Bill Ordine for Bookies.com

By Bill Ordine | | 6 mins

On The Money | NFL Week 5 Betting Recap: Raiders, Baby

On The Money | NFL Week 5 Betting Recap: Raiders, Baby

The Raiders apparently aren’t just the new home team for Las Vegas football fans. At least for a day they were also the home team for sports bookmakers in Vegas and elsewhere.

When the Raiders traveled to hugely favored Kansas City Sunday to play the Super Bowl champion Chiefs, it was among the most bet games — if not No. 1 — in NFL betting at most books. And while the weeklong line movement (from the 11.5-12.5 range down to 10.5 points) indicated that both smart and public money was coming in on the Raiders, there was more at stake. That would be all the parlays and teasers that were counting on the Chiefs as a certain W.


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So when the Raiders outslugged the Chiefs, 40-32, although the Raiders covered a slew of straight wagers, disappointed parlay bettors could just tear up those big-money tickets and the bookies could breathe easy.

“The game that probably had the most significance on the day was when the Raiders beat the Chiefs,” MGM Resorts Director of Trading Jeff Stoneback said. “We did lose on the straight bets because that game came down from 12.5 to 10.5 and we did take a $100,000 bet at +10.5 (on the Raiders) just before kickoff but obviously, it just killed a lot of teasers and money-line parlays so that saved us. So even though the game itself was about a break-even, it was still a game-saver for the day.”

Johnny Avello, head of sports book operations for DraftKings, was another one of the books happy with the Raiders.

“The Chiefs were played on the moneyline, the Chiefs were played on the side. I don’t think anyone thought the Chiefs might lose to this team,” Avello said. “They thought it might be competitive but never thought the Raiders would be better.”

At BetRivers, the Chiefs were backed by 92% of the total game handle. At PointsBet, the betting was first on the Chiefs pushing the line to 13.5 and then swung to the Raiders bringing it down to 10.5 but in the end, there was still more action on the Chiefs (67% of bets, 61% of spread handle).

Avello offered that the Raiders might get more respect after years of being also-rans.

“It took the coach, Chuckie, a couple of years to get this team to stop making mistakes and be competitive,” Avello said referring to Raiders head coach Jon Gruden who is nicknamed for his alleged resemblance to the killer doll in the “Chuckie” horror films. “But they are that now, they’re competitive. The Chiefs have handled them easily over the years. So maybe now (bettors) will take a look at them. They’re running the ball better and their defense played well and came up big when they needed to today.”

Big Winners

Among big bets at DraftKings, Avello said Cleveland had an enthusiastic backer.

“We had a $300K money line bet on the Browns … It was laying short juice, like -112 or something like that,” he said. The Browns made that player a winner with a 32-23 win over Indianapolis.

Sunday night’s Minnesota at Seattle game was a big one for several books, especially at At BetMGM.

“The same bettor who bet $500,000 on Seattle last week (and won) and $400,000 when the Seahawks played the Patriots on a Sunday night was in town today … so I figured he’d be firing in on the Seahawks game and sure enough he ended up putting $290,000 on Seattle (laying 6.5 points) against Minnesota,” Stoneback said. “And of course, the public is on the Seahawks too so this could make a good day a spectacular day or make a good day just about a break-even day.”

Seattle beat Minnesota, 27-26, on Sunday Night Football, winning the game outright but failing to cover.

At the South Point Casino is Las Vegas, veteran bookmaker Jimmy Vaccaro flashed some big tickets on Twitter.

One South Point bettor had a three-team money line parlay of Rams (-360), Steelers (-340), Bengals (+550) for $4,500 to profit $43,867.65 (that was a loser when Cincinnati fell to Baltimore). A Carolina backer put down $33,000 on the Panthers (+2) to win $30,000 against the Falcons (that turned out to be a player win as Carolina won outright, 23-16).

A Vegas believer had the now hometown Raiders getting 11 points against Kansas City for $20,000 to profit $18,181.80 (Vaccaro commented “Al Davis special”). And another Browns backer took Cleveland (-1) against Indianapolis laying $44,000 and pocketed $40,000.

Unders Make a Slight Comeback

The trend of Overs dominating so far this season took a slight breather yesterday.

The Overs have been so overwhelming in the first four weeks of the NFL season, that the sports books continued to raise the bar substantially on the O/Us for Week 5. At William Hill, seven of the 11 games on Sunday were posted at 50 points or better. Even among the four games that were in the 40s, it was usually on the high side.

With the Over/Under betting lines ratcheted up, the Unders finally enjoyed a rally, if only for a few hours, as the lowballs came in for five of the seven early games. But the Overs reasserted themselves in the three late day games sweeping all of them. In the night game, the Under barely came in when Seattle beat Minnesota, 27-26, and the line mostly stood at 54.

The numbers have told the story. The average totals for NFL games had increased over the first four weeks of 2020 — Week 1, 45.5 points; Week 2, 46.1 points; Week 3, 48.2 points, and Week 4, 49.6 points.

Interestingly, the lowest O/U total yesterday, Eagles at Steelers, drew some of the most aggressive bet as an Over. At PointsBet, 81% of the bets and 86% of the money was on the Philadelphia-Pittsburgh Over (44). At FanDuel, 72% of the bets and 74% of the money was on the Over (44.5). The game didn’t disappoint the Over bettors. It was an Over winner in the third quarter as the Steelers won, 38-29.

In that game, Pittsburgh wide receiver Chase Claypool scored four TDs, three on receptions and one on a run. That amounted to a lottery ticket hit for one DraftKings bettor who turned $5 into $755 for the 150-1 prop on Claypool scoring three touchdowns. Another DK player had a more modest hit on Claypool, putting down $25 on the rookie to score twice and winning $475.