110,000 on Texans +6.5 at Giants (loss)
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That bettor wasn’t nearly as fortunate, posting a net loss of $135,000. So if your five-team parlay went up in smoke this weekend, just remember it could be worse. And remember to keep it reasonable. Only bet what you can afford to lose. Enjoy that Monday night CommandersEagles tilt.

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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