Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:02 AM

Books dominate Week 2

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The Las Vegas sports books absolutely cleaned up in Sunday's Week 2 NFL action where underdogs ruled the day going 10-3 against-the-spread. The Buccaneers win again behind quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Chiefs keep rolling behind QB Patrick Mahomes and his 10 TD passes in two games, and you can longer trust a bet against the Browns is going to cash like the past two seasons.

"We had a good day today," said MGM Resorts sports book hub manager Jeff Stoneback. "The best decision turned out to be the 49ers not covering against the Lions and then we also needed the Browns-Sants game to stay Under; we had a casino player pop us twice on the Over."

The Lions came off an embarrassing home loss to the Jets who started a rookie QB and managed to play tough down the stretch on Sunday. They faced a 14-point deficit in the second-half but got back in the game to earn the cover. The 49ers won 30-27, but the Lions get the money at +6.

"Our worst game ended up being the Bucs winning on the money line," Stoneback said of Tampa Bay's 27-21 win over the Super Bowl champions, Philadelphia.

Fitzpatrick now has eight TD passes in two Tampa Bay wins to start the season while Jameis Winston serves his suspension for groping an Uber driver. Let's see, a Harvard guyputting up crazy numbers and wins as opposed to a guy with a questionable character who also allegedly raped a girl at Florida State and who also got busted for stealing crab legs in Tallahassee. Does Winston get his starting job back in Week 4 when he's eligible to return?

"Winston may never see the field again as a Buccaneer," projected Station Casinos sports book director Jason McCormick noting the Bucs unbelievablesuccess to start the season after winning at New Orleans last week as a 9.5-point dog and beating the Super Bowl champs Sunday as three-point home 'dogs. Station books, which traditionally fare well against local bettors when underdogs cover, had an "exceptional Sunday and weekend for the house," according to McCormick.

Because of the Bucs and others like the Lions covering and all the other underdogs, Stratosphere sports book director Ed Malinowski said "It was a good day" and that they "held 30 percent" heading into the late game where they needed Dallas (-3) and Over (42) to eliminate lingering parlay risk.

But based on large money wagers and whales around town, results varied.

"It was a good solid win for us today, but it wasn't a monster win," said Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay. "The Chargers covering wasn't good at all for us; it was our biggest loser of the day, and the Cards losing again wasn't good either,"

While we see the Browns starting out 2-0 ATS, the team that was the automatic bet against in parlays weekly the past two years, two teams have emerged as the best public teams to bet against. The Bills and Cardinals look awful. Do they get their act together soon, or does the dirty get dirtier?

"I don't like to make too many knee-jerk reactions in the NFL, but we'll wait and see how the Cards and Bills turn out," said Kornegay. "I mean we have the Bills +16.5 next week and the Cards getting +4.5 at home against the Bears, and the Bears are coming off a short week, so we'll just continue to make weekly adjustments. But those were both extremely high numbers against them, and I will say that sharp money did take the Cards with the big number in Week 2."

Wiseguys were all over the Browns the last two seasons as well when they went 8-24 ATS while winning just one game. The luxury tax on their favored opponent was always too high. But at some point, the radar of the ratings find some suitors, and usually, it's not the public betting the losing team and that's where the books have to find a proper number to attract either side. The masses can destroy a book, but the wise guys can also take all that profit away if the book moves too high against a struggling team. It's a fine line to walk for the house.

The team looking like a real Super Bowl contender out of the gate is the Chiefs who lit up Heinz Field with a 42-37 win Sunday. Are they for real?

"The Chiefs offense looks strong, but the defense is still suspect," said Kornegay. "The Vikings, Jaguars, and Rams still have the best defenses and that seems to be the recipe to winning the Super Bowl. Right now I'm just sold on the Chiefs defense that allowed 28 points in Week 1 and 37 points last week."

So, after two weeks who is the best team right now?

"Right now I'm leaning on the Rams as being the best team in the league," Kornegay said. "The thing I like most about them, besides all the improvements to the defense, is that they got a little bit of a taste for success last season and they should be carrying in that momentum, and hunger, into this season, and they are so far."

The Patriots are still the highest rated team in the league, despite the 31-20 loss at Jacksonville Sunday, but plenty of teams are nipping at their heels to be the best. And when Tom Brady gets his comfy blanket back with wide receiver Julian Edelman in Week 5, it's expected that the Pats will be who we all think they are.

But wow, the Jags defense might actually be the best in the league. And Mahomes is quickly schooling us all on how good he is.

After the Cowboys 20-13 win against a lackluster Giants (+3) offense, the books had solidified a strong day they had been dreaming about for the regular season since preseasons started. And what's up with Eli Manning? This guy looks like he's packed it in, but bettors are romanced by Odell Beckman Jr. and Saquon Barkley at running back who had an amazing run last week against the Jags defense.

The end results saw favorites go 4-10 ATS and totals finishing 7-7. It was the perfect mix for the house to have a winning Sunday.

The immediate questions for Week 3 are regarding the Bills, Cardinals, Chiefs and to a degree, the Saints.

Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 14 years.

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