Christmas came early for sportsbooks in Week 11

Christmas came early for the sportsbooks in Week 11 NFL action as they got almost everything they wished for between Sunday’s 12 games.

They wanted a big favorite losing outright to beat out a large portion of teasers and money line parlays and the Cowboys came through with a 31-28 win at Minnesota (-7).

They wanted underdogs to cover and also wanted them to win outright, so they were gifted with favorites only going 5-7 against the spread with five of the ‘dogs winning outright.

They also wanted their most lopsided one-way action game to fall the other way and they got it with the Broncos (+4) ending the Dolphins’ five-game win streak in a 20-13 win.

“It was a pretty solid day for us,” said Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay. “We certainly had more winners than losers. Included was our top two decisions going our way with the Broncos and Texans. We also did surprisingly well on the Browns as we collected a lot of Philly money. Our two biggest losers were the Steelers and Cowboys, mostly due to a large wager on Dallas ($120,000).”

William Hill sportsbooks’ largest handle disparity in a game was also their most handled game of the day. The Dolphins had 90% of the cash wagered which amounted to 19% of their action. Head bookmaker Nick Bogdanovich said their day probably ranks as their third-best of the season, but could’ve been the best if the Raiders (+7.5) won outright, which almost happened in the Chiefs’ 35-31 win in Las Vegas.

“The only game we lost on was the Steelers,” he said.

The loss drops the Raiders to 6-4 on the season with playoff hopes still on the horizon, but they moved to 7-3 ATS which is tied for second-best with the Dolphins behind the Steelers (8-2,) who handled the Jaguars (+10.5) easily in a 27-3 win to remain unbeaten at 10-0, the best start ever for the storied franchise.

“We won three of our top-4 most lopsided games in the morning and won all four in the afternoon,” said BetMGM’s Nevada sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback.

They won all four afternoon games as the underdogs went 3-1 ATS with the only favorite hitting being the Colts’ 34-31 overtime home win against the popular Packers (+1.5) who were bet like they were the favorite. William Hill had 66% of its cash on the game siding with the Packers.

“The Texans, Broncos, and Colts led the way to a big Sunday for us,” said Station Casinos sportsbook director Jason McCormick. “The Raiders would put a cherry on top.”

The Texans finally beat someone other than the Jaguars with their 27-20 home win against the Patriots (-2.5) who had found favor with the public again after winning their last two. William Hill had its customers betting the Patriots at an 85% clip. Circa Sports paid out a Las Vegas-best closing number at +136 on the Texans money line. In fact, Circa had most of the best prices in Week 11 on the underdog money lines, just a few cents off what South Point was offering.

Circa sportsbook director Matt Metcalf said they had a good day and needed the Raiders to cover. I couldn’t think of a better place to watch the Raiders game than at the Circa Stadium Swim under the stars with their massive movie screen. Metcalf said that the two sports betting kiosks they have at the pool do more business than all his kiosks combined between his three downtown books.

Marc Nelson’s Atlantis sportsbook in Reno also had a great day with his worst loss being the Steelers but winning big with the Broncos, Texans, and Saints. The Falcons (+3.5) looked as if they had something for the Saints playing without Drew Brees, but backup Taysom Hill eventually warmed up to make some plays in a 24-9 aided by a suffocating Saints defense.

The Washington Football Team (-1.5) beat the Bengals, 20-9, and also took Joe Burrow out of the game and likely the season.

“Our best game was Washington followed by Denver,” said Stoneback.

The Mirage, where Stoneback works the BetMGM sportsbook hub from, will now be open only on the weekends, a policy the Mandalay Bay and Park MGM is also following which was a trend started on the strip by Encore. Stoneback says the Mirage has been very quiet during the week, which has affected the handle some.

“Handle was a bit down due to the week before Thanksgiving mixed in with COVID-19,” Stoneback said. “And then on Wednesday, we have a large college basketball schedule starting their season. It’s like a normal (Non-2020) Saturday college basketball schedule.”

Stoneback said they’ve had to do some scheduling changes (shrinking) for over-the-counter staffing, but the hub operation is still at full operation.

Have a great Thanksgiving.