The Duffel Bag Bettor sounds like something out of a George Clooney/Brad Pitt flick. But this is no movie.
A guy has been showing up at sportsbooks in Vegas putting a wad of cash on football games. He'll drop 20 grand here, 50 grand there, 77 grand over here. His identity has not been revealed, but among the people who follow the sports betting scene out there, he is known as the "Duffel Bag Bettor."
You and I carry a wallet or a handbag; this guy carries a duffel bag.
"He might be oblivious that this is a thing," said Mitch Moss, who co-hosts a sports gaming show for the Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSiN) on SiriusXM. "The characters you'll see at a sportsbook on any given Saturday is insane."
He was originally dubbed "Duffel Bag Boy" by Moss's co-host, Pauly Howard, but the name has been transformed into something less demeaning, more mysterious.
Mr. Duffel had a tough weekend last week with the Vikings tied into three different parlays. Minnesota — in the upset of the young NFL season — was drilled outright by Buffalo, which was a 16.5-point road underdog. He lost two wagers worth $50,000 each and another for $20,000.
At some point in the last month, Moss said, DBB did cash a parlay for $360,000. But in college football's Week 2, he got hurt when Oklahoma failed to cover a 29-point spread in a 49-21 win over Chip Kelly and UCLA (ouch) but did well when Ohio State smacked Rutgers, 52-3.
"He always bets against Rutgers," Moss said. "He hates Rutgers. He hates Newark's airport."
In fact, he reportedly already has plays on Indiana to beat the Scarlet Knights this weekend with a pair of straight bets.
"The sportsbooks know who he is," said Patrick Everson, a senior writer for Covers.com. "They are very careful who they take money from."
Everson explained that there is generally a process with large bets that often begins with a phone call earlier in the day or even several days beforehand.
"I'll look at them and say, 'My God, how could you waste that much money?' " Everson said with a chuckle. "But their disposable income is in a much different area code than you and me."
Moss, who has been in Vegas for 17 years, says you never know whom or what you'll run into.
"I was doing a show one Sunday morning and this random guy came up to me," he said. "To say he was dressed conservatively is being kind. He had dirty clothes, torn pants, and he talked a big game. But then he reached into his pocket and each of his tickets was for at least 10 grand."
Eagles note of the week
Dug through the last two-plus years to see if there were any trends related to the Eagles' visit to Tennessee and came up with a play on the over.
Since the start of 2016, when Doug Pederson became coach, the over is 13-3-2 when the Birds are on the road or on a neutral field (i.e., the Super Bowl). It breaks down to 1-0 this year, 6-2-1 last year, and 6-1-1 in 2016 according to the logs at GoldSheet.com.
In that same time frame, the over is 10-5 in Titans home games started by Marcus Mariota.
Sunday's total had been bet down from 42 to 41 in a few places, indicating people were playing the under. But with the likely return of Alshon Jeffery, even if limited, the over is tantalizing. Maybe not 10-grand tantalizing, but tempting nonetheless.
SugarHouse is in — almost
SugarHouse on Wednesday became the third casino in the Philadelphia region to submit an application for sports betting, but it was not filed in time to be considered at Wednesday's Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board meeting.
Harrah's in Chester applied earlier this week, following Parx, which applied in August. The Valley Forge casino in King of Prussia is the only one in the region yet to apply for a sports betting license, but it just changed owners and likely will at some point.
Harrah's application also will not be considered Wednesday, but submissions from Parx and Penn National almost certainly will. The next board meeting after Wednesday is on Oct. 31.
Successful applicants are required to pay the state a $10 million fee, which is the primary reason Pennsylvania has been late to the sports-betting party.
This and that
The Ocean Resort in Atlantic City is offering discounted rooms and beverage credit on Thursday nights to try to generate business toward its sportsbook. The Eagles play at the Giants on Thursday, Oct. 11. The Ocean's offer is based on availability. … Carson Wentz and Dallas Goedert are having a little fun because their alma maters are facing one another in a hefty rivalry game on Saturday. Top-ranked North Dakota State (Wentz) is laying 11.5 to third-ranked and visiting South Dakota State (Goedert), according to VegasInsider … Penn State has covered three of four against Ohio State since James Franklin became coach in 2014.
Vegas Vic’s pick
Handicapper Vegas Vic looks at Thursday's NFL game
Remember this past Monday's game when everyone was screaming about Mike Tomlin losing the locker room? And Ben Roethlisberger being washed up? Well, you know the answer to that question: Steelers 30-27.
Kinda similar situation here, where every talking head, podcast, and faux-handicapper has anointed the Rams Super Bowl champs. Don't totally disagree, but in the week-to-week of the NFL, stuff happens. The Vikings are going through a rough patch, getting embarrassed at home by the Bills, and losing DE Everson Griffen to a medical situation. So, naturally, Minny is going to come out with nostrils on fire and bring its A-plus game to L.A. Not expecting an outright Purple win, but they should stay close enough to cover the generous seven-point spread. Gimme $55 to win back $50 on Minny.
And in case you're wondering, I'm NOT putting up $99,000 to win back $100 on the money line for the Alabama/UL-Lafayette game. The odds the other way are ULL 250-1.
Week 4 byes: Carolina, Washington