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Vegas Money Moves – Week 12
By Micah Roberts
South Point sports book director Bert Osborne made a quick decision on Friday morning to move the Patriots off the key number of -3 for Sunday night’s marquee game at Denver. Even though his parlay handle was weighted heavily on the Patriots, he had some respected straight bet money built up on the Broncos taking +3 so he’s now offering the only Patriots -2.5 number in Las Vegas.
You might think with the South Point showing the only -2.5 in the city that large money would come running fast, but no one had touched it after four hours. It’s likely not to move and what we’ll soon see is the rest of the city join in at the same number. Get to the right number quick is the strategy as 95 percent of the money taken on the game will happen over the next three days. Every other book in town has the Patriots -3 EVEN. Osborne always uses flat numbers. He never moves the money on a spread.
Side note: the only game Osborne has been burned on this season moving on and off of 3 was last week with the Rams at Baltimore. ‘3’ is the most key number in the NFL with 16 percent of all games over the past decade landing on it. The Ravens game landed 3 when the number moved off -2.5. He paid back the money that took St. Louis +3, money that showed the game balanced on overall risk. But all the early money on Baltimore at -2.5 got paid and it was a loss for the house, and not just at the South Point, but at most books across the city.
The most one-sided bet game at the South Point this week has been the Cardinals laying -10.5 at San Francisco, which has been a common theme the past few weeks for both teams. The public loves the high scoring Cardinals while also hating Blaine Gabbert and the 49ers. Osborne says he’s got a 12-to-1 cash ratio on parlays with the Cardinals.
The top public parlay games of the week have been Arizona (-10.5), NY Giants (-2.5), Kansas City (-6), Tampa Bay (+3), Oakland (+1) and the Patriots (-2.5).
The Cardinals are also the most bet team on teasers. Osborne’s got the most teaser liability built up on them and the Bengals, the two largest spreads remaining on the week. The rest of the games are all 6-points or less, which isn’t attractive for regular teaser bettors, or at least the favored side isn’t.
Osborne said the Packers (-8.5) getting beat Thursday night wiped out a lot of the teaser risk that was tied to both Arizona and Cincinnati. He also said the Bears’ 17-13 win allowed them to salvage the day after getting beat up with Detroit and Carolina covering where both games went OVER the total. It was a popular four-team parlay and several six-teamers were waiting to cash with Green Bay and the OVER.
Here’s a look at what the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook posted last Wednesday in their early Week 12 NFL numbers and where they’re at as of Friday afternoon. The changes are based on rating adjustments from week 11 results as well adjusting to the market and also cash wagered.
New Orleans at Houston: HOU opened -2.5 and have been a strong -3 all week at every book.
Minnesota at Atlanta: ATL opened -3 (EV) and were reopened at -2.5 on Sunday night, but MINN money has pushed the number down to -1.5. Several books are at -1.
St. Louis at Cincinnati: CIN opened -7 and was reopened at -7.5 on Sunday night, but after showing well on Sunday night at Arizona, they were reopened Monday at -9. South Point and William Hill books are using -9 while the Westgate is at -8.5. MGM books have a city low of -8.
Tampa Bay at Indianapolis: IND opened -3.5 (EV) and its now -3 (EV).
NY Giants at Washington: Opened pick ’em and NYG is now -2.5 (-120).
Oakland at Tennessee: OAK opened -1.5 and they’re now -1.
Buffalo at Kansas City: KC opened -3 and they’re now -6 with BUF QB Tyrod Taylor expected to start. The game was re-opend Sunday at -3.5 and taken down before MNF game between BUF and NE. On Tuesday it was reopened at -4.5 and quickly bet to -6.5. On Thursday it was moved back to -6.
Miami at NY Jets: NYJ opened -4 and was reopened Sunday night at -4.5. They were at -3.5 until going back to -4 on Thursday, but on Friday morning they were pushed down to -3.5.
San Diego at Jacksonville: JAC opened -1.5 and they’ve been a steady -4 all week since reopening numbers for betting on Sunday night.
Arizona at San Francisco: AZ opened -8 and was reopened Sunday night at -9.5. The move to -10 and then -10.5 happened on Monday and the move back to -10 came Wednesday.
Pittsburgh at Seattle: SEA opened -3.5 and the number still sits there.
New England at Denver: NE opened -5.5 and the same number was used to reopen with on Sunday night. Following the MNF game, NE opened -3.5 on Tuesday and DEN money was quickly taken moving the game to -3. On Friday morning, they moved DEN to +3 (-120).
Baltimore at Cleveland: BAL opened -2.5 and is now CLEV -3 with all the news items that occurred. When they reopened the numbers Sunday night knowing Joe Flacco was out, it opened pick ’em and CLEV was bet up to -1.5 quickly. It was -2.5 on Monday and then finally -3 on Thursday. Josh McCown will start at for CLEV, which is an upgrade over Johnny Manziel, who is now third string. Matt Schaub will start for Baltimore. Las Vegas oddsmaker Kenny White says Flacco is worth 4 points to the rating.
Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 11 years.