Underdog wins save the House some money

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Las Vegas sports books were able to shake off a rough Saturday and pull out another NFL Sunday win thanks primarily to two teams with surprise wins as underdogs: Tampa Bay and Minnesota.

“I’m kind of amazed we did as well as we did with seven of the favorites covering in the first 10 games,” said South Point sports book director Bert Osborne. “It’s pretty telling just how big of an impact the Buccaneers and Vikings were for us today. We kind of stole one from the public today. The only game that really hurt us was Green Bay.”

The Packers had moved from a 1-point underdog early in the week to a 2.5-point favorite at Chicago by kickoff. The move was made by large money and the betting public followed with their parlays and the Packers rolled to a 38-17 win, which helped the total go OVER 51 – another popular public side. But that would be the one standout loser on the day for the house as everything else seemed to fall their way.

“The Colts game was probably one our most one-sided of the day with parlays,” said MGM Resorts VP of race and sports books Jay Rood, “but we had a lot more on straight bets to the Tennessee side, and then when those other favorites fell that bettors had parlayed the most, like the Vikings and Steelers, the game turned out to be good for us.”

The Colts’ 41-17, home win over Tennessee easily covered the 7-point spread, but the Steelers losing outright at home, 27-24, in the last second to Tampa Bay was the big one that halted any momentum gained from Green Bay and Indianapolis covering. The Buccaneers paid +310 on the money line, which not many had. That chopped up the mix of seven morning games and left only three afternoon games and one late game for the public to strike back and it never happened.

Despite six teams having byes this week, Osborne was impressed with the crowd in his book and volume of action at all the sports books under the South Point umbrella.

“Man, this NFL has some kind of business. Bye week, with less teams, no Broncos, or no Seahawks? It doesn’t matter, we’re busier than ever. The NFL is amazing.”

MLB postseason

The Nationals rotation has me believing they’ll be the toughest in any series format and they deserve to be co-favorites as the Westgate SuperBook has done with the Tigers, Dodgers and Nationals all at 9/2 odds to win the World Series.

The team I consider most dangerous that offers the best value is the Pirates at 14/1 if they can get past Wednesday’s wild card game against the Giants. They have a steady rotation with Edinson Volquez and Francisco Liriano pitching at their best right now, and also a great bullpen, but what I love most about them is the efficiency of their offense. Pittsburgh takes pitches, gets on base and has some surprising pop up and down their lineup.

AL wild card

This isn’t quite what the Oakland A’s had in mind when they traded for Jon Lester, but it’s still a big game and there aren’t many better big game pitchers in baseball than Lester. However, Lester doesn’t hit and that’s where the A’s problem rests as they’ve hit an AL-worst .233 since the All-Star break. They have lost 20 of their last 30, mostly due to their lack of hitting and it’s hard to believe they’ll help Lester out much here. The best play would be the UNDER with a small lean on KC Royals, 3-2.

NL Wild Card

The Giants have won six of Madison Bumgarner’s last seven starts, but the Pirates won the season series 4-2, including a July 28 game where Bumgarner lost 5-0 at home. Meanwhile, Volquez comes in having allowed two runs or less in his past 10 starts, including none in his last two. Pirates and UNDER look good. Pirates, 4-1.

NBA coming soon

The Westgate has the Cleveland Cavaliers listed as the 5/2 favorite to win the NBA Championship and on Tuesday they’ll unveil season win totals and odds to win the divisions.

They’ll also be offering numbers on each of the NBA preseason games which begin Saturday.

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].

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