You would think with the favorites only going 6-7 against-the-spread that the Las Vegas sports books would have had a great day, but that wasn’t the case. Most books reported a small win or break even on the day despite six of those seven underdogs winning outright.
“We had six key decisions on the day and we lost four of them,” said Las Vegas Hilton Super Book vice-president Jay Kornegay.” Our two good decisions were the Jets beating Buffalo and New England losing.”
The Miami Dolphins finally got into the winner’s circle by winning at Kansas City, but both the Sharps and public were on the game. Early large money came in on the Dolphins pushing the game down from -5½ to -4.
The public followed suit either because they thought the Chiefs on a short week off a big win were ripe or the Dolphins were ready after two really well played games against the Giants and Broncos.
Other rough games for the books included the 49ers (-3½), Saints (-8), Texans (-10) which combined for a nice three-team parlay for many bettors in the early session.
Things didn’t get better later even though three of the five 1 p.m. (PDT) games were won by the underdogs. The Bengals bumped their record to 6-2 on the season and 5-0 ATS on the road with their 24-17 at Tennessee and have become an instant public favorite now with bettors who have cashed in seven of their eight games this season.
The Broncos came on strong in the second half with a power running game at Oakland behind Tim Tebow and Willis McGahee to beat the Raiders 38-24 in Carson Palmer’s debut as the starting QB. It was amazing to watch how angry the Raiders defense was with Tebow as they gave him the extra business with every tackle.
Perhaps in the end, the Raiders focused a little too much on how they were going to celebrate with the Tebow “praying pose” and less about the rest of the team, most notably, McGahee.
Tebow still looked awful throwing the ball, 10 of 21 for 124 yards with two TD passes and no interceptions, but the team played with a spark that can be attributed to his leadership. He ran the ball well with 12 rushes for 118 yards and is now 2-1 as the starter this season. Despite all of that, he’s still going to have plenty of detractors who go out of their way to put the kid down.
“I like to tell all of my friends who can’t stand Tebow ‘Look how well he did’ or ‘I think he’s going to be pretty good’ just to get a rise of them,” said Kornegay. “I don’t know why Tebow strikes such a nerve with people, but he does and if he keeps winning the way he does the tension is only going to get bigger.”
The public was all over the Packers again, this time as a 6-point road favorite at San Diego. Philip Rivers three interceptions, two of them for touchdown returns, and now has 14 picks on the year to only 11 TD passes. The two interceptions returns were pivotal in the outcome with the Packers winning 45-38.
Tom Brady has uncharacteristically been getting the interception bug as well. In the 24-20 loss to the Giants, Brady threw two critical interceptions bumping his total to 10 on the year, six more than he had all last season.
The game that really helped the books to close the day was Baltimore beating Pittsburgh 23-20. Almost all the liability from the day was going into the Steelers with the thinking that revenge from the week 1 massacre would spur the Steelers to victory.
This week’s card is set up nice for the sport books with 11 of the games having spreads of 3½ or less. The indecision from the public on those games should make it a winning week for the books.