NFL wagering gets national attention with Seahawks wagers

Oct 19, 2012 12:19 PM

The Seattle Seahawks seem to be involved in every dicey situation Las Vegas sports books have had to deal with this season.

In Week 3, we had the questionable touchdown call against the Packers that gave the Seahawks the win and cover and Thursday night we had a Seahawks safety smartly declined by 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

Two additional points for the 49ers would have meant instead of being a 13-6 score, and a non-cover, it would have been 15-6 with every 49ers wager covering.

In both of the instances, the national attention gained from the spread on the game has been huge and shows just how in the dark the NFL is about the power of betting on their sport.

The funny part is that bettors could have had at least a push in the Thursday night game laying the 49ers if they would have made a bet prior to Thursday.

The game had been up on the board since Sunday night, and was -7 through Wednesday. The 7½ line didn’t start popping up until Thursday morning.

Once it was clear that the public was still betting the 49ers on game day at 7½, it didn’t take long for bookmakers like Jay Kornegay at the LVH Super Book to bypass the dead number of 8 and go right to 8½.

So yeah, it was a bad beat, but losing on the 49ers laying 7½ meant you were late to the party. If you made a straight bet at -7½, you should have paid the extra .10 cents and erased the hook.

And I’m not just saying that now after the fact.

The number 7 lands the second most times out of any margin of victory in the NFL at a 9.6 percent clip over the past five seasons.

When dealing with 3 – the most common margin of victory (14.5%), most sports books won’t allow you to buy off it because it’s so key.

So being able to buy a half off such a key number like 7 for only .10 cents is pretty good value. And really, was the decision that bad of a beat? It would have taken a bad beat to make a 49ers bet a winner.

What about the Seahawks bettors who had the right side all game? The 49ers weren’t even covering in this game at any juncture and were outplayed.

If anything, a 49er bettors’ prayer to the cover Gods was heard, and almost fulfilled, but at the last second, even they thought a cover like a safety in a game with less than minute remaining, where the team favored by 8.5 is winning 13-6 was too much of a miracle to make happen.

The end result in Vegas wasn’t that big of a deal, not even close to exaggerated reports that surfaced in Week 3 when some “experts” reported that $15 million changed hands in Nevada as a result of the bad call on the Packers-Seahawks.

Most of the bets from the week were a push with the 49ers bets on Thursday losing. Sports books on the strip aren’t full like they will be on the weekend, and didn’t take a lot of action. Most of all, the game stayed UNDER the total which was good for the books. 

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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