It doesn’t happen very often, but sportsbooks got it wrong when setting the line between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cleveland Browns. As a result, they paid for their mistake.
Odds for the game opened at 3 points in the Rams’ favor, and sharps and the public jumped on it. Though there wasn’t much movement, at most sportsbooks it only went to 3.5. Only late in the day, just before game time, the odds started to creep upwards. South Point in Las Vegas had the line all the way to five, but it still wasn’t enough. The Rams won the game, 20-13.
Most facilities were reporting 75 to 85 percent of the dollars wagered on the game were put on the Rams. William Hill said 94 percent of money was on the Los Angeles Rams line, with 91 percent of the tickets for Los Angeles.
The comments from sportsbook managers started coming out before the start of the Sunday evening contest.
“We need Browns to avert total destruction,” Mirage sportsbook shift manager Scott Shelton told Covers.com.
Caesars Palace senior oddsmaker, Alan Berg, told Covers the game wasn’t a total disaster.
“It hurt, but we still did well today,” Berg said. “Browns cover would have been a monster day. Saints the biggest winner, Jets also huge. Rams the only notable loser.”
All Not Lost on Los Angeles Rams Line
One bettor in Atlantic City helped out William Hill with its losses. The unidentified gambler walked into the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, and plunked down $506,000 on the Browns.
It was the biggest bet yet this football season, and Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill, told The Action Network they gladly took the wager.
“It was a relatively easy decision to take the bet,” Bogdanovich said. “The guy is a regular customer with us.”
Though the Los Angeles Rams line was up to four at one point, it still didn’t help the ticket holder, as the Browns lost by seven.
It didn’t help the book, either.
“Even with the big fluke bet we took, this result was still horrible for us,” Bogdanovich said. “This game was a massive handle, and we took all Rams from -2.5 to -4. And almost everything we took live was on the Rams.”
Beware of Big Point Spreads
Both the New England Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys had spreads of more than 20 points in their Sunday games. The Patriots were 21.5-point favorites over the New York Jets, but failed to cover, winning 30-14.
The Cowboys were 22.5-point picks over the Miami Dolphins, but needed a late touchdown to cover. Dallas was ahead 24-6, but with less than four minutes remaining in the game, Tony Pollard ran for a 16-yard touchdown for the backdoor cover.
It was only the second time since 1993 that a favorite of 20 or more points covered. The record is now 2-6.
Stat of the Week
After losing to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, the Falcons are now 0-12 against the spread in their last 12 games against the AFC. They open as 5.5-point home favorites against the Titans in Week 4.