Nevada sportsbooks had a decent Sunday in Week 5 of the NFL season with most of the thanks going to the Bears and Chiefs losing, two of six favorites to lose outright among the 13 games.
The win wasn’t as big as Week 4 when almost every game went their way, but still decent in the 8-to-12 percent hold range for many.
“The Raiders were the best game for us, the Patriots were the worst,” said Station Casinos sportsbook director Jason McCormick before the Sunday night game kickoff. “It’s an O.K. day so far, Chiefs and over carries some liability but nothing crazy. It’ll still be a winning day either way.”
The Bears-Raiders game in London got a lot of action as public parlay bettors and sharps were all over the Bears despite back-up QB Chase Daniels starting. It was more about the stingy Bears defense we’ve been watching the first four weeks allowing only 11.2 points-per-game. But the Raiders had some zip in their step early and scored late to win, 24-21, giving the London fans a great show.
“It’s funny, we were a small loser in Mississippi, but a small winner in Las Vegas,” said MGM Resorts sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback. “The sharps were on the Bears laying -5.5, -6, and -7 helping make it our biggest decision of the day. We also did extremely well to the first half and halftime wagering on the game.”
The Sunday night game with the Colts playing at Kansas City was a mixed decision around town with some books like Caesars Palace and William Hill books needing a Colts cover to win on the day, but for others, it wasn’t as big of a decision as the late game usually is.
“Despite taking a few sharp bets on the Colts at +11 and money-line wagers at +500 on them, we still need the Colts to win,” Stoneback said.
The Colts would dominate time of possession keeping Patrick Mahomes off the field to win 19-13. They dominated both sides of the line giving most books a boost on the day.
“We won more games on the day than we lost, but dollar-wise the games we lost the most with were the Patriots and Vikings early and then the Broncos late,” said CG Technology sportsbook director Tony DiTomasso, who also noted the Bears were their best game on the day as well.
The Patriots had the biggest spread of the week laying -16.5 at winless Washington and after being down 7-0 the Patriots scored 33 unanswered points to win, 33-7, and cover easily. The Patriots were one of the biggest teaser liabilities of the week, as were the Vikings who won 28-10 at the Giants. The Vikings were bet by sharp money from -5 up to -6.
The effect of the sportsbook’s big win in Week 4 was also seeing less action at the windows this week. Many bettors had to regroup with fewer funds in Week 5.
“We took six-figure wagers on the Bears, Chargers (-4.5 vs Broncos), Saints (-3 vs. Buccaneers) and Packers (+3 at Dallas), but overall handle was lighter than usual,” Stoneback said.
When there’s only two 1 p.m. PT games and both road underdogs win outright it gives the appearance of the books doing well, but that wasn’t necessarily the case in Week 5.
“We needed the Cowboys,” said William Hill’s head bookmaker Nick Bogdanovich. “There was also no shortage of Broncos money straight money, either, but we won some parlays and teasers to the game.”
The Packers jumped out a 31-3 lead at Dallas (-3, -120) and held on for a 31-24 win while the Broncos ended an eight-game losing streak, winning at the Chargers, 20-13, a game in Carson, CA that was basically a home game for the Broncos with all the orange shirts in the crowd.
Ironically, both underdogs were up 17-0 at the half. Sharps bet the Broncos down from +6.5 down to +4.5 by kickoff.
Overall, favorites went 6-7 against-the-spread on Sunday with the over going 7-6.
Other sports do damage
“The first week of the NHL and MLB playoffs was no good for us,” Stoneback said. “We had our biggest bettor have a good start to the playoffs with big run-line parlays cashing and also making Saturday’s college football was rough for us with several big plays cashing, the biggest being Penn State parlayed to Ohio State.”
DiTomasso at CG also said the baseball playoffs have been tough so far and Saturday’s college football turned out a small winner.
Strong Mississippi handle
The Beau Rivage in Mississippi is the only book run by the MGM Las Vegas operation with GVC Holdings recently taking over the Gold Strike, but Stoneback said the Beau Rivage handle was close to 15 percent of what their 10 Las Vegas books handled.
What makes the Mississippi handle more impressive is that the largest bet they took there over the weekend was $15,000. Lots of smaller bets with parlays and teasers like a Station Casinos or Boyd Gaming book in Las Vegas.
The Saints covering had a little bit to do with the Beau Rivage being a small loser on Sunday.