The line on Kansas City-New England “might as well be 87 because I think they’d lay the 87,” Jimmy Vaccaro, oddsmaker for Lucky’s sportsbook, joked to Covers.com Monday afternoon.
Lucky’s and every other book are taking Patriots money and more Patriots money, pushing the number from 14.5 to 16.5. Some books already moved to the key number of 17. Chiefs-Pats live odds.
Bettors shying away from laying such a large number are still betting New England – in the first half.
Caesars opened the first half at New England -9 and has moved to -10.5. Lucky’s is getting lots of action on Pats -10.
“Instead of laying what seems like an outrageous number for the game and possibly having that disastrous back-door cover, they’re playing the first half because New England is not going to back off early,” Vaccaro said.
At Caesars, first-half New England bettors “laid right through our 9.5 so at least 10.5 gives them some pause,” Todd Fuhrman, senior race and sports analyst, told Covers.com. “Figure if New England gets the ball four times in the half, they might have to score three of those four to cover.”
The flood of New England money is understandable. The Patriots righted themselves with a dominant win at the Jets last week, while the reeling Chiefs are going with Tyler Palko at quarterback for the injured Matt Cassel.
“Palko is a guy who got cut from a UFL roster,” Fuhrman noted. “Now he’s got to match up with Tom Brady. And the Chiefs’ offense was stuck in mud even with their starting quarterback.”
Still, Fuhrman doesn’t anticipate moving from 16.5 to 17 “unless we continue to get absolutely overloaded with Patriots money. I’d be surprised if there was that much public money out there taking it to 17.”
Sharps looking to play K.C., and other underdog lovers, will wait until right before kickoff, oddsmakers said.
“Would you rush to the counter if you’re looking to bet the dog?” Vaccaro said. “You’re going to at least get that [current line] tonight. When you get pointspreads in this range, the move on the dog comes in late when it hits the apex.”
Vaccaro doesn’t think the line will go over 17.
“That would be crazy,” he said, “but we’re in a crazy racket.”
The total has dropped from 48 to 46.5 as bettors fear Kansas City won’t be able to score.
At books everywhere tonight, they’ll be cheering for the Chiefs to be competitive.
“And I’m pretty sure it will be the exact same thing next Sunday night when the Chiefs are home dogs against the Steelers,” Fuhrman said.