Most Nevada sportsbooks fared extremely well during Sunday’s Week 2 NFL action and to give some scope on how well, consider that Atlantis Reno sportsbook director Marc Nelson said they held 24 percent heading into the Sunday night game where they needed the Falcons.
The Falcons beat the Eagles, 24-20, improving the house hold percentage at almost every book in the state.
“It looked somewhat scary during the third quarter this morning but made some nice comebacks to give us a cushion going into the afternoon,” said Westgate SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay on Sunday night. “We broke even on the Saints-Rams and Chiefs-Raiders games and were a small winner on the Broncos choke. And we also had a very good day in baseball.”
Baseball has been a thorn in the side of most books the last five weeks, but winning with it on an already great day is the cherry on top of awesome NFL Sundae for the house.
“It’s been a decent day,” MGM resorts sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback modestly said prior to kickoff of the Sunday night game. “And we don’t have a lot of risk on the late game — Eagles and Over was the worst case but the risk isn’t too bad.”
The Patriots (-18.5 at Miami), Cowboys (-6 at Washington), and Chiefs (-7 at Oakland) were popular public sides that won and covered but when they added some of their other favorites — and they always do — their parlays died. Less four-teamers cashing than usual, and certainly not a lot of 10-teamers cashing. Favorites went 7-7 ATS on Sunday.
“We had late money come in on the Bears at -2.5 about 20 minutes before kickoff after the Chiefs-Raiders game started and ended up closing Bears -3,” said Stoneback. “It put us in a situation where we needed the Broncos for a big decision after it was kind of nothing game all week for us (outside of Bears parlay risk). It ended up being our second biggest win of the day.”
The Broncos had taken a 14-13 lead after a wild turn of events in the last minute when the Broncos decided to go for a 2-point conversion and were successful. Had Denver kicked the extra-point and took their chance with overtime the Bears offense may have not been so frenzied in the final seconds. But Mitch Trubisky led a drive to set up the winning field goal, amid controversy with one second remaining, to win 16-14. Trubisky finished with only 120 yards passing. It was an ugly game and stayed Under what was the lowest total (40.5) of the week.
Speaking of totals, William Hill’s book director Nick Bogdanovich said their success on Sunday was aided by so many games staying Under the total. Most public bettors automatically play the Over in their parlays with the side, but on Sunday 11 of the 14 games stayed Under.
One of the best games of the day for a few books was the Seahawks winning, 28-26, aided by Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger missing the second half with a banged-up elbow on his throwing arm. Backup QB Mason Rudolph took over duties for the Steelers who were 4-point home favorites.
“The Seahawks win was our best game of the day,” Stoneback said. “We had a guy bet $100,000 on the Steelers at -3.5 this morning and after we went to -4 we still got mostly Steelers action for the next two hours before the game kicked off.”
By the way, Las Vegas oddsmaker Kenny White says the drop-off from Big Ben to Rudolph is 6.5 points.
The Patriots’ 43-0 win at Miami makes them 2-0 ATS this season with a combined score of 76-3 between their first two games. Newcomer Antonio Brown scored his first TD for the Pats, but a few books were able to push the issue with the spread to attract Dolphins action.
“The Patriots were one-sided action all week and most of the parlays had them attached, but we were able to get late large Dolphins money at +19 and +18.5 to lessen the risk,” Stoneback said.
Sportsbooks now have the tough duty of rating how bad the Dolphins are. Stoneback found the wise-guy’s threshold and baited them in Week 2, but now what after two beat downs at home (59-10 loss to the Ravens last week)?
Caesars Palace sportsbook director Jeff Davis opened the Cowboys as 21-point home favorites against the Dolphins for Week 3 action.
As for the Wiseguys, they got there with the Lions’ 13-10 win against the Chargers in a game that dropped the Chargers from 3-point road favorites to pick ‘em, but they took it on the chin with the Giants (+1 in 28-14 home loss to Bills), the Steelers, Raiders (+7 in 28-10 home loss to Chiefs), the Saints (+1.5) in 27-9 road loss at the Rams) and the Bears (-3 at Denver).
Despite the Lions being a popular sharp play, Station Casinos sportsbook director Jason McCormick said they did well to the game because of heavy public parlay action on the Chargers.
The Rams (-1.5) were bet against all week by sharp and public action, but came away with the home cover aided by Drew Brees missing the second half due to a hand injury. Kenny White has Brees rated the second highest in the NFL worth 7.5 points behind Patrick Mahomes.
Mahomes showed up for 28 second-quarter points after the Chiefs were down 10-0. The game ended 28-10 and gave the public a win and the sharps a heavy loss.
The under-the-radar team after two weeks is the 49ers who won, 41-17, at Cincinnati in a pick ‘em game. The 49ers’ 2-0 start on the road, is the first time since 1989, which ended with a 49ers Super Bowl win.
The Bills have also started the season with two road wins, both in the same place — MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands (wins over the Jets and Giants).
I came away from Week 2 thinking I was fooled by the Raiders and also the Broncos and Titans. The Bills are the real deal and the Cowboys have that Super Bowl feel while the 0-2 Steelers are in trouble.