Notable bets is a regular Monday roundup of wagers -- some sharper than others -- made recently at sportsbooks across the nation.
On the first Sunday with legal sportsbooks in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the hometown Eagles and Steelers pulled off upsets.
Welcome to the bookmaking business.
At Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia, 91 percent of the money-line bets were on the Eagles against the heavily favored Los Angeles Rams. At Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, 83 percent of the money-line bets were on the Steelers. The Eagles upset the Los Angeles Rams, and the Steelers knocked off the New England Patriots.
In addition to the hometown bias, the other lesson learned from new sportsbooks in Pennsylvania was straightforward. "We're going to have to build bigger," Sugarhouse general manager Cheryl Duhon said.
Added Rivers Casino general manager Bill Keena, "My text to my CEO was, 'We need to think bigger.'"
Sugarhouse and Rivers are operating out of temporary sportsbooks setups. Sugarhouse has six betting windows at the counter in addition to six kiosks. Duhon said they have already ordered six more kiosks to help serve the demand. Both casinos are planning to build larger permanent sportsbooks. For now, though, they'll work with the space they have and figure out the best way to handle the heavy volume on the home teams.
"We still have people betting on the Eagles to win the Super Bowl," Duhon said.
Here are the notable bets from the week:
• MGM reported taking an $180,000 money-line bet on the Rams to beat the underdog Eagles at -900 odds. The bettor would have won a net $20,000, but Philadelphia pulled the upset, knocking off the Rams 30-23. The bet was first reported by the Action Network -- and it wasn't even the largest money-line bet MGM took last week.
• A bettor at MGM placed two money-line bets totaling $569,000 on the Seattle Seahawks to beat the San Francisco 49ers. According to MGM sportsbook supervisor Scott Shelton, the first bet was for $235,000 at -230 odds. The book bumped up the price to -250 and then took another $334,000 on the Seahawks from the bettor. The 49ers won 26-23 in overtime.
• Shortly before the Thursday night game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs, a bettor placed a $200,000 money-line bet on the favored Chiefs at -200 odds. The bet would have paid $100,000, but the Chargers rallied from a 14-point deficit in the final four minutes and won 29-28 on a two-point conversion with four seconds to play.
• The 49ers' upset of the Seahawks produced the largest win of the season on a single game for MGM.
• The SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas took a $130,000 money-line bet on the Houston Texans to beat the New York Jets on Saturday. The bettor won $50,000 when the Texans came from behind in the final five minutes to beat the Jets 29-22.
• The Cleveland Browns eclipsed their season-win total at most sportsbooks with Saturday's win over the Denver Broncos. The Browns improved to 6-7-1. "Over the summer, we had a guy bet $70,000 to win $50,000 on the Browns over 5.5 wins," John Murray, director of sports for the SuperBook, told ESPN. "We took a ton of money on under six [wins] to get off his bet, because we really like the Browns. We need one more win. If they get to seven [wins], that will be a big winner for the book."
• The Browns opened as 7-point favorites over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 16. Cleveland hasn't been favored by at least this much since a 2013 home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars when it was favored by 7.5 points.
• The biggest decision in the early games for the SuperBook was in the Tennessee Titans-New York Giants game. The Giants opened as 2.5-point favorites, before early action moved Tennessee into the favorite's role. "On Saturday night, we had a guy bet $55,000 to win $50,000 on the Titans -1," Murray said. The Titans won 17-0.
• A bettor at the SuperBook on Saturday placed a $500 wager on the Green Bay Packers to win the Super Bowl at 300-1 odds. The Packers were eliminated from the playoffs with Sunday's loss to the Chicago Bears.
• A bettor at MGM placed a series of five-figure bets on some early bowl games. The bettor put $55,000 on Louisiana Tech +1.5, $44,000 on Eastern Michigan +2 (vs. Georgia Southern), $55,000 on Middle Tennessee +7 (vs. Appalachian State) and $44,000 on North Texas +8.5 (vs. Utah State). Georgia Southern won 23-21, Appalachian State won 45-13 and Utah State won 52-13. Louisiana Tech will face Hawaii on Saturday.
• At Caesars' sportsbooks in Nevada, the Las Vegas Bowl between Fresno State and Arizona State generated 1.5 times more handle than the other five FBS bowl games Saturday.
• There was some notable line movement in some marquee bowl games last week:
Georgia went from an 11-point favorite to a 13-point favorite over Texas in the Sugar Bowl;
Clemson went from an 11.5-point favorite to a 13-point favorite over Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl, a College Football Playoff semifinal.
Odds and ends
• The SuperBook posted odds last week on the winners of the two MLB wild-card games in 2019. The St. Louis Cardinals (+450) and Washington Nationals (+500) are the favorites in the National League. The Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are co-favorites at +280 in the American League.
• NBA: The SuperBook took a $2,500 wager on New Orleans star Anthony Davis to win MVP last week at 4-1 odds.
• PGA: A bettor at the SuperBook placed a $600 bet on Thomas Pieters to win the Masters at 100-1. Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth are the current co-favorites to win the Masters, each listed at 12-1.