Nov 26, 2018
Mixed results in Week 12
Thanksgiving caused every book to be a loser on Thursday and the leftovers put every book in the hole for the rest of Sunday's NFL Week 12 action. Only half the books were able to climb out of the hole with a small win while others showed a small loss or ended up even.
"We were a sizable loser on the day heading into the night game," said Westgate Las Vegas Superbook VP Jay Kornegay. "We really needed one good outright win. Thanks, Miami. Our worst games were Tampa Bay, New England, the Giants, and the Chargers and the games that saved us were the Broncos, Browns, and Dolphins. We lost three-fourths of our to decisions. If we get Minnesota to cover we'll break even."
The Vikings (-4) did come through Sunday with a 24-17 win sending the Packers to 0-6 on the road this season.
The 49ers were a popular sharp play and the line dropped from the Buccaneers -3.5 to -2, but the public liked the Bucs at any number and they got there with a 27-9 win. The Giants were also a popular sharp play at Philly and the line dropped from Eagles -6 to -5. After dominating the first half, the Giants laid an egg in the second half and lost 25-22, but the Giants' bettors got the money. The Eagles have failed to cover their last three games and are a woeful 3-8 ATS this season and 5-6 straight-up with playoffs looking like a long shot for the defending Super Bowl champs.
"Thursday was bad for us," said William Hill's head [...] Nick Bogdanovich. "Friday and Saturday went well, but Sunday ended up being bad. USC and the Broncos saved us from a real good beating."
Notre Dame remained unbeaten with a 24-17 win at USC on Saturday night but failed to cover the 14-point spread. The books were also helped Saturday night with the final two games posted -- bettors' get-back games -- seeing underdogs win outright. First, it was UNLV taking back the cannon from Reno in a 34-29 win as 14-point home dogs and then Hawaii won at San Diego State, 31-30, as 18.5-point underdogs.
"The handle was way low compared to same Sunday last season, but we ended up with good results and need the Vikings in the late game," said Las Vegas Golden Nugget sports book director Tony Miller.
The Golden Nugget sports book in Biloxi didn't fare as well.
"It was decent early, but not good late said Biloxi Nugget manager Brad Bryant. "It's break even at best and we needed Minnesota."
The carryover risk from Thursday put the books in a bad spot to start Sunday.
"Thanksgiving Day always seem like the faves cover," Bryant said. "Really hard to believe it happens that way every year."
Atlantis Reno sports book director Marc Nelson said his shop was even heading into the late game but were a four-way loser on the game. Ouch! No way to win. The Chargers were the team that roughed up Nelson's book the most. They went from -12 to -14 against the Cardinals and won 45-10. The Cardinals scored the first TD as well.
"It was an okay day," said CG Technology VP of risk management Jason Simbal. "The worst for us was the Patriots and Chargers and the best was the Bills and Dolphins."
The Jaguars had another second-half meltdown in a 24-21 loss at Buffalo (+3). Bills QB Josh Allen rushed for over 100 yards and basically served Jags CB Jalen Ramsey a facial after Ramsey called Allen "trash" in the pre-season.
Another winning book was the chain at Station Casinos.
The Raiders and Jets were the key games for us this morning and we lost them both," said Stations sports book director Jason McCormick. "The Broncos win bailed us out."
And how about those Broncos? For the second straight week, they beat a team riding a six-game win streak. They won at the Chargers, 23-22, last week while getting 7 and they beat the Steelers Sunday in Denver, 24-17 while getting 3. The previous two weeks saw slim losses to the streaking Texans and Chiefs. All four of those games stayed Under. They're playing like a playoff team, but at 5-6 now it'll be a tough road ahead. Or will it? The next five weeks they get the Bengals, 49ers, Browns, Raiders and then the Chargers.
Another streaking team playing extremely well right now is the Colts with all their tight ends and an offensive line that is protecting Andrew Luck like he's never seen. The Colts have won five straight after losing four straight and are now 6-5, just barely behind the 6-5 Ravens for the final playoff spot. Because of their win and cover streak, the public was all over them, but Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins covered the +9 in the Colts 27-24 win.
The Patriots were a popular wager and the number ran from -9.5 to -12. The Jets had an opportunity to get the backdoor cover late in the game but failed and the Patriots won 27-13.
On the day, favorites went 5-6 ATS and the Under was 6-5.
Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 14 years.