Books take it on chin in Week 7

Crushed. Killed. Beaten up.

Just about any type of sock ‘em word that can be described by the Las Vegas sportsbooks how an NFL Sunday went was used after Week 7 action that saw the favorites go 5-7 ATS with four of the underdogs winning outright. But it was the lack of a big underdog winning that kept teasers alive and cashing throughout the day.

“We got murdered,” said South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews. “Our worst games were the Lions, Browns, and Chiefs. The best was the Packers and 49ers, all the rest sucked.”

Andrews needed the Cardinals to salvage something on the day, but there was no way to erase the losses, even after they won in overtime late Sunday, beating the Seahawks.

It was the same story all over town.

“Destroyed,” said William Hill’s head bookmaker Nick Bogdanovich. “We didn’t get one ‘dog to help us out. Tampa Bay and the Chiefs were by far the worst, the Cowboys and Bills games were decent, but it was still a burial. We get hurt even more if it comes Seattle and Over.”

Ouch. A couple million more means William Hill was already down seven figures. The public was all over the Bucs and Chiefs and hurt the books with the most local traffic, The Cardinals’ (+3.5) won 37-34, but the game went well over the total of 54.5.

Station Casinos sportsbooks director Jason McCormick said the Cards’ win kept the day from being a disaster.

The Chiefs-Broncos spread dropped down from -9.5 to -7, mostly because of a weather adjustment as it was snowing in Denver. But the Chiefs rolled, 43-16, aided early by defensive and special teams TDs.

“It was our worst Sunday of the season as we lost four of our five biggest decisions,” said Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay. “The Chiefs were the worst, and then the Packers, Chargers and Buccaneers were our next biggest losses.”

The Bucs closed at -4 at Las Vegas and stomped the Raiders 45-20. Both the Bucs and Chiefs were public sides that also went over the total for a very popular 4-team side-to-total parlay paying at 10-1 odds and higher, a number the books couldn’t recoup. 

The Packers (-3 Even) got back on track after a lousy showing last week at Tampa Bay to win 35-20 at Houston. It was a huge public win — 94% of the money at William Hill, their largest disparity on the day — but some respected money was on the Texans to keep the spread down, and even drop it from -3.5 which it had been most of the week. Circa Sports closed the Packers at -2.5.

Up in Reno, Marc Nelson said his Atlantis sportsbook was fortunately break-even for the day, and Circa Sports director Matt Metcalf said they were up 9% for Sunday with needs of the Cardinals and Under in the late game. It was the only book I heard as a winner for the day.

Sunday’s Circa Sports results compared to William Hill and South Point results are the perfect contrast of their clientele. All three chains of sportsbooks get wise guy play, but Circa doesn’t get as much Joe Public play as the others do.

Metcalf said their worst decision was the Saints failing to cover and the 49ers winning. Sharp money on the Panthers sent the Saints below a touchdown to -6.5, the lowest closing line in town. The Saints won, 27-24, one of seven games to have both sides cover on the teaser.

Patriots money pushed them to -3.5 Even, the highest number in town. The 49ers rolled, 33-6, tying for the worst home loss margin during the Bill Belichick Era in New England. Circa closed the 49ers at a city-best of +155 on the money line. It was the third blowout the 49ers handed out in the east coast time zone this season. Cam Newton got yanked to start the fourth quarter for ineffective play.  

BetMGM’s Nevada sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback said they didn’t have a big decision in the late NFL game, but that their entire day rested on Game 5 of the World Series.

“We had a big house player who laid -8 and -8.5 on the Chargers with us for six-digits each, but our biggest decision was on the Dodgers (-165) who he bet heavy on the side and first five innings for nearly seven-figures combined,” Stoneback said.

The Chargers would hang on to win 39-29, avoiding the back door cover twice, while the Rays would lose 4-2, which was the same score after five innings. That house player is on a roll, but he’ll be back to spend more.

The biggest game of the day, promotionally, pitted two 5-0 teams against each other with the Steelers opening as 2.5-point favorites at Tennessee, only to see the Titans close 1.5-point favorites. William Hill had 67% of the money bet on the Steelers but followed the market or sharp play on the Titans with the move downward.

The Steelers won, 27-24, in a thriller that also showed the Titans will have to be reckoned with. It was the sixth time two undefeated teams have met with at least five wins and the previous five winners all went to the Super Bowl. The Steelers were 10-1 at the SuperBook to win the Super Bowl heading into Week 7.