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Notable bets: New Jersey bettor wins $1 million, but Vegas rolls

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The first Sunday in November produced a $1 million winner in New Jersey and many happy bookmakers in Las Vegas.

Here is this week's edition of Notable Bets, our weekly wrap up of betting storylines around the nation.


NFL notable bets

$1 million day

• A bettor won more than $1 million Sunday at William Hill's New Jersey sportsbook with a series of big bets on the Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Chargers and Baltimore Ravens.

As first reported by Covers.com and confirmed by ESPN, a customer won $300,000 on the Steelers -1 (-115) vs. the Colts. Pittsburgh won 26-24 after Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri missed a potential go-ahead 43-yard field goal with 1:14 to play.

The customer then won $350,000 on the Chargers +4. Los Angeles upset the Green Bay Packers 26-11.

The bettor capped the day with a $400,000 win on the Ravens +3. The Ravens beat the Patriots 37-20.

Sportsbooks roll

• The Chargers' upset of the Packers produced the biggest win on a single game this season for MGM sportsbooks in Nevada and led to the most lucrative Sunday of the NFL season thus far for the house.

• "The public was all over that game [on the Packers]," Jeff Stoneback, director of MGM race and sports in Nevada, said Sunday afternoon. "They were on the money-line, and we had a six-figure teaser on the Packers. It was just an onslaught of money, and it looked like the Packers didn't even show up. A little bit before game time, we had a six-figure bet [on the Packers] -4.5. It was the biggest game of the year that we've had."

• Caesars Sportsbook won 91% of the money bet on parlays placed on the Packers-Chargers game.

• "A lot of the morning was back and forth, small winner, small loser," Alan Berg, a senior oddsmakers at Caesars Sportsbook, said. "The afternoon, then, was a pile of money, basically."

• The most profitable results of Sunday for Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technology were:

1. Chargers over Packers
2. Broncos over Browns
3. Chiefs over Vikings.

Patriots-Ravens

• The Patriots opened as 4.5-point favorites over the Ravens. Influential money came in on Baltimore early in the week at +4.5, +4 and +3.5. By Thursday, most books had trimmed the line to New England -3. "We ended up with mostly sharp stuff on the Ravens," Berg said. "And then lots of parlays on New England. Most of those, though, were already killed off in the afternoon."

• An hour prior to kickoff of the prime-time game, there had been seven times as many bets on the Patriots than on the Ravens at MGM sportsbooks, but only slightly more money had been wagered on New England. "This shows you the discrepancy of pros vs. Joe's," Stoneback said.

• Caesars Sportsbook reported taking multiple large bets from VIP customers on the Ravens prior to kickoff. "I think the word was out that the sharps were liking Baltimore at the bigger numbers," Berg said.

• On Sunday morning at sportsbook PointsBet, 66% of the bets were on the Patriots, but 70% of money was on the Ravens.

• More bets were placed on the Patriots-Ravens game than were placed on any other single game this season so far at MGM sportsbooks in Nevada.

• "We're in a beautiful position tonight," Ed Salmons, vice president of risk at the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas, said prior to the Patriots-Ravens game. "Today is going to be a really solid day."

• Out of the first 148 bets on the SuperBook's prop of "Will the Patriots go 16-0?" 143 were on the "Yes." The Ravens' win squashed those who had "Yes."

Bookmaker's decision: Vikings-Chiefs

• With Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes questionable, most sportsbooks kept the point spread on Vikings-Chiefs off the board for much of the week. A few aggressive bookmakers hung point spreads that varied wildly, anywhere from Minnesota -6 to Kansas City -2.5, reflecting what they believed Mahomes' chances of playing were.

• The Vikings-Chiefs market really didn't take shape until 2 p.m. Saturday, when an influential offshore bookmaker installed the Vikings as 4-point favorites. CG Technology, one of the Las Vegas sportsbooks to post an early line, had Minnesota as a 2.5-point favorite and immediately took bets on the Vikings.

• Sportsbooks took different approaches to booking the game:

"We like to try and hang numbers when no one, or not many, have [a game] up," veteran bookmaker Tony DiTommaso said in a text message to ESPN. "We try not to take games down."

"We are going to wait as long as we can [to post a line]," John Murray, executive director at the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas, told ESPN on Saturday morning. "With a QB as important to the line as Mahomes, I think that's the right move."

• Caesars Sportsbook waited until Saturday afternoon before posting a line on Vikings-Chiefs. More money ended up being bet on Vikings-Chiefs than was bet on the Jets-Dolphins game that was on the board the entire week.

• Mahomes did not play, yet the Chiefs, who closed as 5.5-point underdogs, won outright 26-23.

Super Bowl betting update

• Teams that have attracted the most bets to win the Super Bowl at Caesars Sportsbook:

1. Bears
2. Chiefs
3. Browns
4. Cowboys
5. Saints

• Teams that have attracted the most money wagered to win the Super Bowl at Caesars Sportsbook:

1. Chiefs
2. Patriots
3. Saints
4. Bears
5. Cowboys

• On Friday, the sportsbook at The Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey took two large bets from the same customer on the Packers to win the Super Bowl. According to Borgata sportsbook director Tom Gable, the bettor put $100,000 on the Packers at 10-1 and $90,000 more at 9-1.

• The SuperBook took a $15,000 bet on the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl at 14-1 this week.

• Current Super Bowl line via SuperBook: NFC vs. AFC (-3, 51.5)

Other NFL notables

• After Week 1, DraftKings took a $3,400 bet on the Dolphins to finish the season at 0-16 at +3,000 odds. Miami beat the Jets on Sunday 26-18 for its first win.

• A bettor at The Borgata placed two big bets on the over in Jets-Dolphins: $150,000 on over 42.5 and $55,000 on over 21 in the first half. Both bets were winners.

• After going 1-1 ATS on Sunday, quarterbacks making their first career starts are now 8-1 against the spread this season. Brandon Allen made his debut in the Broncos' win over the Browns, and Redskins rookie Dwayne Haskins lost to the Bills in his first career start.

• After opening as high as -8, the Dallas Cowboys were consensus 6.5-point road favorites over the New York Giants heading into Monday. "We took sharp action on the Giants on Saturday," Dave Sharapan, oddsmaker for CG Technology, said. "They took +7."

Early Week 10 lines

From Caesars Sportsbook, at completion of Sunday night game.

Thursday

Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders (Pk, 48)

Sunday

Arizona Cardinals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-5.5, 53)
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-13, 50)
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (Off)
Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns (-2.5, 42)
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (-2.5, 43.5)
Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans (Off)
New York Giants (-2.5, 44) at New York Jets
Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts (Off)
Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers (-5, 48)
Los Angeles Rams (-3.5, 45) at Pittsburgh Steelers
Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys (-3, 46)

Monday

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (-6.5, 44.5)

Byes: Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins


College football roundup

LSU-Alabama

Alabama is a 6.5-point favorite over LSU to start the week.

• In mid-July, the SuperBook had Alabama as a 16-point favorite over LSU in its Games of the Year lines.

• The total could be found at 65, the highest over/under in the LSU-Alabama series in at least the last 20 years.

Other notes

• Akron fell to 0-9 against the spread with Saturday's blowout loss to Bowling Green. According to sports betting database BetLabsSports.com, no team has failed to cover the spread in 10 straight games since at least 2005.

Fresno State lost nine straight games against the spread to start the 2006 season, before covering the spread the following week.

According to Covers.com, no team that has gone winless against the spread for an entire regular season in the last 22 years.

• Willie Taggart, who was fired Sunday, went 7-13-1 ATS at Florida State.


Odds & ends

• Nevada sportsbooks won a net $52 million in September, the third-most lucrative month in the state's history. Bettors lost $39 million on football bets to Nevada books in September.

Just over $546 million was bet at Nevada books in September. In comparison, New Jersey sportsbooks took $445 million in bets in September.

Combat sports: The light heavyweight title bout between Canelo Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev on Saturday attracted roughly 20% more handle than how much was wagered on the UFC 244 main event between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz at the SuperBook.

College basketball: Teams that have attracted the most money to win the national championship at William Hill sportsbooks:

1. Michigan State
2. Duke
3. North Carolina
4. Kansas
5. Gonzaga