Sports books cash in on NFL dogs, busted parlays

Nov 17, 2009 4:10 PM
NFL Notebook by Micah Roberts |

Week 10 of the pro football season turned out well for the Las Vegas Sports Books, especially if being one of the local books that take in lots of parlay action. The Sharps did well with a few games on straight bets, but a few weeks of unpredictable action has produced a rather indecisive betting pattern with the small money on parlays making it good business for the books.

Of the 13 games on Sunday, the Favorites went 4-9 with five dogs winning straight-up. In the game of the day between the Patriots and Colts, it was a bookmakers’ wish come true with the favored team winning but not covering, which eliminates much of the square action on the money line.

I’m still not sure what Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick was thinking by going for a 4th and 2 at his own 28 yard line with just over two-minutes remaining, leading in a 34-28 game. Based on all the boo’s everyone hears at their stadium when a coach punts in a conservative play call from anywhere, most fans were thinking, "This is my kind of coach," at least until it failed.

Even though the Colts were the game of the day and had lots of betting volume on it, the action was split by the public with no presence of sharp play making the game a win-win for the books as the final posted event on the schedule.

"The sharp money had a pretty good day, while the average Joe’s didn’t fare so well." said Las Vegas Hilton Super Book Executive Director Jay Kornegay. "Overall it was a decent day for the house"

The biggest winner of the day for the books came as a surprise to many. You would think that with Steelers losing that the Sports Books would have done well considering how everyone just saw them dismantle Denver on Monday night, but that wasn’t the case.

"The Bengals were the surprise flavor of the week," Kornegay said, "The general public was all over the Bengals."

The best decision of the day for the books came in the Saints-Rams game where just about every parlay in the city had the Saints on it.

"Our best game of the day was the Rams covering despite getting some wise-guy action on them," said Kornegay.

The Saints have now gone three straight games without covering after starting the season 6-0 ATS. Last week’s game with the Rams looked about as simple as it gets considering the 13.5-point spread was in the neighborhood of what it had been for the Saints with good teams like Atlanta and Carolina. Who knew that "The Lou’s" home crowd was so intimidating?

Another game the books did well with last week was the Chargers beating the Eagles 31-23 making it two straight wins over a stereotypical tough NFC East team.

"We did really well with the Chargers winning," said Kornegay. "We had been bet on the Eagles a few times throughout the week leading up to Sunday."

The early move on the Eagles came as somewhat of a surprise because of how poorly Philly did the last time traveling west when they lost to the Raiders, but it may have been more about the inconsistent nature of San Diego in recent years.

Jumbled NFL

Despite the dregs of the NFL lingering at the bottom with only one or two wins on the year, there are 22 teams with records of 4-5 or better that still have a legitimate shot at vying for the final 12 playoff positions with seven weeks to go in the season. Even a team like 3-6 Tennessee stands out as a possibility because of their recent three game win streak

Game Ball

Titans RB Chris Johnson had 132 yards rushing with 9 catches for 100 yards totaling two TD’s in their 41-17 blasting of Buffalo Sunday. It’s the first time since Billy Cannon back in 1963 that a player in franchise history has done the double-triple. Johnson is putting up MVP numbers and making a hungry Titans team (3-6) one that nobody wants to play down the stretch. Good Luck to Houston trying to stop Johnson this week. 

 Another Cancer WR Infects Dallas

Three weeks ago Roy Williams made comments about how the No. 2 WR on the team was getting better passes from Tony Romo which is why his numbers aren’t as good as the phenom, Miles Austin.

Romo shrugged it off in the same manner he did last year when Terrell Owens quipped that TE Jason Witten and Romo were conspiring secret plays behind his back.

Since the comments, Romo has tried to get Williams into the game more and in the process has made them worse by not giving Austin as many looks. Two weeks ago at Philly, Austin only had one catch, a big one for the game winning score. Last week at Green Bay, Romo again went to Williams and failed miserably with a key drop and a fumble, yet Romo kept going to him and bypassing the playmaking Austin.

Despite the loss, Williams was happy to have his first 100 yard game in 25 games and scored in the final seconds of a 17-7 loss, the first loss in November given to Romo in 13 games. Austin only had four catches for 20 yards. When Dallas took off after being a mediocre 2-2, it was Austin’s big plays that led the way to four straight wins with him scoring in each. If Dallas wants to really contend, less-Williams and a reclassification of who is No. 2 on the team looks to be the move. 

Cocky Jets?

Just wondering if Jets DB Kerry Rhodes has something to say this week as his 4-5 Jets roll into New England in the aftermath of the Colts disaster. The week of their first meeting in week three, There was a lot of jaws flapping from the Jets side saying how they were going to do, and then they went out and beat the Pats. Somehow it seems like Coach Belichick isn’t too happy right now and is looking to take it out on someone and the Jets should give plenty of ammunition for Tom Brady’s loaded gun. Laying 10-points with the Patriots looks to have lots of venom at least when searching the cover in this revenge match.      

AFC West Showdown

Ever since their week 6 Monday night encounter, the Broncos and Chargers have gone separate ways to the extreme. San Diego hasn’t lost since Denver’s win that night and the Broncos haven’t won making them tied for the division lead.

The Chargers have manned up and played everyone tough at home and on the road while Denver is reeling since their week 7 bye. The bye was the worst thing that could have happened to Denver who were feeding off the momentum.

Following the off-week, the traveled east to lose at Baltimore, went home to lose to Pittsburgh on a Monday night, and then flew back east on a short week to lose to Washington last week.

Because of the tailspin, the Broncos will again be an underdog. The winner of the game will be leading the division with six games to play until the playoffs. If Chris Simms is forced to play for the injured Kyle Orton as he did in the second half of the Redskins game, The Chargers could win by three touchdowns.  

Watch every Tuesday for a brand new NFL Notebook article.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Micah Roberts