Books get crushed by Packers
February 7, 2011
By Micah Roberts
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After the Super Bowl score and all the propositions were posted, Las Vegas sports books collectively took a beating as the Packers and over the total of 45 came in. It was the only scenario where the books could lose and it happened. The only saving grace for some of the books was a large reserve with future bets cashing in and the ties-lose parlay card paying dividends. In most instances, the books did very well with either side winning on future odds to win the Super Bowl prior to the final results, but it still didn‘t deflect from the massive parlay handle cashing in at 13-to-5 odds.
Among all the terrible tales of the sports books day, a couple stood out with decent wins because of their strategy to attract Steelers money before anyone else.
The South Point had been giving the best line for both Packers and Steelers supporters leading up to kickoff by offering either minus-2 ½ flat, or plus-3 flat four days before kikcoff and used that action to offset the the winning two team parlays.
Coast Resorts also followed the South Point lead by getting all the Steelers action they could at -3 (EVEN) giving them a cushion for the big public parlay.
The M Resort and their chain of Cantor Gaming sports books reported a small win for the day, but after all was tabulated throughout the state, it was a substantial loser on the day.
The last time the state lost collectively for the Super Bowl was when the Giants beat the Patriots where the loss was $2.5 million. All the results aren’t in yet at this juncture, but the state does require state handle and win to be reported immediately with the overall results likely to come by Tuesday. Based on the sample reports, the loss from form the Giants upset in 2008 could be duplicated or passed.
Most sports books stayed steady at Packers - 2 ½ (-120) for the duration and all would have been well had the game stayed under. At most sports books, the parlay combo with Green Bay to the over was the only losing equation.
Coast Resorts and the South Point had each done a magnificent job in generating action with their attractive Steelers lines at +3. By Sunday, the three major off-shore sports books had all followed suit, but here in Las Vegas, everyone stayed relative calm with their lines. The Wynn started a move to -3 flat an hour before kickoff and Lucky’s went to -2 ½ (-130) while the M Resort was steady at - 2 ½ (-135).
The bottom line was that there wasn’t much large Steelers money to be had. Those who had wanted Pittsburgh +3 had gotten it with the South Point Thursday and Friday. When the weekend rolled around, the action was kind of stale, especially with the majority of the Las Vegas lines at a stalemate.
In the long run, every casino made money on the Super Bowl despite what accounting figures show for the day. You can bet that the majority of the money won by the betting public was returned elsewhere in the casino a couple times over. The party doesn’t stop with the Super Bowl, it’s just an excuse to get down and dirty -- gamble some more -- and forget about all the irritable things going on at home, where ever that may be.
Even though the sports books may have lost, let’s not forget about their contributions to the sagging numbers in table games coming into the weekend which were spiked due to the sudden wealth becoming of several gamblers. The same goes for food and beverage, and slots as well.
The sports book goal is to win money, of course, but it’s also such a small portion of the overall casino revenue. Their value to the overall floor of a casino is more about marketing than expected large contributions. While the sports book numbers for Sunday may look to be down, there should be an accounting wizard for each of the corporations that factor in the rise of other areas of the casino operations that should get transferred to the sports book department.
As you read this, the reality may have finally set in that football season is over. All the sports book Directors are sure to be on their way to a long and much deserved vacation as bettors turn their full attention to college basketball now.
Before we get too sentimental about how poorly the books did for the Super Bowl, let us not forget how they crushed everyone all season long with the bettors only getting the best of the books two times during the NFL’s 2010 regular season. The Packers freight train was coming and everyone liked them. When something like that occurs, no matter how a game is booked, the sports book will lose if the public is right. And there is no bigger stage than the Super Bowl for the public to show their talents.
There will be all kinds of should’ve, would’ve talk regarding the booking of the game, but the bottom line is that it was the small money that won with 13-to-5 parlay action and there wasn’t a spread out there that could have off-set the loss. There was only so much Steelers large money out there to be had and it went quickly to the South Point and then later with Coast Resorts. Had someone went to Packers -3 ½, we’d still be discussing the same topic with the same figures.