The overwhelming consensus among NFL reporters seems to be that Tom Brady’s hand injury is not a major concern and the Patriots quarterback will play on Sunday, but the sports gambling world is clearly viewing the situation a lot differently.
Since Brady injured his throwing hand in practice on Wednesday, the gambling line for the AFC Championship Game has been steadily shifting. Prior to the injury, the Patriots were a nine-point favorite over the Jaguars. Following Brady’s second straight practice wearing gloves on Friday, the line was moving much closer to a touchdown.
According to RJ Bell of Pregame.com, Las Vegas insiders believe Brady’s hand injury is a legitimate concern for the Patriots.
Multiple private sources telling me …
Tom Brady's hand injury is WORSE than the mainstream thinks.
(I would not be surprised if #Patriots drop to -7 in the near-term.)
— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) January 19, 2018
In addition to the line shift, the total for the game had also been bet down from 46.5 to 45 at some sportsbooks as of Friday afternoon.
No team in the NFL is tougher to get a read on with injuries than the Patriots, and Brady was no help at his bizarre press conference on Friday. The extent of the injury is unknown, but professional gamblers obviously feel it is going to negatively impact New England in some way.
- Tom Brady
The New Orleans Saints were big losers on Sunday, but they did help some people despite blowing their NFC divisional playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings.
The Saints were leading 24-23 after kicking a field goal to take the lead with 25 seconds left. They looked to be sure winners as Minnesota faced a 3rd-and-10 situation from their 39 with 10 seconds left and no timeouts.
Case Keenum heaved a ball downfield to Stefon Diggs, who scored on a 61-yard touchdown to go up 29-24 thanks to a badly missed tackle.
But the story didn’t end there. The spread for the game was Minnesota -5.5, meaning despite leading by five, the Vikings were not covering the spread. NFL rules require teams to attempt extra points after touchdowns, even if there is no time left on the clock. But instead of kicking to go up 30-24 and cover the spread, the Vikings kneeled on the ball.
So the Vikings’ miracle touchdown may have helped them win, but it didn’t help most Minnesota backers cover the spread.
- NFL Playoffs 2017
Carson Wentz is helping the Philadelphia Eagles make history in the postseason, and the star quarterback isn’t even going to play a snap.
The Eagles, who earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC after winning the NFC East division and finishing the regular season with a 13-3 record, opened as a 2.5-point underdog for Saturday’s divisional round game against the Atlanta Falcons. According to David Purdum of ESPN.com, that is the first time a No. 1 seed has opened as an underdog in the NFL playoffs.
The Falcons, the No. 6 seed in the NFC, pulled an upset over the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday. Given the way Atlanta looked and the way Nick Foles played over the final two games of the regular season, it’s no surprise the Eagles are an underdog for next weekend’s game. Westgate Superbook oddsmaker Ed Salmons believes Philly would have been as much as a 6.5-point favorite with Wentz.
Even with the home team getting points in a playoff game, Salmons says most of the bets have been on the Falcons.
“The early action, it’s pretty much all on Atlanta,” He told ESPN. “The public is going to bet Atlanta.”
Foles took over as the starter for Philly when Carson Wentz suffered a torn ACL in early December, and he looked extremely shaky to close out the season. There was even some talk that he could be benched for the playoffs, but Doug Pederson put that to rest.
- Philadelphia Eagles
Doug Pederson gave a large segment of sports bettors quite a Christmas gift on Monday night.
Pederson’s Philadelphia Eagles struggled for most of the night at home against the Oakland Raiders and appeared to have no shot at covering the 10-point spread in their game. They got a field goal to take a 13-10 lead in the final minute. And just when you thought that would be the final score, the Eagles gave hope to bettors who backed them to cover the spread.
With 3 seconds left, the Raiders ran a final play to try and win the game. They tried to use some laterals but Derek Barnett picked up a fumble and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown to make it 19-10.
But the story doesn’t end there! By rule, even though time had expired, the Eagles had to attempt an extra point. Had they elected to kick, they likely would have won 20-10 and pushed on the spread. Instead, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson kneeled on the extra point, keeping the final score at 19-10.
Since the point spread was 10, those who had the Raiders and the points still came out winners, which was the outcome that should have happened all along. At least this will not be another entry to our long list of bad beats.
- Doug Pederson
Just when you thought the “Monday Night Football” game between the Chiefs and Redskins was over, and when you thought Washington beat the spread and the game was going under, some craziness happened.
Kansas City kicked a field goal with four seconds left to go up 23-20, essentially winning the game. They had to kick off though, and Washington tried to run a bunch of laterals to move the ball down the field. It didn’t work, and Kansas City recovered the ball and ran in for a score:
"This might be meaningful for some" pic.twitter.com/BmhyMWSqVO
— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD2_) October 3, 2017
The touchdown made the score 29-20.
What makes this so interesting is that Kansas City was favored by 6.5 to 7 points at many sportsbooks. The last TD ensured they covered the spread. The over/under line, which is also frequently bet, was anywhere from 47 to 49 points at many books. The score took the game from under to over at most books, killing things for most who had the under.
But the madness doesn’t end there!
By rule, teams need to attempt an extra point after scoring. The Chiefs could have kicked to make it 30-20, which would have made the total go over 49 and surpass the total at almost all books. Instead, they decided to kneel out the final play.
If you had Washington and the under, we feel your bad beat pain!
- bad beats
The betting for Saturday’s Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight is starting to get wild, highlighted by a $1.2 million bet that reportedly came in on Thursday.
While some are questioning if the spectacle between the two fighters will be a sellout, one thing we do know is there has been no shortage of money wagered on the bout.
On Thursday alone, one person laid down $1 million, which was exceeded by another bettor who put $1.2 million on Mayweather.
.@MGMRaceSports took a $1 million bet on Floyd Mayweather today, per Jay Rood.
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) August 24, 2017
Biggest bet yet on Mayweather comes in. William Hill says a bettor just plunked down $1.2 million for Floyd. Would pay $240K if he won.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 25, 2017
ESPN’s Darren Rovell also added the largest bet so far on McGregor totals $150,000.
Biggest bet on McGregor so far is a series of bets from a bettor totaling $150K. Would win $662,500 if he wins, according to @DavidPurdum.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 25, 2017
The current odds at Bovada have Mayweather a -450 favorite and McGregor a +325 underdog. Much of the early money wagered on the fight came in on McGregor, which dropped the odds by over half.
Prior to some of the major money that’s come in recently on Mayweather, the previous big bet was for nearly $900,000 made by the Maloof brothers.
The Oakland Raiders have a better chance than any team not named the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl this upcoming season, at least according to Las Vegas.
David Purdum of ESPN.com reports that more bets have been placed on the Raiders to win the Super Bowl than any other team this offseason. As a result, Oakland’s odds of capturing the NFL title have moved to 6-1 from their opening line of 20-1. The Patriots, who are listed at 3-1 to win the Super Bowl, are the only team with better odds.
At the 108 Nevada sportsbooks owned by William Hill, nearly twice as many bets have been placed on the Raiders to win it all than any other team. Purdum notes that they also top the list at Caesars Palace, Station Casinos, South Point, Westgate Las Vegas and CG Technology. The same can be said for division title bets, where the Raiders have taken more action to win the AFC West than any other team from any division.
The Raiders are moving to Las Vegas in 2019, and merchandise and billboards are already popping up all over the area. However, Westgate assistant manager Ed Salmons believes the action on the Raiders is more about value than the franchise’s impending move to Sin City.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with the Las Vegas angle,” Salmons said. “Last year, the Raiders played really high-scoring games, and they started covering spreads. That is just the dynamic of a public team.”
The Patriots are the overwhelming favorite to win the AFC once again. Beyond that, there is a huge difference in opinions. Many feel that the New York Giants will be the strongest team in the NFC, but the NFL is always filled with surprises. Heck, one of the most popular bets during the offseason became irrelevant, so you never know what will happen over the course of several months.