Sharp positions with immense value could have been nabbed in May, June, or July, by NFL bettors seeking edges in Las Vegas, with a little bit of luck and foresight, and a thick bankroll.
All such a seeker had to do was traipse into the Westgate SuperBook, which released lines on every single game of the NFL season, with a $3,000 maximum bet limit, in May.
“Results may vary,” SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay told Gaming Today this week. “Sometimes, we do okay. There are other times where the player gets the best of you. When we’re making lines for the current week, we will, at times, revisit what we had posted in May.”
Who wouldn’t have opted to play Under 48 for Patriots vs. Packers in Week 4, or Under 49 in Rams-49ers … or the coup de grâce:
Chiefs +2.5 and Under 53 at Tampa Bay? Five months later, that beauty now has a 45.5 total (it’s been as low as 44), and the game is lined pick ’em. KC has been favored by as many as three points, just a few days ago, and there’s been a big slice out of the number.
That Patriots-Packers total opened at 39 around Vegas early in the week, because New England quarterback Mac Jones is on the shelf and the Green Bay offense is, well, offensive.
The total for the LA Rams-San Francisco Monday night game opened at about 42.5 around town, due to injuries and general issues on offense.
So about seven points in total value could have been secured by playing the Green Bay and San Francisco totals Under at the SuperBook in early summer, and the Chiefs and Under would have been a grand get four months ago.
(It’s quite an advantage, of course, sitting here now and sizing up teams, and comparing certain numbers to the SuperBook’s openers. But that’s the fun of it, right?)
In general, Kornegay said the betting public doesn’t act much on those summer numbers. The handle is low, but there were several max takers on some games during the dog days.
Again, someone in that shop might have mentioned Sunday or Monday that they had Tom Brady and the Bucs favored by 2.5 over K.C. in May.
If so, it was just a mention, something in passing that had zero effect or influence on how they dealt with that game early this week.
“Based on the information we had in May versus now, it’s night and day, of course,” Kornegay said. “There are injuries; the Bucs are really beat up offensively, although they’ll likely get [receiver Mike] Evans back this weekend.
“Injuries change the landscape of the NFL, and the games are no different. Not to mention the performance of the Bucs the first few weeks. Their defense is tremendous, but that offense is concerning. Knowing Brady, he’ll probably fix it, but will it be this week, or Week 5?”
Through three weeks, the Under is 29-18-1 (.617) in the NFL, and underdogs have covered at a 60-percent (27-18-2) clip.
Kansas City Chiefs (2-1, 1-2 ATS) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1, 2-1 ATS)
Here are current odds from various sportsbooks around the US on this Super Bowl 55 rematch.
NFL · Sun (10/2) @ 8:22pm ET
|Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida|
Kornegay nailed it regarding the Bucs defense, which yields a meager 0.141 points per play. San Francisco and Jacksonville are next, giving up about 50 percent more than Tampa allows.
Two seasons ago, the Chiefs won, 27-24, in Tampa. But mid-week Bucs cash has moved this from KC -3 to a pick’em.
By Thursday, one shop had Tampa -1. But the status of receivers Breshad Perriman (knee/hamstring), Chris Godwin, (hamstring), Russell Gage (hamstring), and Julio Jones (knee) was still uncertain.
“Public on KC,” Kornegay said, “but market moving the other way. Sharps supporting (Tampa Bay).”
Analysis: Chiefs vs. Bucs odds and prediction
New England Patriots (1-1, 0-2-1 ATS) at Green Bay Packers (2-1, 2-1 ATS)
This probably won’t include Mac Jones, lost to that painful-looking high-ankle sprain last weekend, for the Pats, but coach Bill Belichick seemed to suggest there might be a chance for Jones.
That might contradict Jones’s actual health or expert medical opinions.
NFL · Sun (10/2) @ 4:25pm ET
|Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin|
Brian Hoyer, who turns 37 in two weeks, will likely take into the game an NFL-record 11-game losing streak as a starter among all active-roster quarterbacks. Without a guy named Tom Brady on their roster, the Patriots are 0-2 lifetime in Green Bay.
Also read: NFL Week 4 props and anytime TD scorers
Buffalo Bills (2-1, 2-1 ATS) at Baltimore Ravens (2-1, 2-1 ATS)
This one gets Kornegay’s marquee attention as box-office gold.
NFL · Sun (10/2) @ 1:02pm ET
|M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland|
Bills receiver Stefon Diggs leads the league with 344 receiving yards and four TD receptions, and he serves as the main target for Josh Allen, whose QB Rating of 77.7 is third in the NFL.
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is second, with a 78.4 QBR. The wild part of Jackson’s toolbox is that he’s tied for fifth, with Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey, in league rushing with 243 yards.
Baltimore, meanwhile, yields 458 yards a game to opponents, the worst in the league by more than 40 yards. Its secondary has seen an NFL-high 47 pass attempts per game; if it’s weary, Allen’s visit is bad timing.
“Two MVP contenders playing against each other,” Kornegay said. “I want to see how the Bills react to losing, too. That was a pretty big, emotional game for them, going down to Miami. Traveling to Baltimore isn’t going to be easy.
“I expect a very high scoring game, but just watching Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson going at each other will probably get my money.”
Also read: Bills vs. Ravens odds and predicition
Minnesota Vikings (1-1, 0-2 ATS) vs. New Orleans Saints (1-1, 1-1 ATS)
(Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, England)
Betting Lines: Vikings -2.5, Total 43.5
Kornegay and his crew will see familiar mugs roll into the SuperBook early Sunday morning, around 7 or 7:30, with their cups of coffee and notes, cruise up to the counter and want to take a position on this one.
Uh, sir. Started an hour ago. The London games. They catch even the most-veteran punters off-guard with their early starts.
Heed these locales: next Sunday, Giants-Packers at Hotspur; Oct. 30, Broncos-Jags at Wembley; Nov. 13, Seahawks-Bucs in Munich. All are 9:30 a.m. ET kickoffs.
This one underwhelms Kornegay. The Saints sport the worst turnover margin in the NFL, at -2, and other Big Easy issues have eked the Vikes from 1- to 2.5-point favorites, the total down from 45.5.
“The Saints look like they have a lot of issues,” he said. “[QB Jameis] Winston is hurt. They have a lot of injuries on offense. But trusting the Vikings on the road is another thing.”
Picks: NFL Week 4 teasers
Cleveland Browns (2-1, 2-1 ATS) at Atlanta Falcons (1-2, 3-0 ATS)
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Betting Lines: Browns -1, Total 47
How does this make the list? For one, Nick Chubb leads the league with 341 rushing yards; his four rushing TDs tie him with Detroit’s Jamaal Williams atop that chart.
For another, can the sporting world handle a potential 3-1 Browns squad?
“Well,” Kornegay said with a pause, laughing, “they could for a week, I guess. Two very unpopular teams. The Browns have a fantastic fan base that I certainly respect, but I do not expect that game to get a lot of attention at the betting windows.”
It’s bad news/good news for Atlanta fans; bad that it’s 1-2, good that its backers are 3-0 wagering on their squad.
Analysis: NFL Week 4 parlays
Washington Commanders (1-2, 1-2 ATS) at Dallas Cowboys (2-1, 2-1 ATS)
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Betting Lines: Cowboys -3 (-120), Total 41.5
Washington QB Carson Wentz has lost a league-high 95 yards in being sacked 15 times, which equals the number of times Joe Burrow of Cincinnati has been dumped behind the line, too.
The Commanders are in the league’s bottom quarter percentile, yielding 0.429 points per play. Does that enable Cowboys QB Cooper Rush to pump his career record as an NFL starter to 4-0?
Move on in your pool: NFL Week 4 survivor picks
Chicago Bears (2-1, 1-1-1 ATS) at New York Giants (2-1, 2-1 ATS)
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Betting Lines: Giants -3, Total 39.5
This had to make the list, since it’s one of only four games featuring two winning teams. Kornegay, though, agreed that this might resemble trench warfare, painful to watch, minimal gains on either side.
“Ugly. Haven’t put too much into that game. I think it might be more of a Benadryl fight. I’m surprised that total is 39.5; neither offense excites me.”
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1, 2-1 ATS) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-0, 2-1 ATS)
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Betting Lines: Eagles -6.5, Total 45.5
This features outstanding Eagles QB Jalen Hurts, who leads the NFL with 9.3 yards per pass attempt, against an emerging Jags defense. Kornegay expects heavy weekend betting traffic on it.
Viewers might take note of the league’s other Josh Allen, the Jaguars’ 6-5, 262-pound edge rusher, a New Jersey native who played at Kentucky and is tied with three others at having forced two fumbles.
The Eagles are allowing a paltry 4.4 yards per pass to opposing quarterbacks, best in the NFL by nearly a full yard. The Jags, meanwhile, have led the league in fortune, with a +2.3 turnover margin.
However, the Jaguars are one of only two NFL teams (the Lions being the other) that possesses both a top-10 runner (Christian Kirk, 267 receiving yards, eighth) and receiver (James Robinson, 230 rushing yards, ninth).
Finally, Doug Pederson, who guided the Eagles to victory in Super Bowl 52, returns to Philly as Jacksonville’s rookie coach.
At Circa Sports, Philly’s preseason NFL-title odds have been more than halved, from +1800 to +700; so have the Jags’, from 125-to-1 to 50-to-1. This total has been whittled from an opening 48.
Denver Broncos (2-1, 1-2 ATS) at Las Vegas Raiders (0-3, 0-3 ATS)
Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
Betting Lines: Raiders -3 (Even), Total 45.5
A former Air Force brat, Kornegay has lived all over the world. However, he went to Colorado State, calls the Centennial State home, and proudly hangs framed photos of Denver’s four major stadia in his office.
So he has some emotional investment in the Broncos. But he does pause when asked if this 2-1 season feels like 0-3.
“It does. It really does. The Raiders could be 2-1, too, with a little bit of luck. But that’s the NFL right now; it’s being the NFL. It’s so difficult to predict, and the margin of victory is so thin. I feel like 80 percent of the teams will finish with between seven and nine wins.”
New coach Nathaniel Hackett has already had to turn to a sage for assistance, hiring Jerry Rosburg to shore up minutiae like clock management and timeouts. Kornegay said that’s good; he admitted a mistake and rectified it.
The scheme has been mystifying. Tailback Javonte Williams, in Week 1, caught 11 passes out of the backfield for 65 yards, and he was targeted another time. He had seven runs.
In the next two weekends combined, though, he caught four passes and was targeted on five other occasions, but he ran 30 times, for 133 yards.
The Broncos lost that first game but have won their past two, when those betting on Williams to have more than 3 or 3.5 receptions have taken a bath.
On defense, Denver allows 251 yards per game, third-lowest in the league. It, Tampa Bay, and Jacksonville have not allowed a rushing TD.
“People feel because they’re at home and have a ‘have-to-win’ mentality,” a professional bettor told me, when I inquired how the woeful Raiders could be favored against anybody? “Remember, too, the Broncos have played on national TV and looked bad, even in a win.”
Kornegay points out that the current Broncos ownership group (Walton-Penner family) did not hire Hackett, so consider him on a short leash. “If they don’t show improvement,” Kornegay said, “this could be one-and-done.”
Games involving Denver are 3-0 to the Under this season. Much more impressive, their games are a league-best 45-23 (.662) to Under since 2018.
Los Angeles Rams (2-1, 1-2 ATS) at San Francisco 49ers (1-2, 1-2 ATS)
Monday night, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Betting Lines: Niners -1.5, Total 42.5
San Francisco and new QB Jimmy Garoppolo, same as the old Jimmy G, went to Denver last weekend and laid an egg in an 11-10 defeat. This home game might prove pivotal, since the Niners are on the road four of the ensuing six weeks.
“I still think both of these teams are in the top 10, so that isn’t too bad,” Kornegay said. “This matchup of NFC West rivals, I think, is solid. After what the 49ers did last week, this is a crucial game for them.”
Also check: Super Bowl 57 odds