Public gladly tattoos bookies with another Packers and Over bet
January 10, 2017 3:01 AM
by Micah Roberts
Las Vegas sportsbooks were hoping wild card weekend would give them a boost in revenues after one of the toughest NFL seasons they’ve ever experienced, but the worst scenario came to fruition as all four favorites won and covered.
“I think I’m going to get a tattoo that says Packers and Over,” joked Westgate SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay about Green Bay’s 38-13 win over the Giants. “It happens all the time, so I might as well.”
It doesn’t quite happen all the time, but during their current seven game win streak (6-1 ATS), the Packers have gone Over the total in their last five games.
The Giants looked to have a good grip on the game during the first-half with its defense playing well and holding a 6-0 lead in the second-quarter, but then the flood gates opened and the Packers (-5) went on a 38-7 run and helped the game get Over 46.5 total points in freezing Lambeau Field conditions.
Rather than complain about the losses, some of the book bosses considered themselves somewhat fortunate the losses weren’t worse.
“Even with four favorites, it’s not as bad as it looks,” said Kornegay. “The Seahawks and Steelers staying Under really helped us out. But yes, we’re definitely a loser on the day, but no, it’s not the disaster you might think.”
The Steelers took care of business at home against the Dolphins, 30-12, covering the spread that got as high as -12.5 on Sunday morning while staying Under 47.5. On Saturday night the Seahawks beat the Lions, 26-6, as 8-point home favorites and stayed Under 45.5.
“Not great,” said MGM Resorts VP Jay Rood regarding the wild card weekend at his 10 books, “but not as bad as we might of thought. We really got helped out by having some big play on Detroit Saturday. A couple of big house players liked the Lions and put us in a spot to need Seattle.”
In the battle of back-up QBs in Houston Saturday to kick off the wild card weekend, the Texans beat Oakland 27-14, covering the 4-point spread and going Over 37.5. The total going Over eased some of the risk, but sharp money had pushed the Texans up from -2.5 and forced the move past -3.
The books aren’t quite out of the woods yet and danger lurks Monday night with extended risk tied into college football National Championship game left over from the four wild card games.
“Yes, we have a lot of liability to Clemson taking the points and the money-line; we need Alabama,” Kornegay said.
Kornegay says the best Super Bowl matchup for betting purposes would feature the Cowboys and Patriots, but emphasized Dallas with anyone in that equation would work. The Dallas revival would drive the most business through the bet windows and possibly approach, or beat, the Nevada record of $132 million handled in last year’s Super Bowl.
I asked a few bookmakers and oddsmakers around town what they thought the spread would be between Dallas and New England under the scenario both teams played to expectations in their two playoff wins and I got a wide array of numbers with the Patriots being favored by everyone.
Tony Miller, Golden Nugget: Pick ‘em
Jason McCormick, Station Casinos: -2
Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill: -2.5
Chris Andrews, South Point: -2.5
Hugh Citron, Stratosphere: -3.5
John Avello, Wynn: -3 or -4
Jason Simbal, CG Techonology: -4
Jay Kornegay, Westgate SuperBook: -4.5
Gregg Fischer, MGM Grand: -5
Kenny White, LV oddsmaker: -6
My number would be to start with the Patriots -2.5 and hold strong, despite the market moving, before moving to -3, if that’s the way they bet it. In the first few days of Super Bowl betting the last few years we’ve seen the books get pushed around to numbers with only a small percentage of the overall wagers forcing the moves.
Last season the Panthers number ran up high only to see way more Denver money pour in during the weekend of the game and giving them a juicy number while exposing the books to some middle risks.
The Super Bowl is the sportsbooks’ biggest game of the year, but wise guy play pales in comparison to what the public wagers. The public drives this game and they often show support for the underdog, so why give them more.
The underdog has won outright the past five Super Bowls and has covered the spread in 12 of the last 15.