After cashing with MVP favorite Lamar Jackson and the Ravens in a big way on Monday night, public bettors are once again lining up to bet Baltimore in a potential Super Bowl 54 showdown with the 49ers on Sunday as a consensus 5.5-point favorite.
The Ravens, winners of seven straight by an average of 21.29 points per game and riding a streak of five consecutive point spread covers, are receiving nearly two out of every three tickets at CG Technology. But oddsmaker Dave Sharapan told BetChicago on Friday a limit play moved the line in the Niners’ favor down to 5.
“The early line on this was Baltimore -4, after the Monday night game it was -6,” Sharapan said. “Feels like the book will need the Ravens by kickoff, which may be only the second or third time we can say that all season. As of now, twice as many tickets on the Ravens, but the money is on the Niners.”
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At Caesars sportsbooks, the line got as high as 6 until they took sharp money with the 49ers (10-1 SU, 6-4-1 ATS), which moved the spread to 5, oddsmaker Errol Krupiarz said in an email to BetChicago.
“Most likely recency/primetime bias,” Krupiarz wrote. “Everyone just saw Baltimore beat up on the Rams Sunday night which caused the market to move a full point overnight.”
Jackson has been at the center of Baltimore’s run to the top of the Super Bowl 54 oddsboard. The second-year QB has a 76% completion rate on 9.25 yards per attempt, resulting in 14 TDs and zero picks over his last four games. Still, the Ravens are in second place in the AFC behind the Patriots and would be +1.5 underdogs in a playoff game in Foxborough, Westgate VP of risk management Ed Salmons told BetChicago in a text message on Tuesday. A spread favoring the home team by less than a field goal, however, indicates Baltimore has a higher power rating than New England.
While the majority of tickets at CG Technology are on the Ravens as of Friday’s writing, it’s nowhere near the ticket discrepancy as Packers-Giants. After getting pummeled 37-8 by the 49ers in San Francisco last week, the public is expecting Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers to easily travel across the country and dismantle the Giants as 6-point favorites.
“Tickets are almost 10-1 so far on the Packers,” Sharapan said on Friday. “We took a respected play on the Giants at +6.5, but that was one of very few. It was enough to move the game to 6.”
The Westgate has also seen sharp money on the Giants as the sportsbook was one of the few to briefly drop to 5.5 on Friday afternoon, oddsmaker Cameron Coombs told BetChicago in an email.
Also seeing the majority of tickets in their favor for Week 13 are the Bucs, Jets, Chargers and Patriots.
“Our ticket count is also roughly 66% on the Bucs,” Coombs said of the action at Westgate as of Friday. “Earlier in the week the Bucs were as low as -1. We received sharp action on them Wednesday and that number has steamed up to -2.5 -120 for the Bucs.”
Krupiarz noted 80% of the money, including professional bets, is on the 0-11 Bengals at Caesars in Andy Dalton’s return despite the ticket count being 80/20% the other way.
Both the Westgate and CG has seen public and sharp money on the Chargers.
“Nobody is looking to take the Broncos yet (at home vs. Chargers),” Sharapan said after it was reported Denver is expected to start rookie QB Drew Lock. “We took limit plays on the Chargers at -1 and -2 to get us to 3. Same with Patriots. Only a handful of bets on the Texans, and depending on the way the day shakes out, that could become a really big decision due to parlays.”
Reportedly bitten by the flu bug, the Patriots listed 17 players as questionable for Sunday night’s game against the Texans as a 3-point road favorite. Still the public is backing Tom Brady and Co. laying a short number.
“Ticket count is about 65% Pats right now,” Coombs said on Friday night. “We actually just took a sharp bet on the Texans +3 Even. We moved the number to +3 -110. I assume as we get closer to Sunday we will see nothing but Patriots money…Every week the public hammers the Packers and Patriots, but this week there is respected play on the other side.”
Also dealing with ailments, the Colts have seen the point spread move against them ahead of Sunday’s important AFC South clash against the Titans. T.Y. Hilton, Marlon Mack and Eric Ebron are out for the Colts, who were adjusted from 2.5-point favorites to 1.5 at CG thanks in part to a limit bet on the Titans Friday.
“We will be looking for Colts money the rest of the week,” said Sharapan, who added on the “Cash Considerations” podcast he personally likes UNDER 43.5. “The game has had minimal action otherwise. It feels like that line is going to close closer to pick ’em or 1 than 2. Won’t be surprised if the book needs the Colts.”
While the Colts have lost three of four, public bettors at oddsmaker Robert Walker’s New Mexico sportsbooks are split on Sunday’s game.
“This has field-goal game written all over it,” Walker said on this week’s edition of The Bet Pro Football Podcast presented by BetIndiana. “I think it’s going to be a low-scoring game even though the total is up to 43.5 (from a 42 opener). Tennessee’s identity has definitely changed as they went to (Ryan) Tannehill as opposed to (Marcus) Mariota. They’re definitely opening it up and scoring more, but I wouldn’t go OVER that number.”
Titans +3 (-120) was one of several 5-figure bets placed at Westgate this week, along with Bucs -1, Cardinals +3, Chargers -3 (Even), Giants +6.5, and Texans +3 (Even). At the South Point sportsbook, similar 5-figure bets have also appeared on the Bucs -1, Chargers -2.5 and Cardinals +3.
Elsewhere on the Week 13 betting slate, the Browns flipped in early wagering from 1.5-point road underdogs to now 2-point favorites for Sunday’s anticipated rematch with the Steelers, following the Myles Garrett incident two weeks prior. Mason Rudolph was benched by the Steelers in Sunday’s non-cover win against the Bengals, leaving Devlin Hodges as the Week 13 starter.
“I like the Steelers’ chances with Hodges,” said Sharapan. “As of now, the book needs the Steelers because a limit play on the Browns at -1 got us to -2. We haven’t seen the respected play on the Steelers yet, but I am fully expecting it. I am surprised that the Browns are actually favored in Pittsburgh. Maybe the QB situation has people on hold, maybe the number is right, I don’t know.”