Friday, June 2 2023

It was a monster weekend in the college football odds market, with conference championship games and College Football Playoff bids hanging in the balance.

Ditto on the NFL Week 13 odds board, with some really good matchups, including the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals renewing hostilities in a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship Game.

Unfortunately for most bettors, as has been the case much of the season, the book got the better end of Sunday’s biggest matchup.

Hail to the … Bengals

Before any of Sunday’s games kicked off, BetMGM vice president of trading Jason Scott was already laser-focused on one of the later games. The Chiefs-Bengals clash got plenty of attention during the week, and Scott knew a lot more money was in store.

And those dollars generally weren’t going to land on the defending AFC champions.

“The biggest decision of the day will 100% be Chiefs-Bengals. It’s clearly the largest handle, and it’s one-way traffic for the Chiefs and Over,” Scott said.

To paraphrase: the bookmakers needed the Bengals. And in a seesaw game, the bookies got what they needed: Cincinnati, a 2.5-point home underdog, won outright 27-24. Oh, and the total closed at 53.5, so oddsmakers got the Under, too.

“For the late games, the Bengals as a home ‘dog winning outright was [a] big winner,” WynnBet senior trader Chris Youn said. “We had about 80% money on the Chiefs to cover and 75% money on the Chiefs moneyline.”

In that second scenario – on the moneyline – bettors simply needed Kansas City to win. And the Chiefs rallied from an early 14-3 deficit to take a 24-17 lead late in the third quarter. But K.C. didn’t score again, and Cincinnati is now 3-0 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) in three meetings with the Chiefs over the past 12 months – once late in the 2021-22 regular season, then in the AFC title game, and now in Week 13.

Erin Andrews sits down with the Eagles’ offensive line.

Erin Andrews sits down with the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive line to talk about their success, playing in Philadelphia, and Christmas music.

Trendy ‘Dogs Downed

Week 13 saw two trendy underdogs taking tickets and dollars at WynnBet and elsewhere: The New York Jets and the Tennessee Titans.

So guess how that worked out for bettors? If you answered, “Not good,” then step up and claim your prize. Derrick Henry and the Titans got stuffed by the Philadelphia Eagles 35-10, with Tennessee a 4.5-point road pup. The Jets, getting 3 points at Minnesota, had great opportunities late to pull the modest upset but fell short 27-22.

“The Vikings winning and covering was our biggest winner. We received Jets tickets and money at a 2/1 clip,” Youn said. “The Eagles’ blowout was another good result.”

At BetMGM, Scott said bettors were piling on the Jets moneyline, banking on a New York outright win. And as for Titans-Eagles, the outcome pretty much matched Scott’s pregame hopes.

“We really can’t have the Eagles winning and not covering,” Scott said.

That was never really in doubt. Three minutes into the third quarter, Philly was up 28-10, and the Eagles – and the oddsmakers – coasted from there.

Back to School

Speaking of trendy underdogs, Kansas State was definitely one in Saturday’s Big 12 championship game against undefeated Texas Christian. In fact, K-State was such a trendy underdog that by the time Saturday’s kickoff arrived, the Wildcats were actually 1-point favorites after opening as 2.5-point underdogs.

This time, though, bettors were on the right side – barely.

The Wildcats blew a 28-17 fourth-quarter lead, with indefatigable TCU QB Max Duggan leading a comeback to tie the game at 28 and force overtime. But K-State then eked out a 31-28 victory.

“We need TCU a lot,” BetMGM’s Scott said pregame, noting K-State parlay play was a mounting issue, but so too was a Big 12 championship futures bet. “We have a $50,000 bet on Kansas State 12-1 to win the conference, from preseason.”

That customer pocketed a cool $600,000, thanks to the Wildcats.

But BetMGM got a significant chunk of that back later in the day, in the PurdueMichigan Big 12 championship. And it was a tough beat for one high-rolling customer. About an hour before kickoff, BetMGM reported a $330,000 bet on Purdue +16.

With five minutes remaining, Purdue got a field goal to pull within 14 at 36-22. Michigan then recovered the ensuing onside kick, and after a couple of first downs was at the Purdue 8-yard line with two minutes left. The Boilermakers had just one timeout remaining, so the Wolverines could’ve pretty much run out the clock on kneel-downs, and Purdue would’ve covered.

Instead, Michigan ran on first and second down, punching in a TD with 1:22 left to make it 43-22 … and lighting on fire that $330,000 Purdue +16 ticket.

Revived Raiders?

Las Vegas’ season looked pretty much over after nine games, with the Raiders at 2-7 SU and 3-6 ATS. But Derek Carr & Co. apparently aren’t going down without a fight.

The Raiders have won three in a row SU and ATS, and a 27-20 home victory as 2.5-point favorites against the Los Angeles Chargers proved to be WynnBet’s lone rough spot Sunday.

“The only really big loser for us was the Raiders covering,” Youn said.

CeeDee Dollars

The prop bet of player to score the first touchdown is always popular in standalone prime-time games. Sunday night’s contest between the Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys was no exception.

And one bettor was extremely confident in one player: Cowboys wideout CeeDee Lamb. The FanDuel Sportsbook customer put $97,309 on Lamb at +700.

About 10 minutes into the first quarter, Dak Prescott connected with Lamb on a 20-yard TD pass to put Dallas up 7-3. And that bettor profited to the tune of $681,163. Cha-Ching!

I Like Big Bets and I Cannot Lie

Along with the aforementioned losing play on Purdue, there was no shortage of big money flowing on football over the weekend. As noted in a FOX Sports report last week, USC drew an absolute monster of a play at Caesars Sports: $901,350.65 on Trojans moneyline -130 vs. Utah in the Pac-12 championship game.

Hopefully, that was easy come/easy go for such a high-roller because Utah scorched USC 47-24 Friday night here in Las Vegas.

Caesars also noted a handful of NFL #MajorWager activity on Week 13 games:

  • $275,000 Titans +5 at Eagles (loss)
  • $390,000 Packers -3 (-130) at Bears (win)
  • $110,000 Bears +4 vs. Packers (loss)
  • Two $110,000 Rams +7.5 bets vs. Seahawks (win)
  • $110,000 BrownsTexans Under 47 (win)
  • $110,000 Colts-Cowboys Over 43 (win)
  • $100,000 Giants moneyline -120 vs. Commanders (push – it was a 20-20 tie!)
  • $100,000 Lions moneyline +100 vs. Jaguars (win)

Finally, this one arrived at BetMGM just before the Jags-Lions kickoff: $440,000 on Jacksonville +1, which was a loser, as Detroit rolled 40-14.

So as always, I’ll remind you: Never bet more than you can afford to lose. That’s why I’m a #ChilisMoney bettor.

Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and senior reporter for He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He’s based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golfing in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas.

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Source: FOX Sports


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