Behind the Bills-Chiefs and Cowboys-Eagles opening lines – ESPN

Behind the Bills-Chiefs and Cowboys-Eagles opening lines - ESPN

Patrick Mahomes starts the week in new territory: home underdog for the first time in his career.

On Sunday afternoon, sportsbooks installed Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs as 2.5-point underdogs to the visiting Buffalo Bills in a Week 6 matchup that is expected to draw massive betting interest. If the line holds — it fell Sunday night — Mahomes will be a home run for the first time in his career.

Last week, sportsbook operator the SuperBook made the game to pick them. John Murray, executive director of the SuperBook, said the pick line reflected that the Bills are perceived as the better team while crediting the Chiefs for the impressive win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and taking into account some home advantage. But on Sunday, when the SuperBook reposted the line, Murray said they felt compelled to make the Bills the favorites.

“After seeing what the Bills did to the Steelers today [38-3 win]we knew we had to reopen the game with Buffalo favored,” Murray said. “We took a few bets on Chiefs +2.5 but are leaving it there for now.”

The line dipped to Buffalo -2 at most sportsbooks Sunday night. The Chiefs host the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football.

Kansas City beat Buffalo 42-36 in an epic overtime thriller at Arrowhead Stadium in last season’s playoffs. The game featured three lead changes in the final two minutes, with the Chiefs getting into a field goal on a three-play drive that lasted just seven seconds to force overtime with a field goal.

Murray predicts betting support for both teams and a lot of money, which opened at 54.

“Buffalo is such a complete team on both sides of the ball and very well coached,” Murray added. “The Super Bowl is theirs to lose this season, and it really starts with this game. They win on Sunday and keep [quarterback Josh] Allen healthy, and they will very likely have home field advantage in the AFC playoffs. This is the best game of the regular season.”

The Chiefs are 6-2 straight up as underdogs in Mahomes’ starts.

Week 6 is also highlighted by the Dallas Cowboys’ visit to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles opened as 5.5-point home favorites, and the line held steady Sunday night. Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott missed the past four games after injuring his thumb in a season-opening loss to the Pirates. Reservation Cooper Rush led the Cowboys to four straight wins in Prescott’s absence.

Prescott says he’s day-to-day, but naysayers don’t expect him to play against the Eagles.

“At this point, I don’t think there’s much difference in the point spread at all if Dak goes [instead of Rush],” Murray told ESPN. “Dallas wins with their defense, not their offense, and putting in less than 100% Dak could end up being a negative thing if they open the playbook too much and start turning the ball over. .”

Adam Pullen, assistant director of merchandising for Caesars Sportsbook, believes the line would shift slightly toward the Cowboys if Prescott were allowed to play.

“Even with Rush’s success, Prescott is still viewed as the better player,” Pullen said. “I think the line would fall to yes [Eagles] -3, maybe a little lower.”

Six-figure score on no touchdowns

Thursday’s 12-9 overtime thriller between the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos featured no touchdowns but plenty of excitement for smart bettors, who indicated a 100-1 long shot that they had to sweat all the way through the final play of the game.

Betting on which player will score the first touchdown of the game has emerged as one of the most popular ways to bet on the NFL at sportsbooks in the US and UK. Most weeks, the betting public loads up on a prolific pass-catcher, like Cooper Coup, Travis Kelce or Stephen Diggs. But on Thursday, punters took an alternate approach.

FanDuel offers “No Touchdown Scored” as an option in its odds for scoring the first touchdown of the game. On Thursday, for the first time this season on FanDuel, no touchdown drew more bets — and more money wagered — than any of the players listed. Broncos receiver Jerry Jedi was the second most popular pick on FanDuel. About 22% of the money bet on the first touchdown odds was on no touchdown, including a $1,000 bet at 100-1 that paid a net $100,000.

“[It] was the first game all year to have no touchdown as the most popular pick [in the first-touchdown odds],” Kevin Hennessey, a spokesperson for FanDuel, told ESPN. “It tends to always be a player.”

Other sportsbooks had a much shorter price on no touchdowns being scored. Caesars Sportsbook, for example, offered only 35-1 on the prop, nothing that the over/under total in the game was only 41.5. Craig Murdock, director of business for Caesars Sportsbook, said the lower odds helped the book avoid a big loss on the market.

“Sometimes, some of the best bets you take are the ones you don’t actually take,” Murdock said.

The Colts came from behind to beat the Broncos, despite surrendering six sacks, throwing two interceptions and, of course, scoring no touchdowns.

NFL celebrities

• Most sportsbooks reported a win Sunday, with the underdog New York Giants promptly upset by the Green Bay Packers in London, getting the day off to a bad start for the betting public.

The Giants upset the Packers as 9-point underdogs on Sunday in London. It’s the biggest point spread of the season so far and the biggest ever in a London game.

Upset wins by the New York Jets and Houston Texans, in addition to the Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears covering the spreads, strengthened the winning day for the sportsbooks.

“Overall, it was a pretty good day, not really big losses,” said Pullen of Caesars Sportsbook.

“Last week, we lost a little bit in a lot of games,” added Murdock. “This week, we won a little bit in a lot of games.”

• The coverage of the Cardinals in a 20-17 loss to the Eagles resulted in the biggest loss of the day for sportsbook WynnBET. “We had a pretty good morning,” WynnBET trader Andy Morrissey told ESPN on Sunday night. “The Cardinals game hurt us. We had a big bet on the Cards spread, so that swung the day for us. We’re in the red as it stands going into Sunday Night Football.”

The SuperBook also reported the cover of the Cardinals as the worst decision of the book of the day.

• Sportsbook PointsBet took a $2 bet on New Orleans Saints tight end Taysom Hill to score three touchdowns against the Seattle Seahawks at 175-1 odds. Hill rushed for three touchdowns in the Saints’ win over Seattle, and the bettor won $350. Another bettor placed a $1 bet on Hill to score three touchdowns before the game but obviously had a change of heart and cashed out his original stake before the game started.

• Week 16 starting lines (via the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas)
Commanders -1, 40 at Bears (Thursday)
Buccaneers -7.5, 44 at Steelers
Bengals at Saints pick them, 45
Jaguars at Colts pick them, 42
Patriots at Browns -3, 42
Jets at Packers -7.44
Vikings -3, 45.5 vs. Dolphins
49ers -4.5, 41.5 at Falcons
Panthers at Rams -9.5, 42
Cardinals -2.5, 49 at Seahawks
Bills -2.5, 54 at Chiefs
Cowboys at Eagles -5.5, 43.5
Broncos at Chargers -6.5, 46 (Monday)

$38,000 riding on a Aaron Judge hit

Bettors on DraftKings combined to wager about $262 million on minor in-game events, such as the outcome of a pitch or at-bat during the Major League Baseball regular season, according to data released by odds provider SimpleBet. The data represents only action at DraftKings.

According to SimpleBet’s data:

• Forty percent of the money bet – approximately $105 million – was on the outcome of individual throws. SimpleBet posted odds on 715,000 individual toss results. “Strike/dirty ball” was the most popular choice, attracting about 60% of the toss result bets.

• More money has been wagered on New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge’s at-bats than any other player. Judge was responsible for approximately 150,000 of the at-bat micro-bets this season.

• $38,000 was bet on Judge’s second at-bat on Sept. 28 against the Toronto Blue Jays, when he was sitting on 60 home runs.

MLB celebrities

• The Seattle Mariners, down seven runs to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, were as long as 35-1 to come from behind and win at Caesars Sportsbook. The Mariners rallied back for a 10-9 victory.

• Series prices for divisional round (via Caesars Sportsbook):

Phillies (+165) vs. Braves (-200)
Mariners (+210) vs. Astros (-260)
Rangers (+200) vs. Yankees (-250)

College football celebrities

• James Madison is the only FBS team to cover the spread in each of its games this season. TCU and Kansas are also undefeated against the spread but played to a push in the Horned Frogs’ 7-point win over the Jayhawks on Saturday.

• Notable opening lines via Circa Sports:
Penn State at Michigan -7, 51.5
Alabama -8, 66.5 at Tennessee
Oklahoma State at TCU -2, 69.5
USC at Utah -4, 60.5

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