The never ending beat down bettors have been putting on the sports books continued in week 16 of NFL action, with the local chain of books getting it worse than the Strip properties. Part of the reason is the local books are busier than the Strip on a Christmas weekend, but the other part is the locals love to play parlays, and parlays were the biggest culprit of the losing week.
“There was a popular five-team parlay on the day with the Packers, Colts, Redskins, Bears and Broncos,” said South Point sports book director Bert Osborne.
Five-team parlays pay 20-to-1 odds. Even though they beat sharp action on teams like the Browns, the books can’t recoup those type of odds.
“We did well with Rams, Ravens and Vikings on the day, but I think those were the only three games we won on the day,” Osborne said.
One of the most popular bets of the day was the Giants laying 2½-points at Baltimore, and who could blame the public after watching the Ravens look like garbage the last five weeks and losing their last three. The Giants had lost four out of their last six games, but these are the New York football Giants, right? They thrive when their backs are against the wall. This was the same juncture last season when they rolled to six straight wins and eventually won the Super Bowl.
Not this time. The Ravens thoroughly dominated the game, winning 33-14
“If Baltimore doesn’t win that game, I would hate to see how bad the results would have been,” said Osborne.
Things got really bad in the other afternoon games when the Bears and Broncos covered, especially the Bears because they were the last game posted. When the result of the Bears 28-13 win at Arizona was posted, that’s when all the jeopardy from the key five-game parlays became a reality.
Because all the risk from the previous 14 games piled into one Sunday night game — with no Monday night being played this week, the what-if projections on the four possible decisions were all showing losses. It didn’t matter if the 49ers won, the Seahawks won or the game went OVER or UNDER, it was an all-around loss.
The best of the losing situation would have been if the Seahawks won and the game stayed UNDER. Betters had pushed the low total of 39 to 41 by kickoff, and the majority of bettors choose the OVER in isolated night games to begin with.
The total and side was never really in doubt as the Seahawks routed the 49ers, 42-13, and the game wasn‘t even that close. The 49ers got a late TD pass to make it that close.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks have now scored 150 points in their last three games combined and Pete Carroll is showing the rest of the league that they’re peaking at the right time. Seattle is not a team anyone wants to face.
If you’re thinking Super Bowl for Seattle, so is Las Vegas. On the basis of their demolition derby win over the team most books have favored to win the Super Bowl, the Seahawks dropped from 15-to-1 odds down to 8-to-1 at the LVH Super Book. The 49ers went from being the 7-to-2 favorite up to 7-to-1. The Broncos and Patriots are each co-favorites to win it all at 7-to-2.
Have a great Holiday season and a very Merry Christmas.
Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Contact Micah at [email protected].