Vegas sports books back on track after a couple bad weeks

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The Las Vegas sportsbooks got back on track with a winning Sunday in Week 16 NFL action, one week after getting beat up by the betting public when every favorite won outright. Favorites would go 6-5-1 against-the-spread with three of the underdogs winning outright. The public would end of being wrong collectively with popular favorites like the Rams, Panthers, Jaguars and Cowboys, just enough to ruin most parlays.

“It was a good day,” said Station Casinos sportsbook director Jason McCormick. “Buccaneers’ cover was very good and also helped beat most teasers. The 49ers, Titans and Bears covering were also much needed. The Chargers was our biggest loss of the day.”

Station moved Chargers from -6.5 to -7 on Friday for their game at the Jets, and it landed 7 with a 14-7 win to keep their playoff hopes still alive. Most books got sided on this game because it was -6.5 everywhere at one point before being forced up, but the big damage it did was keep both sides alive on parlays and reducing the payout down. Most bettors laid -7 with this one.

The Panthers (-10) were on the verge of a bad home loss to the Buccaneers, but saved their best drive for last with Cam Newton leading the way in the 22-19 win. William Hill had 70 percent of the tickets written on this game laying the points with Carolina.

The Jaguars and Rams have been real trendy plays lately because they win and cover almost every week. The Rams (-5.5) had covered seven of their last nine before Sunday’s 27-23 win at Tennessee. The Jaguars (-4) had won seven of their last eight before losing 44-33 at red hot San Francisco. The 49ers have now won four straight with Jimmy Garopollo driving the ship. Sharps were on the 49ers, the public was on the Jags. Station paid out +180 on the money-line.

Keep an eye on Jacksonville next week at Tennessee. They don’t have anything to play for and if they rest players coming off a loss like this, it’s bad for morale. This Jags squad led the NFL in scoring defense allowing just 14.9 points-per-game, and they just got 44 put on them by a team that started 1-10. Rest or rust?

“Decent day, but low handle,” said CG Technology VP of risk management Jason Simbal. “We held just under a double-digit win percentage, but not surprisingly it’s our lowest handle of the NFL season. The Strip properties are very slow.”

Apparently, bettors had some other priorities Sunday, which happened to be Christmas Eve. There was also no Sunday night game, so there was no third wave of action funneling through from those doubling up winnings or getting back the losses.

Simbal said their worst decision was the Cardinals and their best win turned out to be the 49ers. The Cardinals’ 23-0 home win against the Giants was the final of 12 NFL games posted on Sunday so just about everything live was waiting for it to be posted. But Simbal said most of his risk was incurred just because of everyone betting against the Giants.

Another team the public has been lining up to bet against weekly is the Browns. And they’ve been correct; just three covers in 14 games. But in Week 16, the public thought this was the week the Browns win their first game, or at least more than usual. Sunday morning the Westgate SuperBook dropped the Bears from -6.5 down to -5.5. William Hill books saw 53 percent of the tickets written on the game taking the Browns and 85 percent of the cash on the Browns. Snow even made an appearance to muck things up, but the Bears would win 20-3.

The Browns’ last chance at winning this season comes Sunday at Pittsburgh. The Steelers won the season opener at Cleveland, 21-18, but failed to cover the 10-point spread. Cleveland has now secured the overall No. 1 draft pick.

The Seahawks’ 21-12 win at Dallas (-4.5) was a nice win for the house and the loss eliminated the Cowboys. Wynn Resorts closed the Seahawks money-line at +195. The other underdog to win outright was the Bengals, stepping up at home to beat the Lions, 26-17. William Hill paid out on the Bengals money-line at +150. Sharps had pushed the Bengals from +4 to +3, but the public liked the Lions, who were still in the playoff hunt.

The Under went 9-3 on the day.

The books will have one more NFL Sunday before they rest on 2017 numbers. The boss of each book wants to finish out the quarter and calendar year strong. It helps chances of getting a maximum bonus with a final win being a lasting impression. I wish them well. Happy New Year!

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