There was a mixed bag of results across Nevada sportsbooks during the first Sunday of NFL football, but for the most part, they all lived and died by the same games needing the same teams.
Some places just had larger wagers on their losing side as favorites went 6-7 against the spread with all seven underdogs winning outright.
“It was a record day for us yesterday (Saturday), but the punters are in front of us today,” said BetMGM VP of Trading Jason Scott before kickoff of the late game at Los Angeles between the Rams and the Cowboys. And just a quick FYI if you didn’t know, Australians such as Scott, along with the English, Irish, and Scottish bookmakers call bettors “punters.”
Scott had an interesting sweat on Sunday.
“Special mention to the customer who had $550K to win $500,000 on the Patriots -7,” Scott said. “It was a very lucky win with the (Dolphins) interception in the end zone with 1:18 to go and the score 21-11. But congratulations to him. The day is beyond salvageable, great to see the punters win week 1 of the NFL.”
The Patriots’ 21-11 win closed at -7 -120 at many books and while Cam Newton appeared clunky throwing the ball, he scored two rushing TD’s and ran for 75 yards while the guy he replaced lost in his Tampa Bay debut at New Orleans. Like Newton, Tom Brady’s first score was a rushing TD and put the Buccaneers up 7-0, but the Saints (-4) would roll 34-23 aided by a Brady pick-six. The Patriots had the No. 1 defense last season and looked stout again on Sunday, as did some surprising underdogs.
“There were some nice dogs to knock out some parlays and teasers in the Jaguars, Washington, and Cardinals,” said Station Casinos sportsbook director Jason McCormick. “The Bills, Ravens, Raiders, Saints and over were no good. We’ll be a small winner on the day and need Rams and under to help the day.”
The Rams dropped from being +3 early in the week to pick ‘em by kickoff and the under (52) cashed as well, helping many books due to large Cowboys public parlay risk. William Hill’s Nick Bogdanovich said the day for their huge operation would have been break-even if the Cowboys won but the Rams winning 20-17 made them a small winner.
The Jaguars’ (+7) 27-20 home win against the Colts ended up being the biggest upset of the week based on William Hill’s closing payout on the money-line at +280. They also paid the Las Vegas-high of +260 in the Cardinals’ 24-20 win at San Francisco (-7).
Perhaps the most bizarre upset was the Washington (+5.5) squad with its defensive line beating up the Eagles, 27-17 after being down 17-0. It shed light on a lot of questions we all had about both teams. The money-line score paid +200.
Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay had one of brighter outlooks on the day.
“We had a very solid day,“ he said. “The enthusiasm was in prime form. Football fans were ready for the start of the season. Our two biggest wins came early with the Colts and Eagles dropping the ball as popular favorites. Those two results knocked out the majority of the live parlays, teasers, and money-line parlays. The Cards capped off a solid day with the hard-fought win at San Francisco.”
South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews was seeing the same type of results at his place.
“The Colts and Eagles losing were really good results for us, the Raiders were a wash after being buried on them early in the week, and the Cardinals game was good for us despite wise guys jumping on them early,” Andrews said. “But we went to +6.5 early in the week to slow the betting.”
The South Point closed the 49ers -7, but the bettors wanting Cardinals +7 or +7.5 action had already got their desired amount bet and didn’t reinvest on the number.
On Friday, Bogdanovich had explained William Hill’s biggest parlay risk games with the Ravens, Bills, Raiders, Seahawks, and Colts leading the way. Parlays only, no straight bets intertwined, and of those teams, only the Colts fell which slowed the parlay tidal wave risk. But the four wins did its share of damage and gave many bettors a successful first Sunday of the NFL.
The first thing I noticed about real football games with no preseason and light practices was that the tackling was awful. The defensive lines had an edge on the offensive lines and the combination of both helped eight of 13 Sunday games get over the total.
Week 2 ratings update
I downgraded the Buccaneers, Browns, Falcons, Colts, and Cowboys while giving the Ravens a full-point boost. How can the best running game of all-time get better with rookie RB J.K. Dobbins scoring twice in his debut?
The Jaguars’ win immediately had me thinking I would take Gardner Minshew in a draft over Baker Mayfield. Minshew is gritty, tough and just plays ball with little yapping. And the Rams and Cardinals also get a boost. The NFC West is going to fun to watch unfold as Seattle also won.
The Saints, who come to Las Vegas next Monday to help the 1-0 Raiders christen Allegiant Stadium, are my highest-rated team and they got a half-point boost to the number after giving the public much to think about with Brady and the Bucs moving forward.