Nov 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Bills-Browns over-under swings wildly with move to Detroit

A change in venue for the Cleveland Browns-Buffalo Bills game on Sunday led to a major swing in the game’s over-under odds and the cancellation of some bets.

The NFL announced Thursday that the game would be moved from Orchard Park, N.Y., where five-plus feet of snow is expected this week, to Detroit.

Caesars Sportsbook subsequently tweeted, “Bets placed on this event prior to the location change will be void.”

However, DraftKings ruled that because the game day and the designated home team remain unchanged, all existing bets would stand.

The point spread for the contest remained relatively stable. The Bills had been favored by 8.5 points for the game in Buffalo, and most sites still had the spread at that figure Thursday night.

The total for the game, though, varied wildly. After opening at around 46.5 to 47.5 points, the over-under dipped down to 42.5 to 44 points due to brutal forecast for Western New York.

After the announcement of the move to New York, the game was off the board for a bit, then was reposted at most books with a 48.5-point total.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills apparatus stand snow covered before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Blizzard warning plowing odds for Bills-Browns

The forecast for Buffalo calls for more than two feet of snow and falling point totals on Sunday.

Books are moving their morning lines to reflect changes in the weather that could bring a massive amount of snow before, during and after the Week 11 NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns.

Models vary in projections for lake effect snow for western New York, with Buffalo projected to get between 23 and 32 inches and gusty winds into game time on Sunday (1 p.m. ET scheduled kickoff).

The Bills are favored by 8 points on the consensus line.

BetMGM lowered the total from 47 total points to 43 on Tuesday, noting the winter storm warning from the National Weather Service.

The teams haven’t met since 2019, a 19-16 win for the Browns in Cleveland.

The Bills average 27.8 points per game this season and have topped 27 in all four home games.

Cleveland opened as 8.5-point underdogs and the consensus total was 44.5, which was bet higher Sunday and Monday.

–Field Level Media

Bills quarterback Josh Allen  walks of the field after fumbling the snap that turned into a Vikings touchdown.

OT loss costs Bills ground but still Super Bowl, AFC favorites

From a prohibitive favorite to narrowly leading the pack in a matter of hours on Sunday, oddsmakers are adjusting futures markets following Buffalo’s overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Still listed as the team to beat in the AFC East division, the Bills would be the No. 6 seed in the AFC if the playoffs began Monday.

At 6-3, they’re behind the Miami Dolphins (7-3) and New York Jets, who are also 6-3 but own a head-to-head win over the Bills.

Before Sunday’s kickoff, FanDuel had the Bills at -450 to win the division. By the time the Vikings recovered a fourth Buffalo fumble and pushed the game into overtime, the Bills dipped to -150 with the Dolphins +240 and Jets at +1100.

The Bills are still +200 and atop the AFC champion futures at FanDuel, with the Kansas City Chiefs +240 and the Baltimore Ravens +650.

Miami is +950 at FanDuel.

Buffalo also is the favorite to win the Super Bowl, but at +380 their odds are lower than they have been at FanDuel since July.

The Eagles and Chiefs are +500 and the Minnesota Vikings are +1300, even with the Ravens.

Caesars Sportsbook has the Bills at -180 in the division, +190 in the conference and +380 for the Super Bowl.

The Chiefs closed to +220 in AFC winner odds and +475 for the Super Bowl.

Minnesota is the largest favorite for a division title at -6000 in the NFC North. But Philadelphia is the big favorite in the NFC: +190 to claim the conference title and +500 to win the Super Bowl at Caesars.

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2022; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) headshot during the second half at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Buckeyes QB C.J. Stroud reclaims Heisman favorite status

Hendon Hooker’s time atop the Heisman Trophy odds proved to be short-lived.

Tennessee’s signal-caller dropped back below Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud following the Volunteers’ decisive loss to Georgia on Saturday.

Stroud, who has spent most of the season as the Heisman Trophy frontrunner, is now being offered at +175 at BetMGM. He has been backed by 9.2 percent of the tickets and 12.0 percent of the money.

Hendon is second at +300 and leads the sportsbook with 11.3 percent of the total bets. Because he opened the season as a +6600 longshot and is second with 16.1 percent of the money backing him, Hooker remains BetMGM’s second-biggest Heisman Trophy candidate.

That’s behind only LSU quarterback Jalon Daniels, who is no longer on the board but still has drawn 19.4 percent of the money since the sportsbook opened the market.

It is shaping up as a two-player battle entering the second week of November. Stroud is the +180 favorite at FanDuel and DraftKings, ahead of Hooker at +300 and +280, respectively.

BetMGM and FanDuel have Michigan running back Blake Corum with the third-shortest odds at +600, while DraftKings is offering Southern Cal quarterback Caleb Williams at +700 ahead of Corum at +750.

Corum is third at BetMGM with 7.4 percent of the total tickets backing him after opening as a +8000 longshot.

Williams opened at +800 before falling to +1400. He is back to +800 this week while drawing 5.8 percent of the tickets and 4.6 percent of the money.

Georgia is the unquestioned No. 1 team in the country following its victory on Saturday, but quarterback Stetson Bennett remains on the outside of the Heisman picture looking in. His odds have shortened from +10000 to +1600 at BetMGM, but that still leaves him seventh at the sportsbook behind Oregon quarterback Bo Nix and North Carolina signal-caller Drake Maye.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates after they beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Books reeling: NFL Week 4 bloodbath led to historic losses

When the Chiefs and Buccaneers exceeded the over/under and the home team in Tampa was stomped by Kansas City, the financial shockwaves were felt by sportsbooks across the United States.

“Toughest NFL week for the sportsbook so far,” said Jason Scott, BetMGM VP of trading, of the just-wrapped NFL Week 4. “Chiefs beating the Bucs was the worst result on Sunday. Cardinals, Raiders and Cowboys were also bad outcomes for BetMGM.”

Kansas City was +110 on the money line to win outright at kickoff at most books but offered at +140 earlier in the week.

It was the first week of the NFL or college football regular season that BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse lost money, senior manager Troy Machir said. The sportsbook was left with “a -4.1.percent hold of the money,” he said.

Among the big losses for BetRivers were six-figure payments on a preseason boost for the futures market on the Philadelphia Eagles starting the season 4-0.

But the other trend that snapped Sunday was a run on the under bets — hitting at a rate of 60 percent through four weeks — for NFL game total-points-scored wagers. In addition to the Chiefs-Buccaneers (47.5 total; 72 points scored), Saints-Vikings (43.5 total; 53 points scored), Eagles-Jaguars (46.5 total; 50 points scored) and the New York Jets’ money line (+145) were big victories for the public. The Jets beat the Steelers 24-20.

PointsBet’s biggest liability was the Cardinals at +1 at Carolina. Arizona easily beat the Panthers, 26-16, and went under the 43.5 total set on the game.

At DraftKings, 79 percent of the handle on Vikings-Saints was on the Minnesota money line, and 79 percent had the Giants’ win over the Bears.

Huge wins for the public at DraftKings were also had by the 75 percent handle on the 49ers against the Rams on “Monday Night Football” and the nearly 79 percent of bets on Chiefs-Buccaneers that backed Kansas City.

In addition, three of the top four money line bets by volume from Week 4 at DraftKings were winning tickets: Packers (-425), Vikings (-130), Eagles (-260) and Bills (-165).

–Field Level Media

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) runs off the field after defeating the Buffalo Bills 21-19 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Sept. 25, 2022.

Playoff buy-in builds at books for Dolphins, Packers

Public plays on the Green Bay Packers and Miami Dolphins making the playoffs are on the rise.

The Packers (2-1) outlasted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3 and the Dolphins held off the Buffalo Bills to improve to 3-0. Those two-point wins provided a push for some bettors to jump on the “to make playoffs” futures at BetMGM.

Since those games went final, Green Bay moved from -275 to -400 and the Dolphins jumped from -200 to -400 entering Week 4.

At -400 odds, the implied probability is 80 percent that those teams are playoff bound.

The Packers host the New England Patriots (1-2) this week but are planning for quarterback Brian Hoyer instead of Mac Jones (ankle).

Miami visits the Cincinnati Bengals (1-2) on Thursday night with games against the New York Jets (1-2), Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2), Detroit Lions (1-2) and Chicago Bears (2-1) upcoming.

The Packers last missed the playoffs in 2019.

The Dolphins remain +210 to win the AFC East at FanDuel — the Bills are -240 — and Green Bay jumped the Minnesota Vikings and stand at -125 to win the NFC North at FanDuel. The Vikings are +165.

One of the largest adjustments in win total projections at FanDuel is Miami at 10.5, up from 7.5 prior to Week 1. The Dolphins are -135 to go over that total.

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2022; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) during the first quarter at Steve Spurrier-Florida Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Take 5: Week 2 CFB Odds, Trends & Predictions

Week 2 of the college football season features all of the top 25 teams in the nation in action, with three contests pitting ranked teams against each other.

Five interesting trends sportsbooks are reporting ahead of Saturday’s jam-packed slate of games.

5. Roll Tide Roll Over Sark?

Top-ranked Alabama will pay a visit to former Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian’s unranked Texas team in Austin. The Tide opened as 19-point favorites at PointsBet and the line has moved to 20 with Alabama drawing 90 percent of the spread-line bets and 95 percent of the handle.

The story is similar at BetRivers, where it has been the most wagered-on game of the weekend with 11.1 percent of the total college football handle. There has been almost twice as much money wagered on Alabama vs. Texas than any other game on the Week 2 schedule, with 88 percent of the spread handle backing the Tide at -20.

It has also been the most popular game at BetMGM, where Alabama has been backed by 88 percent of the bets and 92 percent of the handle with the line shifting from 17.5 to 20.5 points by Friday.

4. Pitt on Upset Alert

No. 24 Tennessee travels north to play No. 17 Pittsburgh, but it’s the Volunteers who are a 4.0-point favorite at BetMGM, where they have been backed by the second-most spread bets (73 percent) and handle (73 percent) of all teams this weekend.

The spread is 5.0 points at PointsBet but that hasn’t deterred the public there, either, as Tennessee has drawn 61 and 72 percent of the spread bets and handle, respectively. The game is responsible for 5.1 percent of all the action at BetRivers, third-most at the sportsbook.

3. All Over the Aggies

Fresh off a heartbreaking defeat at home to North Carolina, Appalachian State pays a visit to No. 6 Texas A&M. The Mountaineers put up 61 points in their loss to the Tar Heels, including a whopping 40 in the fourth quarter.

The public is seeing a hangover affect for Appalachian State, with Texas A&M backed by 65 percent of the spread bets and 75 percent of the handle as a 16.5-point favorite at BetMGM.

2. Eyeing the Irish

Following an opening loss to Ohio State, Notre Dame likely has to run the table to have a shot at the College Football Playoff.

That quest begins with a visit from Marshall, and it has been the second-most popular game of Week 2 at BetRivers with 5.5 percent of the total action. The Irish’s 21-point spread is the second-most popular play with 2.5 percent of the total tickets, and is third in handle with 2.0 percent of the action.

The line opened at 19 at PointsBet but shifted to 20.5 with Notre Dame drawing one-sided action, with 95 percent of the spread bets and 96 percent of the handle as of Friday evening.

1. Swamp Support

Florida scored an impressive opening victory over Utah and the 12th-ranked Gators are preparing for one of the bigger games of the weekend as they play host to No. 20 Kentucky.

Anthony Richardson thrust himself into the early-season Heisman chatter with a strong effort in the win over the Utes. Florida, favored by 6.0 points, has been the third-most bet on team at BetMGM this week, with the Gators backed by 62 percent of the bets and 68 percent of the handle.

However, the spread handle has been evenly split at PointsBet, while Florida has drawn 62 percent of the total bets with the line moving from 5.5 to 6.0 points.

–Field Level Media

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) gestures downfield in the second quarter during Super Bowl 56 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. The Cincinnati Bengals lost, 23-20.

Nfl Super Bowl 56 Los Angeles Rams Vs Cincinnati Bengals Feb 13 2022 1393

AGA: Record 46.6M Americans will wager on NFL this season

A new NFL season kicks off Thursday night, to the great interest of sports bettors across the country.

An American Gaming Association study found that an estimated 46.6 million Americans — a record number of people that accounts for 18 percent of the adult population — plan to bet on football during the 2022 NFL season. That number is up 3 percent year-over-year.

The study also found that about half of those planning to bet, 23 million, will place a bet online this season, as opposed to in person at a sportsbook or through a bookie.

Since the Supreme Court overturned the law that prohibited state-sponsored sports betting in 2018, 36 states and Washington, D.C. have moved to legalize it in their jurisdictions.

“The sustained interest in NFL wagering reflects the growth and continued maturation of legal sports betting across the country,” AGA president and CEO Bill Miller said in a news release. “Consumers clearly want legal sports betting options and understand the regulated industry’s foundational commitments to responsibility.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 31, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) reacts after throwing a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the 2021 Cotton Bowl college football CFP national semifinal game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 College Football Odds, Predictions

Maybe like the rest of the college football world, you are afraid to go against Nick Saban and Alabama.

But the Crimson Tide are being oversold as the 2022 national championship betting favorites and this week, we find them “untouchable” in that they’re giving six touchdowns (-41.5 points at BetMGM as of 4 p.m. ET Thursday) to a competent Utah State team playing above its weight class.

Here’s a look at the reasons to take what they give you in Tuscaloosa and a few more college football picks we’re intrigued by in Week 1:

Utah State at Alabama (-41.5, -110)

Trends and statistics can be shaped, contextualized into a perceived no-brainer. We’ve all been at the window — at the book or via mobile — trying to convince ourselves the hunch in our noggin is the only way to go.

For starters, if you like Utah State to cover the massive number, shop around. DraftKings and others have Alabama -42, and every half-point can help in this wagering game.

There are a number of possible plays that make sense, including focusing on the first half.

Considering pairing the spread of first half with a prop? Take a look at DraftKings, where Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young is -115 to go over 304.5 passing yards and -180 to go over 2.5 passing TDs. He hit three TDs and went over 304.5 passing yards in 10 games last season.

Note Alabama beat Mercer 48-14 last year in Week 2.

Utah State is 1-0 but fell behind UConn by 14 in the first quarter before racking up 542 total yards offense.

The Aggies are +27 (DraftKings) in the first half at -105.

But why buy Utah State over the perennial power?

They’re in the right place at the right time.

In case you aren’t within Alabama or Texas state lines, you might not be aware the Crimson Tide are in Austin next week. Not to say Saban will go light as the curtain is raised, but you can see the possibility of a 45-17 type of final here.

Utah State has a seven-game road winning streak. Coach Blake Anderson has won three consecutive games against Power 5 opponents, including Utah State’s 26-23 win at Washington State last season and a 24-13 win against Oregon State in the 2021 Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl.

Utah (-3, -105) at Florida

The Gators are an underdog in a season opener in The Swamp, which last happened in 1969 when Florida hosted No. 7-ranked Houston.

If you were tied up during the holidays and missed Utah undressing Oregon (twice by a combined count of 76-17) and almost sinking the Buckeyes’ battleship in the Rose Bowl (48-45 final in Pasadena), here’s a reminder: the Utes are the Pac-12 exception, and this team is no joke.

Florida was too often a punchline last season and went 2-6 in the SEC. The Gators are restocking the talent pool, but it’s too much to ask head coach Billy Napier to restore UF’s chomp in 2022.

Utah rarely goes on the road for a cross-country date in an extremely hostile setting. But we say again, this is the Pac-12 anomaly and Utah is legit on both sides of the ball.

We’re liking the looks of Utah over 26.5 points scored — the total is 51.5 — paired with the Utes -3.

Bowling Green at UCLA (-23.5, -110)

Pinky promise, we aren’t knocking the Pac-12 intentionally.

Brass tacks: Bowling Green is not easy prey, and the Bruins have some convincing to do before they receive a vote of confidence, much less investments.

We aren’t the first ones to fly with the Falcons. The opening line in the spring was UCLA -31.5.

It’s worth noting that Bowling Green went 5-1 ATS on the road last season.

DraftKings will allow alternate spread bets on Bowling Green that shouldn’t make one entirely uncomfortable, such as +120 odds on the Falcons +20.5.

And betting Bowling Green to get nine points — yes, over 8.5 — in either half at -110 is generous at worst.

But if you also believe in Bowling Green’s offense, the icing on this cake here is the over-under total of 56.5 points.

UCLA has two defensive starters back and the Bruins and Chip Kelly are always far more concerned with glitter than grit.

–Field Level Media

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) drops back to pass during a joint practice with the Cincinnati Bengals, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, at the Paycor Stadium practice fields in Cincinnati.

Los Angeles Rams At Cincinnati Bengals Joint Practice Aug 24 0047

Week 1 NFL lines offer intrigue, starting in LA

Are there any more anticipated sporting events than Week 1 of the NFL season? It doesn’t even seem worthy of debate.

One week from the Thursday night opener between the Rams and Bills, fans have had months to assess, question and reassess where they rate teams on the value board.

So, let’s take a look at what matters to those headed to the sportsbook window — or browser — before Week 1 of the 2022 regular season.

–Buffalo Bills -2.5 at Los Angeles Rams (O/U 52.5), Thursday
The Rams must be cringing at that number, coming off a Super Bowl victory and being an underdog at home to the team picked by a legion of prognosticators as this season’s likely champion.
The looming question is the health of Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford’s throwing arm, but just as critical are the losses L.A. had on the offensive line, most notably left tackle Andrew Whitworth. This is a great spot for the Bills to prove their supporters correct in what should be a high-scoring game.

–Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers -3.5 (O/U 52)
How prescient.

The Raiders earned a playoff spot in Week 18 of 2021 by defeating the Chargers in the final game of the season. Now, they play in the Chargers’ “home,” three days after the Rams christened SoFi Stadium for 2022. The AFC West will be a gauntlet and the Chargers have designs on riding quarterback Justin Herbert’s explosive arm. On the other side will be the first game featuring the college connection of quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Davante Adams. Fireworks should fill the sky.

–Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers -2 (O/U 41.5)
Very few cared about this game until the Panthers acquired quarterback Baker Mayfield in a trade from the Browns.

In the opener, Mayfield faces his former team and Jacoby Brissett, thanks to the Deshaun Watson 11-game suspension.

Mayfield might have too much adrenaline, but a healthy Christian McCaffrey should help keep him calm. With Watson, the Browns might be close to a touchdown favorite, but they don’t have him. The defenses on both sides are good and the Browns sure know Mayfield. A field goal should decide it.

–Denver Broncos -6 at Seattle Seahawks (O/U 41.5)
There’s a lot new in this 2022 Monday night debut.

Bolstered by a new contract former Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is with the Broncos and will be playing in front of those rabid Seattle fans that helped him so much over the years. The former Fox crew of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be in the booth likely extolling the virtues of Wilson.

Wilson won’t be smiling listening to the raucous crowd now trying to make his life miserable. On paper, the line appears right, especially with Geno Smith under center for the home team. But games aren’t played on paper, and something tells me this one will be closer than many think.

–Field Level Media