When Floyd Mayweather pulled off a 12-round decision to retain his WBC Super Welterweight Title against Canelo Alvarez, most Las Vegas sports books fared very well with the results.
However, maybe not as well as they might have usually done simply because the price was so low – something rarely seen from a Mayweather fight. This gave bettors a chance to finally side with the best boxer on the planet at a fairly cheap price.
Mayweather got as low as -240 earlier in the week at MGM Resorts, but closed as high as -300 at the LVH Super Book.
“The results were good for us,” MGM Resorts vice president of race and sports Jay Rood told The Linemakers on Sporting News,” Mayweather winning by decision was our best scenario, and the handle was the best I’ve ever seen.”
The handle must have been absolutely huge, because earlier in the week Rood took a seven-figure wager from a casino guest on Mayweather. For the best decision to be on Mayweather winning, it sort of gives a nice scope into what kind of money we’re talking about.
Legendary bookmaker Jimmy Vaccaro predicted the fight would set a record for handle in Las Vegas, even though he acknowledged the Nevada Gaming Control Board doesn’t record such facts. For Rood to say it’s the largest he’s ever seen, and he runs the books at all the properties that the major fights are held, that’s a pretty good validation that Mayweather brought in the money like no other.
One area of risk the MGM properties avoided was a draw occurring, which could have happened if the two other scorers saw the same fight sanctioned judge C.J. Ross saw when she declared it 114-114 on her scorecard.
“That would have been a disaster,” Rood said of a possible draw that would have refunded every side bet made on the winner. “It wouldn’t have made it a complete loss for us, but it was one of highest risks on the night.”
The LVH closed the draw at 15-to-1 in their same five-way prop. A draw wouldn’t have been a big loser for the MGM books just because it would have only cancelled out all the large action won on the pick-the-knockout-round props.
“Our biggest risk of the night was Canelo winning by knockout in the sixth, seventh, eighth, or ninth rounds,” Rood said. “We were looking at close to a seven figure loss if he would have knocked Mayweather out in any of those rounds
Seattle icing on books’ cake: When the Seahawks blasted the 49ers, 29-3, Sunday night, it capped off a terrific weekend for the sports books. Not only did Vegas win the biggest games of the day on Sunday where the pro football favorites went only 6-8 ATS they also scooped up most of the chips from Saturday from the fight.
Sunday’s sports book results came down to two games, the final posted on the day. After sweating through the first 12 games, it was basically a wash, and the entire day rested on the results of the Saints-Bucs and 49ers-Seahawks. Had the public been right on both, it would have been a losing day. But they weren’t.
“Our entire day was resting on the Saints-Buccaneers,” said South Point’s Vaccaro. “After everything had been posted, coupled with the Saints already being a very popular side with the betting public, we had a huge risk attached on the Saints.”
The Saints ended up winning, 16-14, but failed to cover the 3-point spread. And with the game staying UNDER 48.5, it gave the books their best possible scenario.
The risk wasn’t just with the game itself. Because of a lengthy delay in the first quarter due to lightning in the Tampa area, it became the last posted of the first 13 Sunday games, which meant most of the parlays and teasers still alive on the day were funneling through to the Saints and OVER.
Most of the risk on the day was eliminated with the Saints results, but from whatever else was still leftover, the majority went into siding with the 49ers and OVER. Who could blame the public for siding that way?
Colin Kaepernick has been sensational since becoming the starting quarterback midway through last season and the 49ers had gone OVER in 12 of their last 13 games. However, the only game where Kaepernick looked lost over his impressive run was last season in Seattle during a 42-13 loss, and history repeated itself. Kaepernick and the 49ers lost 29-3.
The game that eliminated a lot of the early risk right out of the gate was the Chargers not only covering the 7.5-point spread at Philadelphia, but actually winning outright.
“We didn’t have many takers on the Chargers and it turned out to be our biggest decision before the Saints game,” Vaccaro said. “Most of the bets were on the Eagles and OVER.”
After watching the Eagles offense dice through Washington last Monday night, the public felt a west coast team on a short week – San Diego played Monday night as well – traveling east would have trouble keeping up with Chip Kelly’s offense. But as it turned out, during the Chargers 33-30 win, it appears Kelly might have spent too much time preparing with the offense. The Philly defense still looks like the one from last season that lost 11 of their final 12 games.
The big story with Philadelphia coming in was how their offense has the ability to frustrate opposing defenses with their quick play-calling. But on Sunday, it was the Chargers who executed much better and beat the Eagles at their own game. The Chargers had a huge 40-to-20 time of possession edge and ran 79 offensive plays to the Eagles’ 58.
The Las Vegas bookmakers will continue to tweak the Eagles rating drastically each week just because there is still a great unknown about them.
What we know right now is the Eagles can score a lot, which will keep their totals at an obscene amount weekly, but their actual team rating that determines the spreads – which was boosted last week – will be treated with skepticism following their loss to the Chargers.
This week the Eagles face Andy Reid’s Chiefs at home on Thursday night where they are 3½-point favorites with a total set at 50½.
Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Follow Micah on Twitter @MicahRoberts7 Contact Micah at [email protected].