Bettors get their day in sun

Nov 23, 2019 3:00 AM

Way to go bettors. You all struck a nerve at Nevada sportsbooks that hadn’t been felt yet this season.

It took 11 weeks of action for it to finally happen. You stayed strong and focused with all your favorite teams and they came through in straight bets, parlays and teasers, sending the books to their worst day of the NFL season.

William Hill’s Nick Bogdanovich described their Sunday results as “horrible” while South Point’s Chris Andrews described it as “terrible” if that helps give an indication of how the books did.

“It’s going to be a losing day,” conceded Station Casinos Sportsbook director Jason McCormick prior to kickoff of the Sunday night game. “The Patriots were bad with several other games.”

The ongoing trend with bettors during the Tom Brady era is to always bet Bill Belichick to come up with a great game plan to win following a loss and it held true again as the Patriots won 17-10 at Philadelphia, a game that ran from Patriots -3.5 to -5 by kickoff.

“The Patriots were our biggest single-game loser of the season,” said Caesars Palace sportsbook director Jeff Davis.

There haven’t been many big losing games this season, but to hear Davis make that statement in Week 11 is pretty telling how great the first 10 weeks have been for the house.

“We’re stuck for the day,” said CG Technology sportsbook director Tony DiTommaso. “We really needed the Lions and Eagles and didn’t get either of those. The Eagles looked good enough to win, but (Carson) Wentz didn’t have his best game and his receivers dropped a few passes in key moments.”

Part of the reason the Lions didn’t get the cover or push was because of Lions coach Matt Patricia’s choice to go for a two-point conversion after a touchdown late in the game when down by eight points. He was looking to get to a six-point deficit and then, I guess, win the game with a TD on their next possession.

The Lions did not succeed and the final score was 35-27, a game where most of the wagers were bet on the Cowboys at -7.

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“I just don’t understand the move,” DiTommaso said. “And I’m not just saying it because a push would have been better for us. But the 2-point attempt in that situation just doesn’t make any sense.”

The favorites that killed the books included the Cowboys, Patriots, Saints (-5 in 34-17 win at Tampa Bay), and Ravens (-4.5 in 41-7 win vs Texans). That’s a four-team parlay at 10-to-1 odds at most shops (CG books use true odds), odds that books couldn’t make up through any straight bets. And then there were the teasers that cashed on the big favorites that didn’t cover as well.

“We really needed one of those 10-point favorites not cover on the teasers,” Bogdanovich said.

Crossing over big key numbers is always the key for teaser bettors and there were three of them Sunday. None of them covered the regular spread, but they all covered on the teaser and all the underdogs covered as well. The Vikings dropped from -10.5 to -9.5 in their 27-23 home win against the Broncos and the Raiders won 17-10 at home against the winless Bengals while the 49ers won 36-26 at home against the Cardinals where many books closed -9.5 after opening -11.5.

It didn’t matter. Any side you played in a teaser in those games covered.

The ending of the 49ers game had me baffled regarding the NFL’s integrity by not reviewing the final sequence of the final play of the game that resulted in a 49ers touchdown. After Larry Fitzgerald threw a pass backward to one of his teammates, it was not caught and became a live fumble. The 49ers jumped on it and a Cardinals player touched him. It should have been the end of the game, 30-26. But then the ball was lodged loose in the scrum and 49er players slapped the ball towards their end zone and one player even kicked the ball, giving it more velocity, and then a 49ers player scooped it up and ran it in for the TD.

“How come no one is talking about the last score in the Niners game,” Bogdanovich said. “The guy was clearly down.”

He was down, but rather than review it, the referees ran off the field and the 49ers didn’t even kick the extra point, leaving it at 10. There’s no conspiracy theory here, it’s more about incompetence by the league and its officials. They cowardly ran away basically saying, “No big deal, the 49ers were winning before and they still won.”

But scores matter. The integrity of the game and officiating matters for Nevada sportsbooks. Bettors who took +9.5 late or +10 with the Cardinals after watching Kyle Murray move the offense well all day for a cruise cover -- and possible win -- got hosed in this game. The officials didn’t review the play, because the integrity of the score apparently doesn’t matter to them.

More than incompetence, I just think it was lazy.

In addition to the worst Sunday of the season, Saturday wasn’t much better making it the worst weekend of the football season for the books.

“We got killed Saturday,” said DiTommaso. “LSU falling 21 hurt us and so did Baylor.”

Updated CFP odds

Alabama opened the season as the 3-2 favorite to win the College Football Championship Game. But after a loss to LSU and losing QB Tua Tagovailoa to a hip injury last week in the Mississippi State game, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has dropped the Crimson Tide to 18-1.

LSU and Ohio State are the co-favorites to win it all at 9-4 odds followed by Clemson at 11-4 and Georgia at 8-1. Oklahoma and Utah are both 25-1 and Oregon is 40-1.

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