Sportsbooks in Las Vegas are celebrating a huge windfall from Week 3 of the NFL season, with numerous upsets coming up big for books.
While favorites finished the day 9-4-1 ATS – usually a recipe for disaster for sportsbooks – the chalk that did lose was tied into plenty of parlays and teasers, wiping out many muti-wager ticket holders. Losses from the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers and New York Giants were more than enough.
“The Browns were a huge, huge game. We had an obscene amount of teasers on the Vikings,” MGM Resorts sportsbook director Jay Rood told Matt Youmans of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “The sharps and public were all on the Giants. Everybody was betting the Giants like it was free money.”
Chalk one up for the bad guys. But perhaps the betting public will have its revenge in Week 4, which has more than a few tricky spreads and totals to tangle with. Maybe the hardest game to get a handle on is the 0-3 vs. 3-0 matchup between the winless Giants and undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.
Peter Korner, founder of the Nevada-based odds service The Sports Club, sent out a line of Chiefs -4.5 but the books have watched that spread shorten to K.C. -3.5 with early money on the road team.
“I don’t know why the early money is on New York,” says Korner. “Not sure if it’s the ‘due factor’ with them or if it’s wiseguys trying to draw it down before coming back strong on gameday. I don’t see the value in them coming off a road game and heading into an even tougher road spot.”
Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans (+3, 43)
The Seahawks made a believer out of bettors by topping the 20-point spread versus Jacksonville Sunday, and books are following that with a statement spread in Week 4. Seattle is a field-goal fave in Houston and could go even higher by kickoff.
“They are the team right now and we don’t want to be caught short,” says Korner. “Seattle is drawing money at -19 and -20 and Houston hasn’t had the results to warrant them being a favorite here.”
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Minnesota Vikings (Pick, 41)
Two 0-3 teams jump the pond to play at Wembley Stadium in London, England. I bet the Brits are pumped for that…
According to Korner, oddsmakers just toss out the home-field edge when factoring these games in London. And, with Minnesota and Pittsburgh both showing very little to start the year, this game was sent out with a suggested spread at a pick’em.
“What’s a better number than that?” Korner says of the pick spread. “We’re weary of the total, because of the weather there. It’s often rainy.”
The total for Sunday’s overseas showcase was sent out at 41 points. The forecast for London is calling for rain, with a chance of thunderstorms and evening showers Sunday.
Philadelphia Eagles at Denver Broncos (-10, 55)
Two of the fastest offenses in the league clash in this Week 4 track meet.
The Eagles attack is averaging 207.7 rushing yards – tops in the NFL – and 26.3 points while the Broncos are No. 1 in passing – 376 yards – and scoring, at 45 points per game heading into Monday night. Neither side is great at defense either, making for one big total.
“We put out 55 but it’s up as high as 58 out there now,” says Korner. “We’ll likely be suggesting a move up as well. Two teams known for scoring, and the Eagles don’t play any defense. The Broncos have all those offensive weapons. I could see this going higher.”
Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints (-6, 47)
The Dolphins would likely be as high as 9-point underdogs heading to New Orleans any other season. But, this year, the Fins are one of the few 3-0 squads and are commanding the respect of oddsmakers in Week 4.
“Miami has some good weapons and is going to keep this competitive,” says Korner. “I can’t tell you where this line will go. The six looks like a solid line. Miami is going to make this game interesting."