A banner week for NFL bettors in the sportsbook

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After three weeks of NFL action we can chalk up two wins for the bettors to only one for sportsbooks. Week 3 was the most successful yet for the players.

Favorites went only 6-8 against-the-spread on Sunday, but it was that chalk and a couple short dogs that carried the public to a big day with six-team parlays hit all across town.

“We lost every afternoon game after doing okay in the morning, but bettors cashed on the five to six games they really keyed on collectively,” said MGM Resorts VP of race and sports Jay Rood just prior to kickoff of the Sunday night game after tabulating the damage from the first 13 matchups.

“The games we did okay on were the games that didn’t attract as much attention,” Rood added. “The Patriots to the OVER was a very popular combination in the morning and the Falcons coming back against Dallas made almost everyone in the book happy. The Steelers were also good for the players and then in the afternoon the combination of the Seahawks, Cardinals and Bills all covering kicked in all the big parlay payouts. The Bills were a game that both the sharps and public were on the same side.”

The Falcons, Steelers and Cardinals are all 3-0 ATS now and the final piece to Sunday’s equation was the Broncos’ Sunday night game at Detroit where the public had no problem laying 3 with Denver. The Broncos had won and covered its first two games while the Lions had lost and failed to cover both their games.

Rood said they needed the Lions to somewhat salvage something on the day and had a double whammy in the evening with the late baseball game as bettors rode the Pirates’ eight game winning streak.

Jake Arrieta would come through for the books in a 4-0 Cubs win, but the risk in that game paled in comparison to the Broncos, which was ultimately the final nail in the coffin for the books as defense led the way in a 24-12 win.

The books can sometimes escape a week when three common teams come in for the public, but when five team parlays come cashing in at 20-to-1 odds and six-teamers at 40-1 are a common occurrence, there is no way the house can recoup those losses. Not even if they beat the wise-guys, which turned out to be a push against the big money on Sunday.

Station Casinos sportsbook director Jason McCormick simply described the day as “bad” citing the same teams Rood and the rest of the books had difficulties with on the day. “The Falcons, Patriots, Cardinals, Seahawks and Bills filled up the players bank accounts.”

CG Technology VP of risk management Jason Simbal had the same situation at his chain of books with the biggest risk coming in the parlay payoff game on the Broncos side. It was like that everywhere across the city.

If there was a positive side for the books, it came with the Colts failing to cover -3 at Tennessee in a wild 37-35 win. Despite the Colts failing to win or cover its first two games, bettors liked them to bounce back against the Titans and were taken for a roller coaster ride of emotions.

The books were rooting for a failed two-point conversion attempt, while bettors wanted the conversion made to send it into overtime with hopes of at least getting a push with a Colts field goal or a cover with a touchdown.

It’s kind of surprising to see such a rough day for the books when the favorites ended up having a losing day, but the public sniffed out some of the winning dog sides. They loved the Steelers, who were pushed from the favorite to underdog by kickoff by larger money taking the Rams.

The Falcons were getting +1 at Dallas with a Cowboys squad playing without Tony Romo, and then there was the Bills, who they loved along with the wise guys, which were pushed from a 3-point dog to pick ‘em by kickoff.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of all so far this season has been the Cardinals. Last season they started out 9-1, but this year’s 3-0 start is impressive just because they’re averaging 42 points a game. They have won and covered all three of their games easily while sending all three games OVER the total, a combination the public loves to ride, and they were all over it on Sunday as the most one-side bet game of the day.

Next up for Arizona is a home date Sunday against the Rams where the Cardinals are 6.5-point favorites, and you can believe the books will all be Rams fans next week as bettors will be coming heavily armed with cash from Week 3 winnings to the window to load up again on what may now be their favorite team, especially since their other friend – New England – has a bye.

Week 3 closes out the third quarter of the fiscal year for the casinos and the sportsbook is one of those gray areas for casino bean counters where there’s always optimism for big earnings, but also skepticism because win can’t be counted on like slots or table games.

The sportsbook Green Sheets have lots of eraser marks. When football comes around, big revenue is always expected and sometimes it happens and it’s just what the casino needed to meet budgeted expectations. But in this case, things didn’t work out so well.

The books let the rest of the casino down in the third quarter – a rough baseball season too – and now it’s off to the fourth quarter.

Things always cycle around and the books always come out ahead during football season, but right now they’re stuck in a hole, and they need a big fourth-quarter comeback like the Colts had on Sunday.

For the sake of bonuses, book directors are hoping they can cover the spread in the fourth quarter, unlike the Colts. Good luck in that quest, but most of all, congratulations to all the bettors who fared well in Week 3. If someone who owes you money bets football regularly, this is the week to hit them up for payment.

Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, one of The Linemakers on SportingNews.com , and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Twitter: @MicahRoberts7 Email: [email protected].

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