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Notable Bets: $30K bet on Ravens turns into $600K payday

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The first Sunday of the NFL season featured several six-figure bets, a seven-figure swing on a touchdown with six seconds left and a $30,000 bet with a $600,000 twist.

Welcome to Week 1 of Notable Bets, our weekly wrap up the most notable sports betting storylines from over the weekend.


NFL notable bets

• Bookmaker PointsBet offers a unique way to bet on the NFL. They call it "PointsBetting," a high-risk, high-reward wager that the bookmaker pioneered in Australia and brought to the U.S. last summer.

It works like this: For every point a team covers the spread by, the initial stake multiplies. If you place a $5 "PointsBetting" wager on Team A -3, and Team A wins by 10 points, you win $35 (7 points times $5 per point above which the team covered the spread). Bettors have the option of setting the limits on a maximum win or loss, up to 50 times the initial wager.

On Sept. 1, a "sharp client" placed the largest "PointsBetting" wager the book has taken since arriving in New Jersey: A $30,000 bet on the Baltimore Ravens -6 against the Miami Dolphins. The bettor chose to set the maximum win/loss at 20 times their initial wager.

The Ravens won 59-10 on Sunday, and the bettor won $600,000.

• The Ravens' rout was the most costly game of the day for multiple sportsbooks. Entering Sunday, 93.7% of the money that had been bet on the game's point spread at Caesars Sportsbooks was on Baltimore.

• Despite the big loss, Las Vegas sportsbooks reported an overall winning Sunday. Second-half comebacks by the Buffalo Bills (+2.5) and Arizona Cardinals (+3) helped the books overcome losses on the Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs. The biggest win for Caesars Sportsbook, though, came from the Washington Redskins.

• Trailing the Philadelphia Eagles 32-20 with three minutes to play, Washington QB Case Keenum capped a 16-play, 75-yard drive with a touchdown pass to Trey Quinn with six seconds to play. Washington, a 10-point underdog at most sportsbooks, covered the spread in a 32-27 defeat. The late touchdown produced a seven-figure swing in favor of the house at Caesars..

• The SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas took a $45,000 moneyline bet on the Eagles to beat Washington straight-up at -450 odds. The bettor won a net $10,000.

• Washington's cover against Philadelphia also produced MGM's biggest win of the day in Las Vegas. "Boy, did we get lucky in that game," MGM sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback said. "I didn't have it on, had conceded it a loser and was mad. One of our supervisors was watching it on a little TV and started jumping up and down."

• A bettor at a CG Technology sportsbook on Saturday in Las Vegas placed a $500 bet on the Redskins to win the Super Bowl at 250-1 and another $500 bet on the Redskins to win the NFC at 100-1.

• "The morning games were very good," CG Technology sportsbook director Tony DiTommaso told ESPN on Sunday. "The Skins saved us early. In the late games, Cincinnati was good, although it would've been better if they won the game."

• CG Technology reported taking two $20,000 moneyline bets on the Seahawks to beat the Bengals at -470 odds. The Seahawks squeaked out a 21-20 win.

• DraftKings reported taking $100,000 bets on the Indianapolis Colts +6.5 and the Jacksonville Jaguars +3.5 from a bettor online in New Jersey. The Colts covered the spread in a 30-24 overtime loss to the Chargers. The Jaguars failed to cover the spread in 40-26 loss to the Chiefs. The bettor was able to break even on the split, only because DraftKings was offering no vig on NFL games Sunday.

• The Bills' comeback win over the favored New York Jets helped ease a little of PointsBet's pain from the $600,000 loss on the Ravens. Bills-Jets was the most heavily-bet game of the day at PointsBet. Approximately 90% of the money bet on the point spread was on the Jets.

• "It was like the Super Bowl in here," Ed Salmons, vice president of risk for the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas said Sunday afternoon. "Wall-to-wall people. It was great. We did well on the early games, and we're trying to survive these late games. We need the Niners over Tampa, Cincinnati to cover against Seattle, and we need the Giants, but that's not going to happen."

San Francisco and Cincinnati covered; The Giants did not in a 35-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

• "Yesterday, we were a little bit worried. Our ticket count was down, and it was kind of quiet," the MGM's Jeff Stoneback said Sunday. "I got the same feedback from some of our other properties, too. We were kind of worried about today, but, gosh, it was very, very busy in the morning. We were worried about what it was going to be like on Sunday, with nationwide betting. It was very busy. The NFL rules, and it doesn't matter whoever's in town at the time, everyone bets it."

• The only six-figure bet MGM sportsbooks in Las Vegas took on Sunday was on the Ravens -7.

• "We did have multiple $50,000 bets from a casino player [VIP]," Stoneback said. "He bet San Francisco, Detroit, Carolina and Philadelphia."

• MGM took a rush of money on the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl after the acquisition of wide receiver Antonio Brown last week. "As soon as they announced that he signed [on Saturday], everyone was betting them," Stoneback said. "We probably took $30,000 or $40,000 just in bets on the Patriots. All of a sudden, every bet was Patriots."

• The SuperBook took 22 bets on the Patriots to miss the playoffs, including a $3,200 bet at 6-1 odds. The defending-champion Patriots blew out the Pittsburgh Steelers 33-3 in the Sunday prime time game. The Patriots opened as 14.5-point road favorites over the Dolphins next week (16-point favorites at Caesars).

• A bettor at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on Sunday placed a $10 bet on the Dolphins to win the Super Bowl at 2,000-1 odds.

Bad beats

Washington (+10) covers in 32-27 loss to Philadelphia: Public bettors weren't happy when the Keenum-Quinn connection came through for a 4-yard touchdown with 6 seconds left in the game. That got the Redskins, who had been up 17-0 at one point, in the backdoor for the cover. As the FOX announcers noted, it was an "important play for some."

Indianapolis (+6) pushes in 30-24 OT loss to Chargers: The books got middled here, as the line was Chargers -3.5 before Andrew Luck retired and got as high as 7 before closing at 6. The Chargers were up 24-9 in the third quarter, before giving up a 19-yard TD (and 2-point conversion) to the Colts to send the game into overtime. Austin Ekeler scored a TD on the first possession, but no extra point gets kicked off a TD in OT off the first possession.

Arizona (+3) covers in 27-27 tie with Detroit: The Lions were up 24-6 early in the fourth quarter before Kyler Murray (9-of-25 for 75 yards to that point) led three scoring drives to send the game into overtime. That TD also put the game over the closing total of 45.5. The teams traded field goals to end in a tie and give the Cardinals quite the cover.

Early Week 2 lines

At completion of Sunday night game

Thursday

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-6.5, 50.5)

Sunday

Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens (-12.5, 42.5)
Buffalo Bills (-2, 42.5) at New York Giants
Dallas Cowboys (-5, 44) at Washington Redskins
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-3, 44)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-8.5)
Los Angeles Chargers (-3, 47) at Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-3, 46)
New England Patriots (-16) at Miami Dolphins
San Francisco 49ers (-2, 45) at Cincinnati Bengals
Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (Off)
Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5) at Oakland Raiders
Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos (-1)
New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams (-3)
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons (Pk, 51)

Monday

Cleveland Browns (-2.5, 46) at New York Jets


College football roundup

• It was a roller-coast Saturday for Las Vegas sportsbooks, but in the end they came out on top, thanks to some key late decisions. The SuperBook and MGM each reported big wins on USC covering the spread against Stanford and Washington losing outright to Cal.

• "Up until 4 o'clock, when I was here, I think we lost every decision we had," Salmons of the SuperBook said. "And then everything turned around at night. I think we won every decision we had, other than the LSU game. We turned it around and wound up a decent winner [Saturday]. The BYU-Tennessee game was really big for us. We needed USC over Stanford, and Hawaii not covering against Oregon State and Washington losing outright were really big."

• Maryland's rout of Syracuse produced the biggest loss on Saturday for MGM books, thanks to a VIP customer who placed winning $50,000 wagers on the Terrapins in the first half and for the game. "Texas A&M was our second-worst game of the day," Stoneback said.

• "We had a good day [Saturday]," Tony DiTommaso of CG Technology said. "We won the big game, Illinois." A bettor placed a $55,000 wager on Illinois -20.5 against UConn.

• The SuperBook currently has liabilities on Alabama and LSU in its national title futures pool. "We win like the whole pool on Clemson," Salmons said.

• Notable updated odds to win the national championship at SuperBook:

Alabama 9-4
Clemson 5-2
Georgia 6-1
Oklahoma 12-1
LSU 12-1
Ohio State 16-1
Michigan 20-1
Texas 100-1

• Notable updated odds to win Heisman Trophy at Caesars Sportsbook:

Jalen Hurts 3-1
Tua Tagovailoa 3-1
Trevor Lawrence 9-2
Joe Burrow 6-1
Sam Ehlinger 11-1
Justin Fields 11-1
Jonathan Taylor 15-1

• Notable opening lines from Las Vegas sportsbook operator Circa Sports:

Ohio State (-14, 58.5) at Indiana
Pittsburgh at Penn State (-17.5, 48.5)
Alabama (-21, 63) at South Carolina
Iowa at Iowa State (-1, 57)
Arizona State at Michigan State (-10.5, 47)
Florida (-9.5, 49) at Kentucky
Clemson (-24, 63.5) at Syracuse
Oklahoma (-17, 66.5) at UCLA
Texas Tech (-3, 71.5) at Arizona

Bad beats

Way under turns into over: Leading 16-13 late in the fourth quarter, the winless Vols allowed a 64-yard pass with 20 seconds left that set up a tying field goal. The teams would combine for 23 points in overtimes to push the game over the 52-point total. BYU 29, Tennessee 26 (OT).

Another over comes roaring in: Colorado and Nebraska combined for 38 points in the fourth quarter, highlighted by 96- and 75-yard scoring plays 13 seconds apart, that helped turn an under into an over (64). Colorado 34, Nebraska 31 (OT).

Aggies cover on late TD: Top-ranked Clemson, which was a 16-point favorite, led 24-3 in the fourth quarter. With 5:41 left, A&M took over on its on 9-yard line and went on a 16-play, 91-yard drive, capped by a touchdown pass on fourth down with nine seconds to play to cover the 16-point spread. Clemson 24, Texas A&M 10.