Bookmakers’ thoughts on Ohio State-Penn State, Commanders-Colts; Gambling nuggets

Sure, the matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams is one of the most compelling games on the NFL Week 8 odds board. And there’s no shortage of intrigue surrounding Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers as Sunday night’s double-digit underdogs at the Buffalo bills

But it’s another game with not nearly as much intrigue that saw some interesting activity this week: The Washington Commanders at the Indianapolis Colts.

Below is an inside look at this competition as well as some more betting nuggets on NFL Week 8 and College Football Week 9 odds.

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Taken in colt

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan suffered a severed shoulder in a Week 7 loss in Tennessee. So most people expected Ryan to potentially miss some time. But coach Frank Reich decided it would be for Ryan, announcing Monday that Sam Ehlinger would start the remainder of the season.

Reich raised the QB sophomore over Nick Foles and even Ryan. So the veteran will be the backup in his 15th season when he recovers. The news quickly caught the attention of bettors.

“The big move here was on Monday when the Colts coach announced the quarterback change,” said Rex Beyers, a longtime oddsmaker who is now head of betting at PlayUp USA. “They were all arguing about Washington +4 when that announcement came. But I’m not particularly worried.”

As Commanders bets rolled in, Beyers first moved the Colts a point to -3 on PlayUp and then went to -2.5. He’s since brought the Colts back to -3, and he likes his position on the other side of astute customers who feel they’ve struck a deal at Commanders +4 and +3. Especially since Beyers, who hails from Indiana, has heard nothing but good things about Ehlinger, the former Texas Longhorns standout who will be making his first NFL start.

“At this point, Indianapolis is better off with an agile quarterback that has a better arm,” Beyers said. “There’s a good chance the Colts have solved their two biggest problems – QB and offensive line – with that move if this guy is as good as the reports I’m getting from home say he is . I would upgrade the Colts, not downgrade them.

“So I’m perfectly fine if I need the Colts for a decent stack on Sunday like we’re doing right now.”

Who wants the west

The Rams and Niners met in last season’s NFC Championship Game, with LA ultimately winning the Super Bowl. Neither team has garnered much attention so far this season. Currently, the Rams sit at 3-3 straight up (SU) and 2-4 against the spread (ATS), while the 49ers are 3-4 SU and ATS.

In fact, both are currently behind NFC West, leading Seattle (4-3 SU and ATS). San Francisco is behind LA in the division, but the Niners have a game ahead of Los Angeles. In Week 4 on Monday night, San Fran drove as a 1-point home favorite to a 24-9 win.

On Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET FOX national slot, the Rams are hoping for revenge. WynnBet trader John Manica said the odds movement has been interesting so far.

“This line actually opened [last week’s] Outlook on Rams -2.5. Since then, the 49ers have acquired Christian McCaffrey from the Panthers. This is significant as reports emerged that the Rams were also clearly in contention for CMC,” Manica said. “The 49ers won that fight and the first meeting with the Rams. We saw the number move significantly after that [McCaffrey] Trade to the 49ers, now favored at 1.5.

“Action has been light on the 49ers so far, but wide receiver Deebo Samuel (hamstring) is a question mark for the game now. The real action hasn’t happened yet, but the Rams are under pressure to avoid going through with the 49ers in particular [after] lose to CMC.”

Dylan Brossman, senior manager of trading operations at FOX Bet, also detailed the clash between the 49ers and the Rams.

“We’re seeing a little more confidence in the Niners, even though we were 1.5 points down. Almost 57% of the money is behind San Fran on the road,” Brossman said. “The Niners’ defense has struggled over the past two weeks, giving up 44 points to the Chiefs and 28 points to Atlanta. While the Rams have struggled offensively this season, they may get help in the form of running back Kyren Williams and wide receiver Van Jefferson this week.

“The Rams are developing healthier thanks to a timely bye while the 49ers remain battered on both sides of the ball. I like it when the Rams win straight away at home.”

As a side note, if you’re interested in knowing how the CMC acquisition affected the 49ers’ title chances, we’ve got you covered here.

Dog Days by Aaron Rodgers

The NFL Week 8 odds include a historic measure no one thought Aaron Rodgers would ever see: being a double-digit underdog. But after Green Bay lost three straight games — to the Jets, Giants and Commanders — and now face a Buffalo team after their bye week, a Rodgers-led team is an 11-point pup at WynnBet.

“Wow. I didn’t expect this game to be in double digits when the year started,” said Manica. “Here we are in October and the Bills have emerged as the clear Super Bowl favorites. The Bills are obviously a pass-oriented offense, and since transitioning to that philosophy, the wind in Buffalo has been important to consider. Strong winds in Buffalo actually hurt home advantage as the Bills are a lot better against scatter at home in light winds.”

As a midweek forecast, Sunday night will call for temperatures in the low to mid 50’s and light winds.

“Buffalo have a nice night ahead of them. It means trouble for the Packers,” said Manica. “The look-ahead line on this game was Bill’s -8. We opened at Bills -11 which is close to the market at -11.5. Green Bay will have to hope for a night’s rest from the Bills to keep up in this one.

“So far we’ve seen small two-way actions on both [spread] and the total, but no bets of major importance. The Bills Team Total (Over 28.5) is an attractive option to play if you are not interested in betting a large number on the spread.

The sharp side

A pro bettor in Vegas jumped to the 49s on that +2.5 look-ahead line last week. But other than that, he’s not really keen on the NFL Week 8 Odds Board.

“To be honest I’m not liking this week very much so far. Thursday and Friday’s injury reports are imperative,” he said while pointing to the Dolphins at Lions matchup. “Detroit +3.5 will most likely be a game. As long as D’Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown are good, I’ll get the points.”

Swift (ankle/shoulder) appears to be playing for the first time since week 3. And trainer Dan Campbell expects St. Brown to return after concussion protocol.

College Football Rocks on FOX

Saturday’s college football kicks off with the Big Noon on FOX Tilt, where you’ll get Gus Johnson on your TV – does it get any better? – when Ohio State #2 travels to Penn State #13.

Beyers thinks the 15-point spread for the Buckeyes could be a bit steep in the noon ET matchup.

“Ohio State didn’t play offense with a pulse. Toledo is the best the Buckeyes have seen yet,” Beyers said. “That changes this week. It’s a big number to be on the road despite the early start.”

This important Big Ten meeting will be followed on FOX by a Big 12 contest between No. 9 Oklahoma State and No. 22 Kansas State starting at 3:30 p.m. ET.

DraftKings opened Oklahoma State -1 and quickly switched to Kansas State -1 as that line went up Sunday afternoon. The Wildcats briefly touched -2 ​​Monday afternoon and have been steady at -1.5 since. But on Wednesday night at DraftKings, the visiting Cowboys drew 75% of the early spread tickets and 76% of the early spread dollars.

Eagles win/Steelers cover?

Here’s how FOX Bet customers play Sunday’s Keystone State fight between the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5 SU, 3-3-1 ATS) and the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS).

On the money line – a bet where a team simply wins and doesn’t have to cover the spread – the Eagles take 90% of all dollars at FOX Bet during the week. And that’s despite a hefty moneyline price for the favorite of -550, meaning it takes a $550 bet to win $100.

But at the Eagles -10.5 range, the Steelers have 60% of the money to avoid a 10-plus loss. Brossman isn’t keen on Pittsburgh’s chances of keeping this game within the number.

“The Eagles have had a bye while the Steelers are on a shortened week following their Sunday Night Football loss to the Dolphins,” Brossman said. “Pittsburgh haven’t scored more than 20 points since Week 1 and I expect that to continue Sunday. Philly’s attack will just be too much for Pittsburgh to keep up. The Birds should cover the 10.5.”

I like big bets and I can’t lie

Sportsbook didn’t share much about big bets on NFL week 8 or college football week 9 games. But in the final game of Week 7, a Caesars Sports client came out on top against the big underdogs Chicago Bears.

The New Jersey bettor bet $15,000 on the Bears’ +300 moneyline in hopes that Chicago would throw up an outright surprise. As it turned out, the 8.5-point underdogs bowled the Bears to a 33-14 win. The bettor didn’t even have to break a sweat before cashing out with a profit of $45,000.

The same bettor also bet $40,000 on the Bears +8.5 so he cashed that too for another $36,364.

If only we had the bankroll to amass a nondescript matchup like Bears-Patriots and come out on top by about 80 grand. We hope you are all just as happy this upcoming football weekend – albeit certainly on a smaller scale.

Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst at FOX Sports and a senior reporter at VegasInsider.com. He is a respected journalist in the field of national sports betting. He lives in Las Vegas, where he enjoys playing golf in 110 degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas.

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