Steelers not covering vs. Packers on SNF prevents record loss for some sportsbooks
November 28, 2017 3:01 AM
by Micah Roberts
The perfect storm was brewing at sportsbooks all across the Las Vegas Valley during Week 12 NFL action on Sunday. As each game got posted, the losses were piling up and the risk for the remaining games to be posted kept multiplying with parlay risk.
Favorites would go 9-2 ATS in the first 11 games, which included the ultra-popular Eagles and Patriots going over the total. Doomsday, or Black Sunday, was right around the corner if the Steelers covered -14 at home against the reeling Packers and backup QB Brett Hundley. But the back-up performed well and the Steelers were able to get away with a 31-28 win as time expired.
Large money-line parlays cashed on that three-teamer, but risky teasers and parlays dropped out due to winning by just 3. Still, the events of the first 11 games shaped the end result and it was a stone cold loser for the house. The Patriots (-16.5) beat the visiting Dolphins, 35-17, for their seventh straight win (6-1 ATS). The Eagles (-13.5) made easy work at home against the over-matched Bears, 31-3, and kept the public cashing on them, which is the hottest ongoing trend in Las Vegas.
Philly has won nine straight, covered its last eight and MGM books dropped them to 3-to-1 co-favorites to win the Super Bowl with the Patriots. It’s an easy case to make seeing these two play each other in the Super Bowl.
“The Patriots and Eagles both covering early was no good, but the game that kind of kept everything flowing after those decisions was the Panthers covering in the final minutes,” said Station Casinos sportsbook director Jason McCormick of the popular Panthers’ (-6) 35-27 win at the Jets.
The underdogs helping were limited to just two, but they turned out to be huge risk choppers.
“As things turned out, the biggest savior for us on the day to not make losses more extreme was the Chiefs (-10) losing outright to Buffalo,” said MGM Resorts VP of race and sports Jay Rood of the Bills’ 16-10 road win. “It would have made this easily the worst weekend of the season for us due to big money-line parlays and teasers.”
The Chiefs dropping their third straight and fifth in six games after a 5-0 start was the silver lining on a bad day for books. One week after Bills QB Tyrod Taylor got benched for some bizarre reason, he bounced back executing a conservative game plan to victory and kept Buffalo in the playoff hunt.
“We were fortunate to have some big house players play a lot on the Chiefs money-line, parlayed to other games, so our risk on the day wasn’t too big,’ said Westgate SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay. “We were up on the day heading into the Steelers game, but will lose six figures if they cover the spread.”
Kornegay and the Westgate got off much easier than most books. I heard one book director, after the Packers cover, say it was still the worst loss of his career, which spanned 31 years.
The only other positive for the house, before the Packers cover, was the woeful Cardinals winning 27-24 at home over the Jaguars’ No. 1 ranked defense. Arizona was the worst cover team in the NFL (2-7-1 ATS) prior to the game, but it would be former Jags first-round pick, QB Blaine Gabbert, who would shine in somewhat of a revenge game against his former team. Gabbert has looked sharp the past two contests and with Arizona being at its lowest rating of the season it might be time to buy on decent value with them.
Don’t forget about Thanksgiving leftovers from all three favorites covering. Those favorites provided a rolling head start for the public parlay bettors heading into Sunday’s card. Ask anyone you know that bet over the weekend and it’s likely they cashed a two-team parlay at 13-to-5 odds with New England and Philadelphia. Perfect timing with all the Christmas bills piling up following Black Friday.
“Thursday and Friday we were small losers, but Saturday was great with Clemson and Washington covering. Our big loser on the day was Oklahoma State,” said Kornegay. “So if we can get out with a Packers cover, we’ll consider ourselves fortunate for the holiday weekend.”
Good news for the Westgate, but everywhere else in Las Vegas didn’t have it so well.
Station odds upgrade
On a side note about Station Casinos, they re-did all their pay charts before the season and the splits on money-lines are awesome, as well as 6-point two-team NFL teasers costing only -120. An example of Station’s generosity to have an upper hand in competitive balance of the city was their Chiefs money-line split at -420/+350 in which the favorite and dog price were both one of the best in the city. McCormick says the new money-line splits and teaser pay chart have created much more action.
What’s surprising about the Station change in policy is a few other books are going the other way in their pay charts due to year-over-year category analysis that shows, for instance, two-team NFL teasers are too cheap for bettors.
What’s the first thing a mobile-phone better wants? Service that doesn’t shut down while making wagers. Nothing worse than trying to bet a game five minutes before kickoff. Between line changes and traffic, the bettor gets shut out and has no action. There’s also the hope that if winning at an epic rate your account doesn’t come over executive review and possibly shut down. The next most important thing is competitive prices, not just from LV books, but also those from off-shore,which many bettors still play with illegally.
Station wants to go strong and gain public admiration for being so bettor friendly with its prices. The mobile-phone app war is on and it’s a brutally competitive market locally. We as consumers haven’t even seen the beginning of the battle that will escalate even more when a Supreme Court ruling, expected to allow sports betting in other states, is issued in early 2018.