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The Las Vegas sports books needed the 49ers to cover Sunday night to secure a winning week and they got a gift performance, even though they had to sweat a little at the end of the 49ers eventual 41-34 win.

“Everything we won on the day would have been given back had the Patriots covered the spread,” said South Point sports book director Bert Osborne.

The books still lost their two biggest decisions of the day, but were able to recover thanks to six underdogs winning outright, incuding the 49ers. The favorites went 8-6 against the spread, but a few of those dogs were the key to bucking a seven week losing streak.

“The Lions losing was huge for us,” Osborne said. “You basically had two teams playing for nothing, both on long losing streaks, but the public all sided with the Lions and their offense. The Cowboys’ overtime win against the Steelers was also good for us. It was the last posted event for us and all the major liability from the day made the Steelers a pretty big loss for us.”

The Cardinals had lost nine games in a row after winning their first four. Their offense had been awful, but they put up 38 points on the Lions, a team that made the playoffs last season, but have now lost six in a row. The feeling with most bettors was that Detroit would be able to shake their losing ways against an inept Arizona offense.

The Cowboys have been on a roll lately, but bettors still thought the Steelers laying 1½-points on the road were the play. The Cowboys won in overtime, 27-24.

The sports books have only two Sundays remaining in 2012 to recover all their losses from the last seven weeks. 

Nugget BCS Props

Golden Nugget sports book director Tony Miller and his trusty assistant Aaron Kessler will be posting a massive 10 page prop sheet for the Alabama-ND title game this week.

“We figured this game warranted some special attention, “ said Miller. “If we can offer 30 to 40 pages of props for the Super Bowl, this game deserved to have at least 10 to 15 pages.” 

Props should be ready by Tuesday. 

William Hill Bowl Contest

William Hill is offering a very cool football contest for the Bowl season that asks bettors to pick any 20 bowls they want against the spread. The price is $20 and as of Monday, the prize for picking the most winners is up to $12,000. Should a bettor get lucky enough to win all 20 games they choose, William Hill will throw in $50,000 for the achievement.

The cutoff date for entering is Dec. 29, before the Pinstripe Bowl. In addition to offering the contest to all their full service sports books in the state, the contest is also available at all PT’s Pub locations.

So essentially, because of the ease of entering, there is no reason not to play. Anything can happen, and no matter how proficient you might be at handicapping college football, it’s worth $20 for a shot at big cash.

Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday.  Contact Micah at [email protected].

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