Las Vegas sportbooks were on their way to a disaster weekend until the Denver Broncos salvaged the day with their impressive 30-24 overtime win as 2.5-point home underdogs against the Patriots.
“Saturday was real bad,” said CG Technology VP of risk management Jason Simbal. “All the popular favorites got there, and parlays were cashing all day with key teams like Alabama, Oklahoma and Ohio State.”
Alabama covering 14.5-points in their 29-13 win at Auburn was the back breaker for the books and it happened in spectacular fashion with Derrick Henry taking a fourth-and-one situation with 26 seconds remaining in the game and running in for a 25-yard touchdown.
“It was our worst Saturday of the season, “ said Station Casinos sports book director Jason McCormick.
On Sunday, the books got some relief by winning a few of the 11 games, but still had their day hinge on the late game. Everyone seemed to have a wager on the Patriots.
Sharps were on the Broncos, but those wagers didn’t come close to matching the parlay risk with the Patriots – wagers that has been made all week and some that were tied to Thursday Thanksgiving games.
Thanksgiving weekend is always a tricky one for the books because the risk can be like a tidal wave of momentum that doesn’t stop. Bettors did extremely well with the Lions and Panthers, and also the OVER in both games. Those parlays paid on Thursday, but the books also had massive risk spill over to Friday’s games, Saturday’s and then Sunday.
The early savior for the books on Sunday was the Redskins 20-14 win over the Giants as a short 1-point dog. The public also backed the Buccaneers after they have covered five of their last six games, but the Colts (-3) won 25-12.
There were only two afternoon games and the majority of wagers were on the popular Cardinals (-7) at San Francisco. Sharp money came late on the 49ers, but the parlay risk on Arizona was huge.
South Point sports book director Bert Osborne said he had a 12-to-1 ratio on cash taken in on the Cardinals. The 49ers battled and gave a good fight at home and covered the spread, which was as high as -10.5, in a 19-13 loss.
The other late game had Seattle (-3) beating Pittsburgh 39-30, a game that Osborne said he had great two-way action on.
Despite the books winning more games than the public, Sunday’s overall win-loss came down to the late game between the Broncos and Patriots just because of all the Thanksgiving leftover risk.
“We would have given back all our Sunday wins if the Patriots won,” said Simbal.
The Brock Osweiler era has begun and as much as Peyton Manning will try to rush his way back into the lineup, it’s likely the Broncos will tell him he needs more rest.
Osweiler has waited patiently for his turn and he’s showing well with a big arm that gives Denver a look opponents aren’t used to. Osweiler is also saying all the right things and the Denver fans love him.
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].