NFL betting market watch – Books expecting 49ers support; early sharp money on Rams

With the Los Angeles Rams leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-3 in the third quarter of their divisional playoff, the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas decided to post a line on the NFC Championship Game.

The SuperBook oddsmaking team debated opening the Rams -3.5 at even money or Rams -3 at increased vigorish of -120 to bet the favorites. They eventually settled on Rams -3 (-120), “because we don’t really trust the Rams,” SuperBook executive director John Murray told ESPN.

Murray said they line quickly moved to Rams -3.5 (even) after a sharp player placed an approximately $84,000 money-line bet on the Rams (-165).

“We still think there will be strong support for San Francisco,” Murray said Sunday night. “To win at the Rams, at the Cowboys and at the Packers in three consecutive must-win situations is pretty impressive and cannot be ignored.”

Betting interest on the NFC Championship Game has dwarfed the amount wagered on the AFC Championship Game between the underdog Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs at the sportsbook at the South Point casino in Las Vegas.

The South Point on Tuesday reported taking a $220,000 bet on the 49ers +3.5 from a bettor that veteran bookmaker Chris Andrews said is “no dummy, a sharp guy.” Andrews dropped the number to Rams -3 and quickly received enough five-figure bets on Los Angeles that as of Wednesday afternoon the action was relatively balanced.

“The guys who laid back the [Rams minus] three are some of my sharpest customers,” Andrews said.

The line had ticked back up to Rams -3.5 Wednesday at the South Point, along with most sportsbooks around the U.S.

NFL betting market watch

Here is our weekly look at how the NFL betting market is shaping up leading into the weekend.

For consistency, lines, totals and betting percentages are from Caesars Sportsbook unless otherwise noted. The betting percentages are not specific to the current line or total and are designed to provide a snapshot of the early action. Here is a look at movement for Sunday’s games.

AFC championship

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs

Opening line: Chiefs -6.5, 51 (consensus opening line was Chiefs -7)
Wednesday: Chiefs -7, 54.5
Spread action: 66% of the bets and 71% of the money wagered is on the Chiefs.
Total action: 75% of bets and 63% of the money wagered are on the over.

Notes: Caesars Sportsbook had taken three six-figure wagers on the AFC Championship Game: $110,000 on Chiefs -6.5; $110,000 on over 54 (-110) and $110,000 under 54.5 (-110).

NFC championship

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams

Opening line: Rams -3.5, 46
Wednesday: Rams -3.5 (-105), 46
Spread action: 69% of bets and 65% of the money wagered is on the Rams.
Total action: 56% of the bets are on the over, but 73% of the money wagered is on the under.

Notes: Several large bets came in on the NFC Championship Game earlier in the week. Caesars Sportsbook reported a $220,000 bet on under 46.5 (-110) and $110,000 on the 49ers +3.5 (-110). The South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday reported taking a $220,000 bet on the 49ers +3.5 (-110).