VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
BOX/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Books squeak out Week 17 win
The final week of the NFL's regular season got most New Year's Eve parties started early on Sunday with all 32 teams participating. There were six teams vying for the final three wild card slots and the NFL made sure that all the playoff hopefuls played games at the same time. No Thursday night games, no Saturday games, no Sunday or Monday night contests either and it turned out being one of the most exciting weeks of the regular season.

As for the the end results for the sports books, mixed would best describe it with most in the category of being small winners.

"We won a crumb," is how William Hill's head bookmaker Nick Bogdanovich perfectly described results from his 107 books across Nevada.

A crumb is something, for sure, but it's really not. In fact, we often throw crumbs away as trash. Those crumbs are much worse to look at when it happens on the final day of the business quarter and overall season. It's smaller than a ham sandwich. Most of all, end-of-year bonuses are at stake and crumbs don't turn into bonus checks.

"Escaped is the best I can say about the day," said Atlantis Reno sports book director Marc Nelson of his Week 17 results. "The parlay cards could have been a nightmare had just two or three games gone differently."

Nelson, who just took over Atlantis two weeks ago, said his worst game ended up being the Lions and his best game was the Buccaneers. The Lions (-7) covered at home in a 35-11 win over the Packers. The Buccaneers (+6) electrified the sports book crowds with their last second, 31-24 home win over the Saints, who still ended up winning the NFC South despite the loss because Carolina lost at Atlanta.

Advertisement
The money-line payout on the Bucs at Coast Resorts was +270, one of five underdogs to win outright while favorites ended up going 10-6 against the spread and the 'under' was 9-7.

Perhaps the coolest thing to watch on Sunday was the amount of afternoon games. Of the 16 games on the day, nine of them kicked off at 1:25 p.m. PT. It was an odd, but welcomed sight.

"I've seen eight or nine in the morning games with just two in the afternoon before, but never nine in the afternoon," said Nelson, who has worked in Nevada books for the past 25 years. "I kind of liked it," he said.

Of course, Nelson and other bookmakers liked it because it gives bettors more options to lose on. With only two afternoon games, it's easier for bettors to cash because they're not allowed to be greedy. Side-to-total 1 and side-to-total 2. That's it.

Some books managed to do better than others on Sunday.

"It was a very good day for us," said CG Technology VP of risk management Jason Simbal. "The worst game of the day for us was the Cowboys and the best turned out being the Bengals and Cardinals."

Again, the key underdogs stepped up for the books. The Bengals knocking the Ravens (-8) out of the playoffs with a last second, 31-27 win, paid +380 on the money-line and was the crowning moment of a spectacular Sunday whether betting the games or not. It was amazing. The Cardinals gritty 26-24 win at Seattle (-8) was their fourth win at Seattle in the past five seasons and paid +340 on the money-line.

If the Eagles had managed to score anything, the books would have been happy because every parlay on the day seemed to have the Cowboys (-4) knowing Philly would rest players. The Cowboys ended up winning 6-0.

"Lighter handles, but still an okay day," said Station Casinos sports book director Jason McCormick. "I'm happy just to get through the mess of Week 17. The Giants, Bucs, and Cardinals were great games for us. The 49ers were by far our worst."

Week 17 always provides drama for the bookmakers because of not knowing who is playing, or how long the starters will play. It's all eventually reflected in the number, but being vulnerable gives them a queasy feeling because eventually middle opportunities are created for the books to get beat on both sides.

For example, if you had bet the Rams last Sunday night at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, you could have gotten -6.5. By kickoff, the spread had the 49ers -6.5 with the Rams resting their two MVP candidates. That's the biggest swing of the NFL season and one of the largest I've seen in a while -- the last was another Week 17 also. The 49ers easily won, 34-13, for their fifth straight win after starting 1-10.

One piece of information that escaped both the books and wise guys was Jay Cutler scheduled to take only three snaps. The Bills had a playoff berth on the line and the Dolphins decided to let back-up David Fales play most of the game, and he was terrible. The Bills (-2.5) won 22-16. Had bettors know of the QB plan, the number would have ran to at least -6.

Happy New Years and Cheers!

Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 13 years.

  
HEADLINES
· BetOnline.ag: Thursday's Best Bet
· YouWager.eu: Teams to Watch - Week 12
· Williams: Opening Line Report - Week 12
· Bookmaker: Underdog Plays - Week 12
· BetDSI: Ugly Dogs - Week 12
· Nelson: Close Calls - Week 11
· YouWager.eu: Games to Watch - Week 12
· News: Thanksgiving Day Trends
· BetDSI: Redskins at Cowboys
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NFL Pro Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NFL Hot Streaks
4-0 Sun., 7-1 L8, +1,269 TY
4-0 Run, 5-1 L2 Sun, 18-6 Picks
5-1 Record Sunday
3-0 Week 11, 5-0 L2 Sundays
19-9 Totals, +1,004 Overall TY
5-1 Week 11, 6-0 G-Plays, 11-4 Run
20-8 Last 5 Sundays
3-1 Sunday, 5-2 L7 Picks
3-0 L3 G-Plays, 6-1 L7 MNF Picks
8-4 Guaranteed Plays TY
6-3 L9 Picks, 13-6 Totals TY
5-1 L6 G-Plays, 9-1 L10 Totals
6-3 L2 Sundays, 8-4 L12 Picks
8-4 L5 Sundays, 9-5 G-Plays TY
23-12 L6 Sundays, 7-2 L9 G-Plays
6-3 L3 Sundays, 8-4 L12 G-Plays
NFL Pro Football Expert Sports Picks - Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
2018 NFL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Brian Bitler + 1269
Paul Bovi + 1004
Scott Pritchard + 810
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Pritchard + 400
Brian Bitler + 400
Chip Chirimbes + 395
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Pritchard 63 %
Brian Bitler 61 %
Paul Bovi 60 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 612
Scott Rickenbach + 568
Matt Fargo + 466
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 917
Scott Rickenbach + 860
Kyle Hunter + 642
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Doc's Sports + 854
Jimmy Boyd + 778
Dave Cokin + 648
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership