Two games defined the weekend in the betting market: the UCF-Pitt thriller on Saturday and the prime-time NFL game that led to the first losing Sunday of the season for several sportsbooks.
Welcome to Notable Bets, our weekend wrap-up of the betting storylines from across the nation.
NFL notable bets
Public cashes in on Rams
The Rams won 20-13 and covered, surviving four cracks at a go-ahead touchdown from Baker Mayfield and the Browns in the final seconds and finishing a big day for the betting public.
Save your tears for the bookies, though. Nevada sportsbooks have not suffered a losing month statewide in six years. The books will be open for business for the Monday night game between the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins.
• An hour before kickoff at MGM books, nine times as much money had been bet on the Rams as had been bet on the Browns. "It's probably the biggest decision of the season so far," MGM race and sports director Jeff Stoneback said Sunday, roughly an hour before kickoff.
• The $506,000 bet on the Browns was placed at the William Hill sportsbook at Ocean Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The bet was split into two tickets, according to William Hill spokesperson Michael Grodsky. The bet was first reported by Vegas Stats and Information Network and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
• Right before kickoff, 81.2% of the point-spread bets and 76.3% of the point-spread money was on the Rams at Caesars Sportsbook.
• More bets were placed on the Rams at Station Casino sportsbooks than any other team on the day.
Parlays a pain
• "Teasers were a killer," Stoneback said. "Teasers have been half of our loss for the whole day."
• A bettor placed a $208,000 money-line bet online with DraftKings on the Vikings to beat the Raiders straight-up at -370. The bettor won a net of just over $56,200 with Minnesota's 34-14 win.
• A bettor at sportsbook PointsBet on Friday placed a $390,000 two-team money-line parlay on the Packers and 49ers at -130 odds. The bettor won just under $300,000.
• "There was a significant amount of money on the Giants spread and moneyline, so while the Daniel Jones comeback victory was a great story, it hurt us," a spokesman for PointsBet said in an email to ESPN.
The Giants rallied behind Jones and beat the Buccaneers 32-31.
• "We got hit on some parlay cards that's making it a lot worse, but yeah, it hasn't been a good day," said Ed Salmons, vice president of risk at the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas.
• Not every book took it on the chin Sunday. Caesars Sportsbook won big on the Jets, Steelers and Saints and was up enough heading into the Sunday night game to endure a loss with the Rams covering.
• After opening as high as 6.5-point underdogs, sharp money came in on the Ravens against the Chiefs, driving the number all the way down to a closing price as low as Kansas City -4. The Chiefs beat the Ravens by five (33-28), causing some sportsbooks losses on both sides. "It's hard to bet that game and not win on either side," Salmons said.
Huge spreads don't scare off bettors
• The Dolphins and Jets each closed as 20-point-plus underdogs to the Cowboys and Patriots, respectively. It was the first time two NFL games had 20-point-plus spreads in the same week since Week 5 of the 1987 season -- a strike year.
Public bettors weren't scared off by the big numbers. At Caesars Sportsbook, 74.6% of the point-spread bets were on the Patriots, and 62.2% of the point-spread bets were on the Cowboys in their respective games.
Dallas won and covered in a 31-6 victory. The Jets returned an interception for a touchdown with six minutes to play, helping them cover the spread in a 30-16 loss.
• "They were betting on [the Patriots and Cowboys] like it was freest money in the world," Salmons of the SuperBook said.
• A bettor at Caesars Sportsbook on Tuesday placed a $1,000 two-team, money-line parlay on the Patriots and Cowboys and won a net $45.
Early Week 4 lines
At completion of Sunday night game
Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans (-4, 46)
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (Off)
Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5, 54) at Detroit Lions
Los Angeles Chargers (-16, 45) at Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots (-7, 43.5) at Buffalo Bills
Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts (-7, 44.5)
Tennessee Titans at Atlanta Falcons (-5, 46)
Washington Redskins at New York Giants (Off)
Seattle Seahawks (-3.5, 47) at Arizona Cardinals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Los Angeles Rams (Off)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos (-2.5, 38)
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (-2, 38)
Dallas Cowboys (-3, 46) at New Orleans Saints
College football roundup
UCF-Pittsburgh a popular game to bet
• UCF opened as high as a 14-point road favorite over Pittsburgh. Professional bettors backed the Panthers, driving the number down to -10.5, despite heavy public action on UCF.
• On Tuesday, a bettor at a William Hill sportsbook placed a $166,250 money-line bet on UCF (-475) to beat Pittsburgh straight-up. In a wild, back-and-forth game, the Panthers scored the winning touchdown on a trick play with 59 seconds to play in a 35-34 win. The wager would've paid a net $35,000.
• A house player at a Caesars Palace book took a "high five-figure" money-line bet on UCF -400.
• "The sharpest of the sharp are on Pitt plus the points," Jeff Davis, head of risk for Caesars Sportsbook, told ESPN on Saturday.
• "We had a big casino player, and he loaded up on Central Florida in the second half," the MGM's Stoneback said. "Central Florida won the second half, so it wiped out 70% of our win on the game.
"UCF has turned into a public team for these last three weeks," Stoneback added. "We've taken a lot of money on them. We had some sharp money taking the dog, but the public was all over UCF."
• More money was bet on the UCF-Pittsburgh game than was bet on any other game at Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technology. "That one was really good for us," CG Technology's Dave Sharapan said. "That was one of our best results of the entire day."
You win some, and you lose some
• CG Technology on Saturday took a $55,000 bet on Troy -17.5. The Trojans closed as 19-point favorites and beat Akron 35-7. "That wasn't a good result for us," Sharapan said. "I think he made his way around town and played it all over, or wherever he could get it."
• "We had a house customer that placed a really big bet ['mid-five figures'] on Wisconsin against Michigan, which we lost," the SuperBook's Salmons said.
• Notre Dame covering the spread in a 23-17 loss at Georgia was a big winner for several sportsbooks, helping them pull off a winning or break-even day.
• The Michigan State-Northwestern total closed at a consensus 35, the lowest college football over/under since Wake Forest-Boston College (34.5) in 2016.
• Updated odds to win the Heisman Trophy at Caesars Sportsbook:
Joe Burrow 11-5
Jalen Hurts 11-5
Tua Tagovailoa 9-4
Jonathan Taylor 12-1
Justin Fields 15-1
Justin Herbert 20-1
• Updated national championship odds at Westgate SuperBook:
Ohio State 8-1
Notre Dame 200-1
Odds & ends
• The Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest, the nation's most prestigious handicapping contest, is rebooting. SuperBook president Jay Kornegay announced Monday the SuperContest Reboot, a separate event that will run Weeks 9-17 of the NFL season. Contestants will make five weekly picks against the spread. The entry fee is $500, with a Nov. 2 deadline to sign up.
• Pennsylvania sportsbooks won $9.6 million off $109.0 million in bets in August. It was by far Pennsylvania's best month to date.
• Iowa sportsbooks won $2.2 million off $8.5 million in bets in the first 17 days since they began operating in August.
• Washington State, leading UCLA 49-17 over UCLA in the third quarter was as high as -6000 in live wagering at William Hill. The Bruins, who rallied from behind for a 67-63 win, were as much as 20-1 underdogs before the comeback.
• In boxing, the Westgate SuperBook took a $10,000 bet on Andy Ruiz (+225) against Anthony Joshua last week. The Ruiz-Joshua rematch is slated for Dec. 7 in Saudi Arabia.