Hail the side show.
Week 10 of NFL betting presents an ample menu for bettors observing a Philadelphia Eagles bye week. The New York Giants and New York Jets will square off in a local battle amid seasons that have essentially ended.
Wagering options abound when the New York teams meet Sunday for their first regular-season game since 2015. Big Blue is favored by 2.5 points at most books, and both PointsBet (91%) and PlaySugarHouse (89%) report strong support for them.
Around the league, compelling matchups occur with:
- The Los Angeles Rams at Pittsburgh
- Dallas hosting Minnesota
- Seattle playing San Francisco on Monday Night.
- Kansas City quarterback Pat Mahomes is also expected to return against Tennessee.
Some split figures indicate games that can go either way. Green Bay has generally gained more tickets, but Carolina, at +5, obtained heavier volume. More Buffalo tickets but heavier Cleveland volume indicates an interesting matchup, with the Browns laying three points.
Week 10 also features two of the league’s hottest teams against the spread. One you knew; that’s New Orleans, with six straight. The second you may not. It’s none other than the one-win Miami, which has covered the number in four straight weeks.
Crank up the apps. Look for the angles. There’s plenty.
Giants jump from the betting gate
In the battle of siblings, the Giants broke out of the gate in early betting.
PlaySugarHouse.com listed them as the second-highest percentage (Baltimore led the way with 91% despite laying 9.5 points on the road against Cincinnati) of public support at its establishment according to Matt Stetz, the COO of Rush Street Interactive, which operates PlaySugarHouse in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The Jets and Giants may display increased urgency, coming off embarrassing performances. The Jets were the victim of Miami’s first win last week, and the Giants fell apart Monday night against Dallas.
Giants vs. Jets odds
FanDuel provides an interesting menu of side wagers. Combining either team with the correct over/under call (43.5) pays nearly 3-1.
Can you hit the betting sweet spot? If either team wins by between one and six points, the payout is almost 4-1. If the margin is between 13 and 18 points, the Jets pay 10-1 and the Giants are 8-1.
William Hill sportsbook app has an interesting prop for the Jets and Giants, who had trouble finding the end zone last week. If the first score of the game is a field goal, and you pick the right team, the payout is nearly 4-1.
Who cares if this game has no meaning in the standings? If the contest plays true to the betting line, a close game pays handsomely to those on the correct side.
You can’t call them homers
Home-field advantage meant little to Pittsburgh bettors at mid-week. The PlaySugarHouse facility is connected to Heinz Field, the home of the Steelers, but only 25% of the bettors supported them as a 3.5-point home dog against the Rams.
“People have to walk through our facility to get to Heinz Field, but they aren’t with the Steelers this week,” Stetz said, laughing. “Toward the end of the week, there may be more support for the home team, but I don’t expect that to flip flop.”
Stetz listed strong public support for the Detroit Lions at +2.5 in Chicago and the Packers, who give 5.5 points to Carolina. Stetz said 70% of the tickets favored the over 51.5, his property’s highest total, with Tampa Bay hosting Arizona.
Patrick Mahomes: will he or won’t he?
The Kansas City-Tennessee game was initially off the board because of the Pat Mahomes saga. For the second straight week, linemakers weren’t sure how to quantify rumors of his return from injury.
The reigning MVP is worth eight-to-nine points to the betting line, tops in the league along with Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.
Oddsmakers can account for the difference when his status is known, as it was when Kansas City faced the Packers two weeks ago. Last week, amid rumblings of his return, the line had a delayed opening, before starting with Minnesota at -2.5 and concluding with the Vikings giving 5.5. The Chiefs won on a late field goal.
Mahomes practiced in full on Wednesday, prompting sportsbooks to take positions. FanDuel was the first to post a line, giving Kansas City 3.5 points on the road in Tennessee. That does not look like a Mahomes-will-play line, but the over-under of 48 suggests he might.
William Hill followed with a bold move, the administrative equivalent of a blitz. It apparently surmised that Mahomes will play, even though the decision had not been made.
William Hill placed Kansas City at -6, practically a field goal ahead of the rest. This was an interesting, preemptive play call for the establishment. Books guard themselves against big bettors taking heavy positions on a volatile line. William Hill moved its line before the bettors could pounce on the 3.5 number.
Inside the Kansas City locker room, Mahomes is lobbying a reluctant Andy Reid to play. Outside the locker room, William Hill wasn’t waiting for the decision.
Line movements are otherwise not prominent this week. The Packers opened as six-point favorites and slid to -5 against visiting Carolina, but most others remained intact.
For line shoppers, Seattle was getting 6.5 points Thursday morning on DraftKings. FanDuel gave Seattle 6. The number is significant for those who don’t want to buy the extra half point in either direction.
DraftKings also moved Tampa Bay-Arizona up to 52.5 and Baltimore-Cincinnati down from 45.5 to 44.
At SugarHouse Sportsbook, guts equal glory
Two 12-leg parlays revealed the genius of a stab and a plunge at SugarHouse Sportsbook app last week.
A bettor gained $3,305 for an all-moneyline action play. For the most part, this ticket contained favorites. The difference-maker was three leaps of faith, which included the Joe Flacco-less Broncos over Cleveland, Miami winning its first game of the season against the Jets, and the Los Angeles Chargers manhandling an anemic Packers team.
But maybe this was due; the Chargers had not covered a home game and the Packers had covered every road game.
The leaps of faith capped off a big card. How much was invested to bring in $3,305?
A buck. One dollar — less than the price of a small coffee – brought all of that.
The opposing stream was a $100 wager placed on a 12-team parlay. That’s guts. Highlights included teasing the Washington and Buffalo over-under total down and taking the over, adjusting Carolina from -4.5 to -1.5 over Tennessee, moving the Eagles from -5 to minus 2 against Chicago, and selecting Seattle on the moneyline against Tampa.
White-knuckle time on this ticket was Seattle coughing up a late lead and being forced to win in overtime. Seattle even missed a game-winning field goal on the last play of regulation, enhancing the drama. Or angst.
For good measure, this bettor included college football… but not the public teams. This pick was Liberty College giving 23.5 to Massachusetts on the road. Was that the biggest reach on this card? No, Liberty romped 61-23.
This well-played card was a compilation of insight, hedging, teasing, adjusting and sweating. The essence of gambling.
The reward was fitting at $26,045 and the risk was considerable. All 12 selections had to come in. This bet also shows the compounding magic of parlays. Had this $100 been divided into 12 individual bets, the profit would have been less than $100.
This one gets a tip of the hat. Giving 23 points on the road in a game linked to 11 others in an expensive parlay was bold, not reckless.
PointsBet offers rebate for the ages
The wacky Giants-Cowboys ending Monday night was added to the Bad Beat Index compiled by PointsBet. The company has a committee that compiles a list of bad beats and, in a savvy and magnanimous move, issues a Good Karma Payout. This resulted in a five-figure refund to bettors of the under in Dallas’ 37-18 win.
They could use it. The committee has awarded other Good Karma payouts this year, as when Mitchell Trubisky dropped from a 100-1 preseason MVP choice to more than 5,000-1 now or when Colts bettors were hit with the sudden retirement of Andrew Luck just before the season started.
But this one was a dagger.
For those who missed it, the game looked ready to end 30-18 for Dallas, with the over-under at 49. Over bettors were fuming over a missed Giants extra point and this one was primed to end on 48. The Giants had the ball with 22 seconds remaining, deep in Dallas territory. But Giants QB Daniel Jones had the ball batted out of his hand.
A Giants lineman went to fall on it, but the ball squirted out from beneath him and went backward, right into a charging Cowboys defender. Then came the scoop, the romp down the sidelines, and the touchdown with mere seconds to play. Had any of five things gone differently on the play, there would be no score.
Bad beats invoke sympathy, but rarely relief. This was a wise Good Karma selection and will likely inspire loyalty. It may also spike business. Bad beats often make bettors cut back for a while. Amending the bad beat brings them back.