Santa Claus delivered early for Las Vegas bettors during NFL Week 15 action on Sunday where not one underdog won outright, which means favorite money-line parlays and teasers were cashing regularly. Public favorites such as the Patriots covered the spread (barely) while the Browns continued to lose and fail to cover.
“It wasn’t good,” said Wynn sportsbook director John Avello regarding Sunday’s results. “It wasn’t necessarily one game, but a compilation. The bigger problem here was some of the key games fell on the number. New England landed on 3 and we had -2.5 bets and paid back all bets on -3, and then San Francisco (-2) landed right on the number.”
It was the same story at most Las Vegas sportsbooks with some losses being much higher than others. The 49ers’ 25-23 last second home win over the Titans (8-6) was their third straight win behind QB Jimmy Garoppolo after winning just once in their first 11 games.
However, the biggest game of the week, maybe the season, was also the most thrilling with the Patriots’ (11-3) controversial 27-24 win at Pittsburgh (11-3) where a multitude of final events changed the spread and total (52.5) winner. If you played the teaser, which many did, all four sides and totals won. Winning teasers were the theme of the day for bettors.
“Every teaser on the board cashed,” said Avello. “And the ones that didn’t cash, like Cleveland, Cincinnati, Seattle and Houston, no one had them.”
Of the 24 teaser decisions on the side, 20 of them cashed with eight of the 12 games cashing on both sides. Avello’s pay chart on teasers at -120 was for 6-points, -130 for 6.5 and -140 for 7 – very competitive for Las Vegas and he takes a good size bet on them, too.
“We had multiple teasers in the $25 to $50 range,” he said.
Back to the thrilling ending of the Patriots game where in one instance it appeared Tom Brady had done it again in the final minute, only to see the Steelers come back to take the lead. But then they didn’t, on a shaky reversal by the referees, and it all ended with Ben Roethlisberger’s interception to close out the game.
“I was in the back and I heard a huge roar, and then a couple of minutes later I heard another roar,” said MGM Resorts sportsbook hub manager Jeff Stoneback, describing the final scene heard from his Mirage office, “and then finally there was an equal mix of roars and groans as the final interception happened. Everyone in the room had some kind of emotional reaction to the sequence and I’d say at least 90 percent of the crowd had action on it.”
Most books got crushed on the outcome, but MGM wasn’t one of them.
“The Patriots turned out well for us,” said Stoneback. “We had a casino player take a six-dime bet (over $100,000) on the Steelers. We never got off -3 on the spread.”
MGM closed at -3 +105 while the entire rest of the town had some variation of Patriots -2.5 with Wynn closing at -2.
The other big game of the day, with the lead in the NFC West up for grabs, had the first-place Rams visiting Seattle with an attempt to avenge a Week 5 loss in Los Angeles.
“There was a big move on the Rams,” said Avello who closed them -1. “We couldn’t stop the Rams money.”
The Seahawks (8-6) had been up to as high as -2.5 on Wednesday, but Avello’s action at the Wynn came on Sunday. The Rams (10-4) took a 40-0 lead in front of the 12th Man and settled for a 42-7 win. The last score of the game was a safety to take the total Over 47.5 total points. Because of the short spread, an additional 6-points with the Seattle teaser wasn’t popular and the blowout didn’t help many books in that area.
The Rams are becoming trusted to put up at least 31 points weekly, which parlay bettors love to be a part of. This effort at Seattle should prove to all Super Bowl future bettors that the Rams can win anywhere on the road during the playoffs. But then again, the Redskins won at Seattle this season.
“The two big losers on the day for us were the Browns not covering (again), and the Jags (covering),” Stoneback said. “The Vikings were no good, either.”
The Browns lost 27-10 to the Ravens (-7) to send the Browns to 0-14. It was their last home game. Jacksonville (-10.5) blew out the Texans, 45-7, and the Vikings (-13) clobbered the bumbling Bengals, 34-7.
After the first 11 games posted, all the parlay and teaser risk was filing into the Cowboys (-3) at Oakland on Sunday night.
“The same casino player who lost with the Steelers came back and doubled up on the Cowboys in the late game,” Stoneback said.
The Cowboys (8-6) would win 20-17, and push with most bettors, while staying Under 45.5 total points. Straight bets all push, but all the parlay risk tied into each side reduced to the next payout line. And, the big money parlay bettors cashed with all 11 sides (Rams closed pick ‘em at most books).
Recap: If you bet the favorites on the money-line Sunday, you didn’t lose. None of them.
And, again, if you bet the teaser on either side of the Cowboys-Raiders game, you didn’t lose.
Of all the weeks for the books to have a losing week, this might have been the worst because the results don’t end with Monday night. They linger on all the way through the bowl season through Jan. 1. Think of three or four winning sides tied together this week and then slowly paying off parlays 10-to-1 or higher on each bowl decision.
This will have the books climbing out of a hole daily for the next two weeks.