Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:55 AM

Books ride 'dogs to Wk 13 win

The underdogs were barking loud in Sunday’s Week 13 NFL action with eight of the 12 'dogs covering and seven of them winning outright which helped Nevada sportsbooks to another good day.

Of course, the fate of day ended up coming down to the final game to be posted, the Sunday night game with New England (-3 -120) at Houston.

“We give back most of the win on the day if the Patriots cover,” said MGM Resorts sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback.

The Texans would win 28-22 and a late scoring surge by the Patriots helped the game go over the total, which opened at 44.5 and closed at 47. The final score really isn’t as indicative of how poorly the Patriots executed on offense.

Quarterback Tom Brady was not happy, and now the Patriots (10-2) drop to the No. 2 seed in the AFC with the Ravens (10-2) taking over No. 1 after they beat the 49ers (10-2) in Baltimore, 20-17. The possible Super Bowl preview featuring the two highest-scoring teams in the NFL had rain and wind slowing both their offenses down. The 49ers (+5.5) cover makes them 7-4-1 against the spread (ATS) this season.

“Our best game of the day was the Niners covering and the worst was the Packers,” said Wynn sportsbook director Doug Castaneda.

The sportsbooks were dreading two teams coming into the weekend -- the Patriots and Packers. They were the two games that has the most lopsided ticket counts and cash that could thump the books together with two-team parlay payouts at 13-to-5 odds (Bet $100 to win $260), but more so as being a root two-teamer attached to several other legs in parlays.

“There are twice as many bets on the Packers than there are on any other team today,” Jeff Davis said before the morning games started.

The Packers' 31-13 win at the Giants (2-10) in the snow never had the look of the Giants covering +6.5. The Packers now move to 9-3 and stay atop the NFC North waiting to see what the 8-3 Vikings do at Seattle on Monday Night Football.

“The Steelers game was good for just because we took $200,000 on the Browns -1.5 earlier in the week,” Stoneback said.

The Browns closed as a one-point road favorite at Pittsburgh, but the Steelers defense was the key in the 20-13 win, along with third-string QB Devin Hodges managing the game well enough. The Browns drop to 5-7 while the Steelers improve to 7-5 and they are alive in the playoff mix.

“We didn’t win a lot of games on the day,” said CG Technology sportsbook director Tony DiTommaso. “Our best game ended up being the Broncos, but the Titans, Buccaneers, and Bengals game hurt us the most. The Bucs moved to the favorite and we had bets on them at each move.”

The Broncos 20-17 home win against the Chargers (-4.5) was done behind rookie QB Drew Lock making his NFL debut. It was because of Lock starting that so many bet the Chargers from -2.5 up to -4.5. Both teams are now 4-8 sitting in the AFC West cellar.

CG books had a bettor lay $15,000 on the Dolphins to win at +425 odds and the Dolphins would pick up a 37-31 win at home against the Eagles. They also had $50,000 bet late on the Texans against the Patriots, so they had different type of action on the day and didn’t hold as high as a win as others, but they did still win.

The three lowest-rated teams in the NFL all pulled off upsets. The Dolphins (+10), Redskins (+10.5 at Carolina), and winless Bengals (+2.5 vs. Jets) were three of the seven 'dogs that won outright. A three-team money-line parlay on the so-called "Ugly Three" would have returned a payout close to 68/1 odds.

“The Packers, Chiefs, and Buccaneers were really bad for us,” said Station Casinos sportsbook director Jason McCormick. “But dogs like the Redskins, Dolphins, 49ers, and Broncos ended up being very helpful (to the bottom line). It was a solid Sunday with liability rolling into the Patriots game but it’s not gigantic.”



Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 15 years.

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