There are two NFL teams laying 20 or more points this weekend, and some of the early wagers have been curious.
ESPN’s David Payne Purdum tweeted a couple doozies that were placed at Caesars Palace in Vegas.
One was an $89,000 money-line parlay bet on the Cowboys to beat the Dolphins and the Patriots to beat the Jets. No point spreads. Dallas and New England just have to win the game. The bettor would win $4,050. Yep, 89 grand to win four.
Another was the same bet risking $1,000 to win $45. But these plays aren’t unusual, explained William Hill sportsbook director of trading Nick Bogdanovich. Still, it’s a tough way to score a stack of comped drink tickets.
“[We see] one-way action on the favorite because the masses will not touch the bad team,” Bogdanovich said. “They will tease and parlay the ... out of the big favorite.”
The Jets were +22.5 points against the Patriots at Caesars on Thursday morning, while Miami was +21.5 to Dallas. This is the first weekend there have been two 20-point spreads in NFL history, not counting Week 5 of the 1987 strike disaster, when replacement players were used.
According to Caesars’ New Jersey app, if that $1,000 player would have gone the other way — taken the Jets and Dolphins to pull upsets — it would pay $240,000. If he took the points, the payout would be $2,644.
According to Pro-Football-Reference.com, underdogs getting 20 or more since 1987 are 0-11 straight-up but 9-2 against the spread. Just for fun, I went on to the gaming site Goldsheet and checked out the 2015-16 Sixers, who went 10-72. They were 0-8 straight-up when the line was 15 or higher, but they covered six of those eight.
There have been six games in college football this season between two FBS teams in which the line has been at least 35 points. The 'dogs are 0-6, and 2-3-1 ATS.
So, these parlays look like sure winners, right?
“I hope these are recreational stakes,” said professional sports bettor Jack Andrews, who tweets @capjack2000, “and the bettors realize that black swans can happen.”
It’s called a pros vs. Joes game when the sharp bettors are on one side and the amateurs are on the other. That’s what PointsBets is seeing for Sunday’s Eagles-Lions meeting.
“We got hit with early action on Detroit +7 from respected accounts, but a steady stream of public Eagles money throughout the week evened things out,” Matt Chaprales, head of content, said Thursday morning. “We’re currently at 6, but wouldn’t be surprised if the number goes back to 6.5 if the action continues to be one-sided as we get closer to game day. Either way, we’ll definitely need the Lions come Sunday.”
The Eagles are 0-2 against the spread, which local bookies love.
Temple (2-0) is one of 18 college football teams undefeated against the spread. Six schools are 3-0: Auburn, Central Florida, Kentucky, Kansas State, Louisville, and SMU. The Owls are laying 14 at Buffalo on Saturday (3:30 p.m., ESPNU). FanDuel said 74 percent of the money it’s seen on that game has been on Buffalo.
The Flyers have the seventh-longest odds to win the Metropolitan Division after Westgate listed them at 9-1. They opened at 8-1. Washington (7-2), Pittsburgh (9-2), Carolina (9-2), the Islanders (7-1), and the Rangers (8-1) are ahead of them. Only Columbus (25-1) is behind.
William Hill has the Sixers at 8-1 to win the title, 5-2 to win the conference, and the over/under total for regular-season wins is 55.5. They had 51 last season.