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Notable bets: Bettor risks $1,600 on Bama to win $1.60

10:11 AM ET

  • David PurdumESPN Staff Writer
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    • Joined ESPN in 2014
    • Journalist covering gambling industry since 2008

Notable bets is a regular Monday roundup of wagers — some sharper than others — made recently at sportsbooks across the nation.

On a day full of NFL overtime sweats, the breaks went the bettors’ way for once and left some Las Vegas sportsbooks staring at a subpar Sunday.

Or, as one book manager put it, “Football was crap, junk.”

Below is this week’s edition of The Notable Bets, featuring a pair of unique investments on the Alabama Crimson Tide and Golden State Warriors, some World Series wagers to watch and more witty insights from bookmakers.


NFL

• The Westgate SuperBook has the Los Angeles Rams listed as 5-point favorites over the Kansas City Chiefs in their Week 11 showdown in Mexico City.

• Station Casinos in Las Vegas is offering the proposition bet: Will the Los Angeles Rams go undefeated (16-0) during the regular season?

Yes +800

No -1,300

• The Chiefs were 3.5-point road favorites over the Denver Broncos in the Monday night game.

• The largest bet MGM sportsbooks had taken on the Monday night games was six figures and on the underdog Broncos +4.5.

• The same bettor, who is said to have ties to the MGM poker community, also placed “six-figure” point-spread and money-line wagers on the Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans, and bet only on the spread on the Buffalo Bills. He went 4-3, with Titans and Texans pulling out overtime wins and Browns coming up short.

• Favorites are 7-6-1 against the spread so far this week. Nine games went over the total; five games stayed under.

• “It could’ve been a lot worse, I guess,” said Ed Salmons, sportsbook manager at the Westgate SuperBook. “There was time there early where it looked like all eight favorites {on Sunday morning] had a chance to cover.”

• “Got whacked pretty good,” Wynn race and sportsbook director Johnny Avello said in a text message Sunday night. “Lost 90 percent of all big decisions the last two day. In pros, Colts game was a killer.”

• The DraftKings sportsbook in New Jersey reported its biggest loss on the day came at the hands of the New England Patriots, who took out some frustration on the Miami Dolphins in a 38-7 win. Nearly 87 percent of the money wagered on the money line in the game was on the Patriots and nearly 75 percent of the money bet on the spread was on New England, which closed as 6.5-point favorites.

• “The [Chicago] Bears was a good game for us,” said bookmaker Jimmy Vaccaro of the South Point. “We had a lot of late money from the phones on Tampa Bay.”

Chicago blew out the Buccaneers 48-10.

• Caesars Palace books in Nevada reported being up a “peanut” heading into the night game between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. “Need the under,” a Caesars manager said in an email. “Steelers better than Ravens.”

• MGM sportsbook was down “a bit” heading into the night game and needed the Ravens, who won 26-14.


College football

• Alabama is too powerful for Las Vegas bookmaking computers. The Crimson Tide were -99,000 favorites to beat Louisiana-Lafayette straight-up Saturday. That’s bet $99,000 to win $100. “[It] should be higher,” said South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews, “but the computer won’t take it.”

According to Vaccaro, the overwhelming odds didn’t stop one Tide supporter from placing a $1,579.65 money-line bet on Alabama. The Crimson Tide rolled to a 56-14 win, and the bettor won a cool $1.60.

• A bettor, who has been nicknamed “Duffel Bag Bettor” by the media for his knack of carrying around cash in a duffle bag, placed several big bets around Las Vegas on Indiana to cover the 16.5-point spread against Rutgers. The Hoosiers won, but failed to cover in a 24-17 victory.

• “A player I really respect took Georgia at 7-1 for $5,000 and Oklahoma at 25-1 for $2,000 to win the college football playoff,” Westgate director John Murray told ESPN in an email.

• Penn State was a high as a -350 favorite in the fourth quarter against Ohio State. The Buckeyes, who trailed by 12 with eight minutes to play, scored the game’s final 13 points and won 27-26.

• Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa remains the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy and is listed at -140 at the SuperBook.

• Notable opening lines at the Wynn race and sportsbook:

Oklahoma -8 vs. Texas

Notre Dame -5.5 at Virginia Tech

LSU -3 at Florida

Florida State at Miami (FL) -12.5


MLB

• The Oakland Athletics winning the World Series would be the MGM sportsbook’s worst-case scenario. In June, the book took a pair of $1,000 bets on the A’s, one at 125-1 and the other at 250-1. The bets would net $125,000 and $250,000 respectively. The A’s take on the New York Yankees on Wednesday in the American League wild-card game.

“We have just a slew of $5 and $10 tickets at anywhere between 100-1 and 250-1,” Jay Rood, MGM vice president of race and sports, said. “Even at 8-1 and 6-1, recently, there are still a lot of people betting on them at that price. From an odds perspective, they missed the wedding and go there for the funeral.”

• On Sept. 23, a bettor at the SuperBook placed a $20,000 on the Boston Red Sox to win the World Series at 4-1.


NHL

• At the SuperBook, a bettor risked $18,000 on the Vegas Golden Knights‘ Oct. 4 home opener against the Philadelphia Flyers.

• MGM took a $50,000 bet on the Arizona Coyotes to beat the Vancouver Canucks in preseason action Saturday. The Coyotes won 4-1. Rood said that is a monster bet on a preseason hockey game.

• More bets have been placed and more money has been wagered on the Toronto Maple Leafs to win the Stanley Cup than any other team. “The Maple Leafs have doubled-up every other team in ticket count,” Rood said.


Odds and ends

• NBA: A bettor at the Westgate SuperBook placed a $67,736.25 bet on Golden State to make the playoffs at -10,000 odds. If the Warriors reach the postseason, the bettor will net $677.35 profit in a little over five months.

• Ryder Cup: A bettor had a total of $59,000 at risk on favored Team USA to win the Ryder Cup at the SuperBook. Europe won 18.5-10.5, the most lopsided victory in a decade.

• UFC 229: Khabib Nurmagomedov is a -160 favorite over Conor McGregor in the main event of UFC 229 on Saturday in Las Vegas. Handle was approaching six figures at the Westgate heading into fight week, with nearly twice as much money bet on McGregor than had been wagered on Nurmagomedov.

• Parlay: A bettor at DraftKings hit a $50 10-leg soccer play that paid $11,000, when Liverpool scored in the final minute to earn a draw with Chelsea. The parlay included: Arsenal over Watford; Tottenham over Huddersfield; Everton vs. Fulham over 2.5 goals; Roma -0.5 (goals) vs. Lazio; Dortmunder over Bayer Leverkusen; RB Leipzig +0.5 vs. Hoffenheim; Minchengladback +0.5 vs. Wolfsburg; Leicester +0.5 vs. Newcastle; Sevila over Eibar and Chelsea to draw with Liverpool.

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