Vegas books enjoy biggest week of NFL season
December 08, 2009 5:09 PM
by Micah Roberts
Week 13 in the NFL was a big winner for the Las Vegas sports books, the best of the season. It’s very rare when the books beat both the sharps and public in the same weekend, but that’s what happened Sunday. They did well in straight bets, parlays and teasers across the board.
The favorites went 4-10 basically eliminating any substantial liability heading into the Monday night game. Of all the games that moved, from last Monday’s openers to kickoff on Sunday, only three of the moves got there signifying that the big money didn’t win.
Of the 10 underdogs that covered, six of them won straight up – two of them against teams that have combined to win five Super Bowls in the last decade.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, a 15.5-point favorite by kickoff, got beat straight up by the Oakland Raiders. The New England Patriots, a 5-point road favorite at Miami, lost straight up as well. Those two games alone wiped out a huge chunk of the days parlays and teasers eliminating much of the day’s risk.
Two of the moves that got there this week were the Broncos, who opened as 4.5-point favorites closing at 5.5, and the Redskins who were getting 9.5-points on the opener and closed at 8.5.
The Broncos pounded the Chiefs at Arrowhead, something that no one has ever been able to say. The Redskins looked as though were going to join the upset party that Oakland and Miami started, but fell short late, eventually losing 33-30 in overtime.
The busiest game of the day for action was the late game where the home underdog Cardinals won outright to the Vikings. Many books treated the game with extreme caution due to Kurt Warner’s status, but it didn’t stop the public.
The combination of it being a marquee match-up with Brett Favre and the one-loss Vikings along with being the late get-back game for the public after losing all day generated great two-way action creating a four-way win for most books.
For once, the Books were able to sit back, relax and watch a Sunday night game without having to sweat out a side.
Other teams helping the Sports Books win big this week included the Jaguars, Lions and Browns.
The Rams had action against them as the Bears moved from the opener of 8 to 8.5-points. Early in the fourth quarter, Rams kicker Josh Brown booted a 50-yard field goal making the score Bears 17-9 which is where it ended, ultimately hooking all bettors who tried to bet against the lowly Rams.
It wasn’t too long ago when we were writing about how the Sports Books couldn’t make the lines high enough for teams like the Browns, Raiders, Rams and Lions. They were easy bet against teams that the public pounded on every week in their parlays.
But just as the Directors and line-makers across the city said back then, it will cycle around. The tide has turned. These are professional football teams and they are finally playing as their true rating has them. Pro Football is as tough as ever. Collectively, the old ugly four went 4-0 against the number last week.