Not A Bad Outcome For the Books

By Micah Roberts

 When favorites go 8-4 ATS on any NFL Sunday as they did in Week 16, it’s a great bet in the -400 range that the sportsbooks lost.

  But that wasn’t necessarily the case on Sunday as just as many Nevada books won as lost. For the books that won, the sides that messed up the public parlay the most were the same.  

 “The Texans and Bears outright wins will lead to a winning day,” said Station Casinos VP Jason McCormick. “Bills was the worst but the Rams and Raiders results were bad as well.”

 The Texans beat the Chargers,41-29, as 12.5-point home underdogs which left many bettors hitting six out of seven in their parlays. “Just one more, is all I need,” is what everyone was saying. As the parlay started to gain momentum, those with the Chargers were trying to conjure ways for the Bolts to cover two touchdowns. But every time the Chargers did score, Texans rookie QB Davis Mills would lead another winning drive. 

 The Chargers couldn’t stop the Texans and proved once again that any NFL team can beat anyone on any given Sunday. The few that saw the biggest upset of Sunday coming were paid a high of +525 on the Texans money-line to win outright at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.  


 The other big upset was the Seahawks losing at home in the snow, 25-24, to the Bears. The Seahawks were 7-point favorites most of the week and one of those automatic plays on 6-point teasers. The Seahawks were a money-line parlay killer for those that hadn’t been beat up by the Chargers loss already. It was also a teaser killer and probably the last straw the sportsbooks had to save the day from disaster when favorites go 8-4 ATS.   

 “We were a small loser, but O.K.,” said SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay. “A couple of big wins prevented a big losing day.”

 BetMGM’s results were similar to the SuperBook’s.

 “Small loser,” said BetMGM’s Jeff Stoneback. “Handle was very low and Rams and Raiders were the worst two. The Lions and Jets were our best two games. We need Washington for a small amount.”

 The Cowboys are going to be a problem for the sportsbooks the next few weeks because bettors can see the momentum of four straight wins and covers after crushing the Football Team 56-14, and it didn’t even seem that close as they led 42-7 at the half. 

 The Cowboys are the best cover team in the NFL at 12-3 ATS which makes them America’s team, for real. America bets, America loves football, and these guys cover spreads better than anyone. Yes, America’s Team.  

 Because of the damage that the Chargers and Bears did to the public parlay, the built-up risk on the popular Cowboys wasn’t as big as a usual Sunday night game.  

 “Not bad, better than I expected,” South Point’s Chris Andrews said of their Sunday. “The Chargers were the best and the Bills were the worst.”

 The Bills were a sharp play at New England which dropped the line everywhere from Patriots -2.5 to pick ‘em at kickoff. The public was split 50-50 on which side to take so the impact to parlays wasn’t too large. Revenge was the play after Mac Jones and the patriots won at Buffalo, 14-10, four weeks ago when Jones only made three pass attempts in the windy, snowy Buffalo fall.

 The funny thing about that first meeting is that the Patriots had won and covered seven straight, then went into a bye, came back and lost at Indianapolis, and then lost 33-21 at home to the Bills. I didn’t see the stat about Bill Belichick teams coming off byes, but it probably didn’t have two straight losses following it as it does now. Josh Allen and the Bills totally outclassed the Patriots in every category, especially at QB where Allen was MVPish and Jones was a rookie with no TDs and two picks.    

 The Bills winning turned out to be a poor decision up north in Reno. 

 “We have some liability to the Cowboys game, but we’re a small winner for now,” said Atlantis Reno sportsbook director Marc Nelson before the night game. “Our best games were the Texans, Lions, and Jets. Our worst games were the Bills and Chiefs.”

 Nelson had other elements to hurt the bottom line up north that the books didn’t have to deal with down south in Las Vegas. 

 “We had a snowstorm up here that caused the lowest handle of the year so no matter what happened it wasn’t going to be a huge day,” he said.  

In Las Vegas, there was a home game for the Raiders who crushed the Broncos 17-13. Crushed? Yes! That’s two losses for the Broncos against interim Raiders coaches. The Raiders have gone 2-6 in their last eight games since Henry Ruggs III killed a woman and her dog in a DUI-induced accident. The Raiders have now scored 17-points or less in seven of their last eight games without Ruggs. 

 But the crushing part was how the Broncos played right into the Raiders hands. The Raiders can’t stop the run so the Broncos passed the ball with Drew Lock making his first start of the season. RBs Javonte Williams and Melvin Booker have been carving up teams all season to become a strength of the team, but the duo carried the ball 14 times combined while Lock was 15 of 22 for 153 passing yards with a crew of WRs that dropped most of his incompletions.

 For a team that was still alive for a playoff berth, they sure played to their weakness like a team looking for a better draft pick. This is why Vic Fangio must go and take his offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur with him. 

 I think the Broncos need one of the fancy young coaches who like to do jet sweeps and keep everything in motion because it was the way they played while running an offense on Madden football. I’m totally serious. 

 Anyway, sharp money was on Denver and drove the price from Raiders -1 to Broncos -1 at a few bet shops.

 Go have yourselves another good week in Week 17 with one more week after to complete the regular season. Happy New Year!