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Notable bets: Redskins-Dolphins oddly popular among bettors

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

On a Saturday featuring marquee clashes of Oklahoma vs. Texas and Florida vs. LSU, the game that had Las Vegas bookmakers' full attention was ... Rutgers-Indiana. A flurry of five-figure bets will do that.

Sunday was just as strange at some sportsbooks, as the biggest decision of the early games for multiple books was the battle of the bottom between the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins.

At the corporate office for Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technology, the bookmakers had Washington-Miami on the big screen with sound.

"We had to be one of the only places in the world with the Dolphins game on the main screen with sound," CG Technology oddsmaker Dave Sharapan said.

Welcome to this week's edition of Notable Bets, our weekly wrap-up of the betting storylines from around the nation.


NFL notable bets

Popular battle between winless NFL teams

• More money was bet on the Washington-Miami game at CG Technology sportsbook in Nevada than was bet on any other game during the early kickoffs Sunday. The bulk of it was on the favored Redskins.

CG Technology reported taking respected money on Washington -3 and -3.5 and said the betting public piled on from there, driving the line all the way to a consensus closing line of -6.

"Everyone was chasing the board," CG Technology risk manager Tony DiTommaso said. "They were looking at the number climb, and I guess they just wanted their piece of it."

Trailing 17-10, the Dolphins scored a touchdown with six seconds left in the fourth quarterback and elected to go for two. The 2-point conversion failed. Final score: Washington 17, Miami 16.

• There wasn't nearly the interest on Washington-Miami at Caesars Sportsbook. In fact, there was more money bet on the over in the Houston Texans-Kansas City Chiefs game than there was bet on the Redskins-Dolphins point spread and money-line.

• MGM took a $100,000 bet on the Dolphins +5 but attracted enough sharp money on Washington to limit its exposure.

Jets' upset of Cowboys a win for books

• The biggest decision of the day for the Borgata sportsbook in Atlantic City was on the Dallas Cowboys-New York Jets game. The book needed the underdog Jets.

• "The Jets were by far the biggest [win]," Caesars senior oddsmaker Alan Berg said. "Like two-and-a-half times bigger than any other game. The next would be the Texans and the Cardinals."

• "The Jets winning outright made it a very good day," SuperBook vice president of risk Ed Salmons said in a text message.

• A bettor at a William Hill sportsbook in New Jersey placed a $250,000 bet on the Jets +7, according to Covers.com.

Other tidbits

• Caesars Sportsbook came out ahead on 10 of 12 games Sunday.

• The Carolina Panthers opened the day with a 37-26 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London. The game, which kicked off at 6:30 a.m. in Las Vegas, produced the biggest loss of the day for MGM sportsbooks.

"I was surprised, when I walked in at 6 o'clock in the morning, how many were in the room at that time," MGM director of trading Jeff Stoneback said Sunday as the late games were finishing. "The Panthers were one of [three] losing games we had today. So it's been a good day."

• MGM also lost on the New Orleans Saints and the San Francisco 49ers, who each pulled outright upsets as small underdogs over the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams, respectively.

• A bettor at the SuperBook on Wednesday placed a $10 bet on the Washington Redskins to win the Super Bowl at 10,000-1 odds. "I'd rather donate $10 to charity," SuperBook executive director John Murray joked in an email.

Monday night action

• The Green Bay Packers opened as high as six-point favorites over the visiting Detroit Lions on Monday. The line was quickly bet down to -4.5 last week, and more line-moving money on the Lions showed up Sunday, pushing the number to -3.5 entering game day.

• "Right now, we need the Packers," the MGM's Stoneback said. "But tomorrow it's going to be all Packers money."

Early Week 7 lines

From Caesars Sportsbook, at completion of Sunday night game.

Thursday

Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5, 50) at Denver Broncos

Sunday

Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants (-2.5, 49.5)
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-1.5, 48.5)
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5, 44) at Cincinnati Bengals
Los Angeles Rams (-3, 53) at Atlanta Falcons
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (-17, 39.5)
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (PK, 44)
Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers (-7, 46.5)
San Francisco 49ers (-10, 42.5) at Washington Redskins
Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee Titans (Off)
Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks (-4, 50.5)
New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears (-3.5, 39)
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (-3, 48.5)

Monday

New England Patriots (-9.5, 42.5) at New York Jets

Byes: Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers


College football roundup

Money piles in on Indiana vs. Rutgers

• MGM reported taking five $50,000 bets on Indiana laying as many as 28.5 points. "We got lucky -- really, really lucky," Stoneback said, "because the same gentleman also had a two-team parlay with Michigan and a three-team parlay with Michigan and Kent State."

Michigan, favored anywhere from 20 to 24.5 over Illinois, jumped to a 28-0 lead before the Illini stormed back and cut the lead to 28-25 early in the fourth quarter. The Wolverines pulled away late and elected to take a knee inside the Illinois 11-yard line on their final drive to win 42-25.

Kent State covered as a 14-point favorite in a 26-3 win over Akron.

• An hour before Saturday's noon kickoffs, nearly twice as much money had been bet on Rutgers-Indiana than on any of the day's other college football games at William Hill sportsbooks. Most of it was on the Hoosiers, including four four-figure bets:

$55,000 on Indiana -27
$55,000 on Indiana -27.5
$60,000 on Indiana -27.5 (-120)
$55,000 on Indiana -28

• CG Technology and the SuperBook also reported taking five-figure bets on Indiana.

The Hoosiers scored on the first play from scrimmage on a sack-fumble returned for a touchdown and went on to win 35-0.

"We never had a prayer in that game," CG Technology's DiTomasso said.

South Carolina upset of Georgia costs bettors

• South Carolina closed as a consensus 21-point underdog and 10-1 on the money line against Georgia on Saturday. The Gamecocks won 20-17 in double overtime. According to sports betting database BetLabSports.com, underdogs of 21-plus points in SEC play were 2-69 since 2005.

• The Bulldogs were as high as -3000 on the money line at some sportsbooks -- and some bettors weren't afraid to put big money on UGA.

William Hill took a $45,000 and a $35,000 money-line bet on Georgia at -1800 and -2400 odds, respectively. The bets would have netted $2,500 and $1,485.35, respectively.

• Entering the season, more money had been bet on Georgia to win the national championship than had been bet on any other team at multiple sportsbooks.

Other tidbits

• "An Oklahoma win inside the number would be ideal. Along with the under, as it's been nothing but over money (95%). Total is up to 77." -- sportsbook PointsBet on Saturday morning, prior to kickoff of the Red River Rivalry

Oklahoma won but failed to cover the 10.5-point spread in a 34-27 win. The game stayed under the total.

• Caesars Sportsbook's worst games on Saturday were Alabama covering the spread in a win over Texas A&M and Penn State covering the spread in a win over Iowa.

• Caesars Sportsbook's best games on Saturday were USC covering the spread in a loss to Notre Dame and Arizona State covering the spread in a win over Washington State.

• Updated odds to win the national championship (via SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas):

Alabama 2-1
Clemson 3-1
Ohio State 9-2
Oklahoma 5-1
LSU 7-1
Wisconsin 12-1
Georgia 16-1
Penn State 50-1


MLB notes

• On Oct. 31, 2018, the sportsbook at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia took big futures bets on the Washington Nationals from the same customer:

$20,000 on the Nationals to win the 2019 NL pennant at 11-1. Would pay a net $220,000.
$15,000 on the Nationals to win the 2019 World Series at 22-1. Would pay a net $330,000.

On Friday, the same customer was back at Hollywood Casino and this time placed a $105,000 bet on the St. Louis Cardinals to win the National League Championship Series against Washington.

The Nationals lead the best-of-seven series 2-0. Game 3 is Monday.

• On Saturday, at CG Technology, a bettor placed two $20,000 wagers on the Cardinals to rally from an 0-2 deficit and win the NL pennant. The bets were made at +475 and +420 odds and would pay a net $179,000.


Odds & ends

• A New York man has been charged with attempted sports bribery related to a college basketball game in December 2018. Benjamin Bifalco, 25, of Staten Island, is accused of offering members of a college basketball team "thousands of dollars to intentionally lose the game," according to a news release from the Eastern District of New York. The school and players were not identified in the indictment.

• Indiana sportsbooks took $35.2 million in bets in September, the state's first month offering regulated sports betting. Bets on football (professional and amateur) accounted for $20.7 million. Nearly $10 million ($9.7 million) was bet on parlays.

• More than five times as much money was bet on the Japan-Scotland rugby match on Sunday than was bet on Panthers-Bucs at Paddy Power sportsbooks in the U.K.