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Ravens-Browns betting action has books nervous on Monday night
By Jason Logan
Week 12 of the NFL ends with a bit of a fizzle, with the Baltimore Ravens visiting the Cleveland Browns in an AFC North rivalry on Monday Night Football. But if the NFL needs any evidence as to how much sports betting and fantasy sports can impact their audience – this is their game.
For such a ho-hum game, this line has seen some exciting movement since hitting the board last weekend. Early odds had this spread set as low as a pick’em, but with injuries mounting on the Ravens’ depth chart and sharp money siding with the Browns, this line has climbed as high as -5 toward the home side as of Monday afternoon.
At online market, Sportsbook they opened Cleveland -2.5 factoring in all the missing key players on the Ravens side. Early public money took the Browns and made the spread a field goal for most of the week before wiseguys made their presence felt on the weekend.
“We stayed at three for most of the week but with all the one-way action on the Browns and some sharp money on the Browns, we got to -3.5 on Saturday and eventually got to Browns -4 and now -4.5, all this movement coming over the weekend and this morning,” Peter Childs, supervisor of risk management for Sportsbook. “Nearly 75 percent of the action is on the Browns. It’s a game we hate booking, where the sharps and public are on the same side.”
In Nevada, it’s been a similar betting pattern, according to William Hill sportsbooks. They opened Cleveland -2 and are now dealing -4.5 on the Monday Night Football odds.
“Professionals and public bettors are both on Cleveland. It’s a one-way ticket,” Nick Bogdanovich, director of U.S. trading for William Hill. “The ticket count is actually fairly even, and that’s tricky because the bigger tickets are on Cleveland. It’s tough to lay points with these bad teams. I won’t watch this game. I’ll get the final at around 8:45 tonight. That’ll be about it.”
As for Monday’s total, sportsbooks opened 41 and have seen this number slightly move to 41.5. At Sportsbooks, they opened 41.5 and took some action from sharps on the Under, dropping it to 41.
The Under has hit in seven of the previous 10 meetings between the Browns and Ravens, with an Over/Under count of 3-7-2 in their last 12 clashes in Cleveland. The road team is also 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 matchups.