Red Sox giveth to books; Patriots taketh away

Red Sox giveth to books; Patriots taketh away

October 31, 2018 3:00 AM


Nevada sports books got roughed up in NFL Week 8 action where the favorites went 9-5 against-the-spread and the seven biggest favorites all won outright.

But the overall results for the books on Sunday got a major boost when they were able to post the Red Sox World Series futures, adding six figures to the bottom line at most effected bet shops.

“I had a bit of a sigh of relief on Sunday when the Red Sox won because we broke even on the day because of them,” said Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci.

Most sports books had 2018 World Series futures posted last October, building up thousands in wagers where the expected hold is around 40 percent. When a favorite like the Red Sox win, the hold usually goes up close to 60 percent. Those future winnings are supposed to be gravy for the house. But Sunday it served as a band-aid.

“Sunday wasn’t too good for us with all the favorites helping parlays and teasers hit,” Scucci said. “Monday night’s decision is the biggest we’ve had in all Monday nights this season due to money-line parlays keyed with all those favorites, including with Rams and Chiefs. Our only way to show a profit on Monday is the Bills winning outright and the Under 37.5 to protect against all those teasers.”

His preferred Under got there in the Patriots 25-6 win at Buffalo Monday night. But the masses got not only the Patriots win on the money-line and teaser, but they also got a fourth-quarter gift cover with an 84-yard pick-six by Devin McCourty with 5:54 left to cover the large 14-point spread. That completed the majority carryover parlay, including the popular money-line parlay of the three biggest favorites – Chiefs-to-Rams-to-Patriots – which paid out at around 5-to-9 odds. 

“We struggled with the NFL this weekend and were fortunate on Sunday with baseball futures cashing,” Westgate SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay said Monday night. “But we gave back almost everything we won Sunday tonight on the Patriots cover due to parlays, teasers and money-line parlays leftover from yesterday.”

The most wagered upon game on Sunday – the Packers visiting the Rams – saw a bizarre ending when Rams RB Todd Gurley busted loose with 1:05 to go for an what would have been an easy 21-yard touchdown,. But he chose to down the ball at the Packers 4-yard-line once he got the first down. At the time, the Rams were up 29-27. A TD and extra-point would have made it a nine-point game. The spread dropped from Rams -9.5 to -7.5 with lots of support on the underdog. The total also stayed Under 57 because he didn’t score. 

The impact was mixed.

“Crummy day,” said Atlantis Reno sports book director Marc Nelson Sunday prior to the Red Sox’ 5-1 win at Dodger Stadium. “That Rams guy not scoring was the kicker. That (score) would have saved a lot.”

It was a different story at all the Boyd properties.

“The Rams actually helped us with Gurley not scoring,” Scucci said. “Rams landing 9 would have given us a crippling middle and the result helped us on early teasers, especially on the teaser cards. We had a few 300-to-1 15-team teaser cards waiting to hit on the Rams.” 

It was kind of surprising to see the public flip on a 7-0 Rams squad.

“Yeah, a little bit,” said Kornegay, “but it took Aaron Rodgers and the Packers for them to flip-flop.”

When the betting public starts taking 9-point dogs collectively and it gets there along with all their regular favorites, the books are in trouble. 

“We picked up six figures Sunday on the Red Sox futures combined with the Game  5 results,” said South Point’s Jimmy Vaccaro. “But it was the worst NFL Sunday we’ve had so far this season. The Raiders and Giants have been popular bet-againsts in parlays, but we were fortunate to get Arizona to win.”  

In addition to bettors siding with favorites in the NFL they also like to pick on the bad teams and that was the case in week 8 with the Raiders losing 42-28 at home to the Colts and the Giants losing 20-13 at home to the Redskins (-1). The Colts number ran from -1.5 to -3.5 and the Raiders looked like the right side until a late collapse when the game was tied 28-28.

“Thank goodness for the Cardinals win and the Broncos second backdoor cover against the Chiefs or it would have been a disaster,” said Station Casinos sports book director Jason McCormick.

The Cardinals (+3) beat the 49ers for the second time this season, 18-15, and the Broncos kicked a late field goal to make it 30-23 to pull within a TD at Kansas City. The Chiefs dropped from -10 to -8 by kickoff. It was the first time this season the Chiefs failed to cover the spread. 

The lone chain of books I could find that had a winning Week 8 was those under the Caesars Palace umbrella.  

“Solid winning NFL Sunday – times two – thanks to Red Sox future money,” said Caesars Palace senior oddsmaker Alan Berg. “The best games for us were the Saints, Cardinals, and Panthers and our biggest losers were the Colts, Bears, and Steelers.”

Caesars’ fortunate weekend continued Monday night with another sport being the bailout band-aid.  

“NBA had a good night so it ate up the majority of the Patriots loss.” Berg said. “Small peanut loss on the night.”