One week after getting absolutely crushed by favorites in the final five games of Week 10, Nevada sports books were fortunate to get NFL favorites to go only 4-8 in Sunday’s Week 11 action.
However, even with the popular OVER going just 3-9, the books didn’t do as well as you might think, thanks to the Packers-Patriots-to-the-OVER four-team parlay combination that most bettors seemed to have some part of.
The day started like it was headed for a best-of-season type of day for the books with all the upsets early on.
“The Broncos and Saints losing outright was the beginning to a good day,” said South Point sports book director Bert Osborne. “Those two were the most one-sided on parlays, and then we got the bonus of them losing, which killed a bunch of teasers and big money-line favorite parlays, and we’d find out later how important those games really were to us.”
The Saints had opened as 6.5-point home favorites over the Bengals and were a steady -7 for most of the week. Then, with about a half-hour till kickoff, in addition to all the public parlays at a 5-to-1 ratio in ticket counts, the books got some large action on the Saints, pushing the number as high as -8.5.
Even with the high number, there were no Bengals takers after watching QB Andy Dalton implode last week against the Browns. Plus, the public thought there was no way the Saints could lose two straight at home. But the Bengals stifled the Saints offense all afternoon in a 27-10 win. Surprisingly, the 4-6 Saints are still tied for first-place with the Falcons in the NFC South.
The Broncos sat as 10-point road favorites for most of the week, but dropped to as low as -8 at a few books as sharp money took the home dog.
Prior to Sunday, the Broncos-to-OVER two-team parlay had gone 5-1 over the past six weeks and bettors were riding the gravy train again on Sunday with the combination, but the Rams put in a spirited home effort behind great defense, the running of Tre Mason, and error-free leadership of quarterback Shaun Hill.
It was only the third time in 10 games this season a Denver game had stayed UNDER the total and only the fourth in the last 18 instances that Manning didn’t cover against a losing team. The Rams have now beat Seattle, San Francisco and Denver over the past five weeks, matching a feat the Colts accomplished last season.
“We were lucky to have the Saints and Broncos lose, because the Packers game really flattened us out,” said Osborne. “I’d hate to see the results from everything if we didn’t get those two to go our way early, because everyone was on the Packers (-5.5) to the OVER (54.5).”
For the second consecutive week, Green Bay scored 50 points or more at home in their 53-20 rout of the Eagles. In their last seven games now, the Packers-to-OVER two-team parlay has gone 6-1 and they’ve gone OVER the total in all seven. This is a team the public can trust and they’re going to keep riding them, as they should, until they lose. And even when they fail to cover – whenever that is – they’ll be right back on them again the next week.
“Fortunately, bettors were kind of torn between what side to take in the two other late games, unlike last week when they were all-in with the favorites,” said Osborne. “The parlay action was slightly shaded to the Cardinals, but we had big action with the straight bets on the Lions side and it was the same story with the Chargers where the sharps were on Oakland a little bit.”
The Cardinals upped their NFL-best record to 9-1 with their 14-6 home against the Lions and improved to a league-best 8-2 against-the-spread, tied with Kansas City, who beat Seattle, 24-20, in an earlier game. The Cardinals opened as a 1.5-point favorite, but Detroit closed at -1.
“Heading into the night game we were okay with action split between the Colts and Patriots – shaded to the Patriots, but our worst scenario was Patriots to the OVER,” Osborne said.
The Patriots thumped the Colts, 42-20, the third straight time Tom Brady has beat Andrew Luck by 21 points or more. It was the sixth straight meeting the two teams have gone OVER the total, although the highest total on the board at 58 needed almost all 60 minutes to get there as Rob Gronkowski’s 26-yard TD reception with 6:46 left in the game sent it OVER.
Both teams are now 8-2 to the OVER. For the Patriots, it was their seventh straight OVER. The Patriots also hit the two-team side-to-total parlay for their many supporters for the fifth time in six weeks.
“When you look at how many favorites lost or didn’t cover, and seeing so many games stay UNDER on Sunday, you’d think that we would have done much better, but it was basically two games – the Patriots and Packers – that took a huge bite out of the day,” Osborne said.
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. Follow Micah on Twitter @MicahRoberts7 Contact Micah at [email protected].