Notable Bets – Army-Navy College Football Game Attracts Massive Bets

Distinguished on a Saturday, with a remarkable streak of play, Army-Navy will be one of the most highly wagered regular-season college football games of all time on American sportsbooks, with tens of millions of dollars in play across the country.

• More bets have been placed on Army-Navy at Caesars Sportsbook than on any regular season college football game except one: Ohio State-Michigan.

• More money was circulating on Army-Navy than any other event on a Saturday with a full slate of NBA, NHL and college basketball games and a UFC card.

• In some sportsbooks, Army-Navy has drawn more money than the majority of Sunday NFL games. And, get this: Army-Navy wasn’t even a board member of the largest betting market in the United States. New Jersey prohibits sportsbooks from taking bets on college events that take place in the state. The game was played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

There were plenty of big bets in other places, though. Jason Scott, vice president of trading for BetMGM, said the amount wagered on Army-Navy was more than what is wagered on an average NFL game outside of prime time. Much of the money bet on this year’s game, Scott said, came from five big players, who combined to bet $1 million on Army-Navy.

“The big boys needed a place to bet today,” Scott told ESPN. “All standard behavior for these guys. That’s their average bet size.”

The contenders upset the Black Knights as 7-point underdogs in a 17-13 win.

Much of the intrigue surrounding the game for bettors was the over/under total, which closed at 35.5, tied with Iowa-Wisconsin for a season low. It was the 16th straight Army-Navy game to go under, much to the delight of a Caesars Palace bettor, who bet $135,000 on under 35.5 for the game and $150,000 on under 16 years in the second half.

“Navy-Army has been our best handle on a college football game of the season so far,” said SuperBook executive director John Murray. “We took a ton of money from the army [bets], and it was probably the best take on a total of college football I’ve ever seen.”

The books did well on Navy’s outright upheaval, but Sunday was a different story.

NFL notables

• The NFL favorites have won 10 of 11 games in a row and won 9-2 against the spread on Sunday.

The rush to favorites left sportsbooks forcing the Bears to stand up to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in the prime-time game to avoid one of their costliest Sundays of the season.

“Everything that the public and the sharp people supported turned to gold today,” Craig Mucklow, chief trading officer for Caesars Sportsbook, told ESPN ahead of Sunday night’s game, adding that if Green Bay covered the gap against the Bears, the pound would suffer. his worst Sunday of the NFL season.

The Packers won – and covered 45-30.

“A terrific day for customers,” Mucklow said.

• As the late afternoon games drew to a close, Jeff Stoneback, BetMGM Sportsbook Manager in Nevada, summed up the day as follows: “It’s not going to be good, but it could get really ugly. “

Hours later, after the 49ers and Buccaneers each covered the spread with overtime touchdowns, Stoneback wrote in an email, “We hit lousy. One of the worst days of the year. “

• Several sportsbooks said they emerged victorious in a single game on Sunday afternoon: the Ravens covering as 3-point underdogs in a 24-22 loss to the Browns. Cleveland led 24-3 early in the third quarter, but the Ravens, who lost quarterback Lamar Jackson to injury in the first half, scored the game’s final 19 points, capped by a Mark Andrews touchdown reception 1:17 from the end.

“We had no business covering this game,” said SuperBook’s Murray, noting that big bets on the Browns took place late Sunday morning during their operation at the Lodge Casino in Colorado. “We really looked dead after Lamar Jackson came off. I can’t believe the Ravens covered that game. We’re going to take it. They’re the only team we’ve been shooting for all day that actually got the money for us.”

The Atlanta Falcons were the only other underdog to cover the afternoon. The Falcons covered the spread in a 29-21 win over the Panthers, the only pure upset on Sunday.

Murray said the only reason Sunday wasn’t the worst of the season for the SuperBook was because overall volume was generally lower at this point in the season. “If we had a Sunday where the favorites were 10-2 or 9-3 in Weeks 1 or 2, then the lights would go out,” Murray joked. “Well not really.”

• A Saturday morning bettor at Borgata Sportsbook in Atlantic City, New Jersey, placed a $73,500 bet on the Buccaneers to win the NFC South at odds of -10,000 and a chance of making a net profit of $735 . Thomas Gable, director of sports betting for the Borgata, said they were seeing high bets on giant favorites from several customers.

“I know some people automatically jump to the conclusion that someone is laundering money when they hear about this type of betting, but believe me there are enough compliance checks and signs when someone ‘one is actually trying to do something like that,” Gable told ESPN.

The Buccaneers have a four-game lead with four games left in the AFC South. They host the Saints next week and close out the season with the Jets and Panthers twice. It seems likely that Tampa Bay will win the division, potentially producing a 1% return in just over a month.

“Honestly, I don’t know if people think they can get more of a return than if they had it in a bank account that was earning interest,” Gable said. “Apart from a bank account, most other investment vehicles carry some sort of risk, so I don’t know if they consider these bets to be less risky or what.”

• The line for the Dallas-Washington game moved a lot on Sunday morning. The Cowboys went from -4.5 to -6.5 in the hours leading up to kickoff.

In New Jersey, clean cash on the Cowboys showed up at the SuperBook on Sunday morning. In Las Vegas, Chris Bennett, head of sports betting at Circa Sports, said punters who like to watch the movement of odds on influential offshore sportsbooks and bet accordingly took Dallas at -4.5, -5.5 and -6, but added that one of his sharpest clients took the football team at +6.5.

Dallas took a 24-0 lead and held on to win 27-20.

“It was our worst game of the day,” Stoneback said of BetMGM. “It was a combination of the public and the net money.”

• “We needed the New York teams today,” said Jay Croucher, Head of Trading at PointsBet. “Go to war with [Giants QB] Mike Glennon and [Jets QB] Zach Wilson was carrying knives in a shootout.”

The Giants lost to the Chargers 37-21 as 9-point underdogs, and the Jets lost to the Saints 30-9 as 4.5-point underdogs.

• The Bears-Packers game went over the total (43) in the first half, with the Bears leading 27-21 at halftime. It’s the first time a game has eclipsed the first-half total since Dec. 8, 2019, when the 49ers-Saints and Colts-Buccaneers games ended in the first half.

• Illinois bettors supported the Packers. At Caesars Sportsbook in Illinois, 91% of the money wagered on the game was on Green Bay. PointsBet in Illinois brought in 76% of the money on the Packers.

• Sunday morning at Caesars Sportsbook, 10 of the day’s 13 games had drawn more bets on under than on over. The overs went 9-3-1.

• The points gap in Monday night’s football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams narrowed at the start of the day. The Cardinals, who opened as consensus 3-point favorites, laid just two on Sunday night.

What were the odds?

+23.5 –Texas Southern basketball beat Florida 69-54 as a 23.5-point underdog last Monday. It’s the biggest upset of the college basketball season so far.

9-1 — Alabama quarterback Bryce Young’s chances of winning the Heisman Trophy early in the season at Caesars Sportsbook. Young was the heavy favorite at -6,000 in Saturday’s trophy presentation

-6.5 –Nevada opened as a 6.5-point favorite over West Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl. A week later, Western Michigan is a 3.5-point favorite. There is speculation that Nevada quarterback Carson Strong will not be participating in the bowling game.


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