The buildings out in Las Vegas are big and shiny for a reason: sportsbooks generally print money throughout football season. But occasionally we will see a stretch where the public beats up on the books, and right now we are in the middle of one of those stretches.
Multiple sportsbook directors told David Purdum of ESPN that Sunday was one of the worst weeks the books had in a while, with teams the public was on coming through in a big way, including the heavily-bet Chiefs thumping the Browns and easily covering as an eight-point road favorite.
The Action Network’s public money tracker shows 82 percent of the bets were on the Chiefs. William Hill releases ticket numbers every Sunday morning and their numbers had 91 percent of the tickets on the Chiefs and a whopping 88 percent of the money on Kansas City.
Week 9 went poorly before that, but Jay Rood of MGM said the Chiefs covering turned it into a “disaster.”
“We were pretty much done at that point,” Rood told Purdham. “Disaster.”
Rood also said Sunday was one of the 10 worst Sundays he’s seen in his 25 years of working in Vegas.
“I don’t know that there was a best game [for the book],” Station Casino sportsbook director Jason McCormick told Purdham. “Maybe the Dolphins, which had the least handle of the day. Worst Sunday of the season.”
There’s still one game left for Vegas and bettors to cash in on Week 9. It’s Monday Night Football between the Cowboys and Titans. SportsLine’s advanced computer model simulated the game 10,000 times and says one side of the spread cashes in well over 50 percent of simulations. See which one it is.
After seeing a lot of unders hit in the past two weeks, overs were getting nailed, including a couple of high ones, like the Panthers-Buccaneers and Chiefs-Browns game.
Even big public underdogs were covering. The Steelers (+2.5) had 69 percent of the money per TAN, the Chargers (+1) had 54 percent and the Saints (+2 at home) were getting 64 percent of the money.
There’s some variance on the percentage for each game at different sportsbooks, of course, but the bottom line is the public was hitting everything this week.
“The public just nailed it,” Boyd Gaming sportsbook director Bob Scucci told Purdham. “They had the big favorites — Bears, Chiefs, Panthers and Vikings — as well as the short ‘dogs, Texans and Steelers. And a lot of the overs.
“By the time we got to the two biggest games — Packers-Patriots and Rams-Saints — there were so many parlays alive that we were going to lose no matter what.”
The good news for Vegas? There’s always Monday. And even if that doesn’t work out, there will be plenty more opportunities to get their cash back from the very forgiving public. This is an interesting three-week trend, but don’t expect it to continue too much longer. The books have a way of correcting themselves.
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