Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:55 AM

Bettors capture Week 14 win

There were mixed results around Nevada sportsbooks during Sunday’s Week 14 NFL action, but the majority spoke loud and a big congratulations go out to the bettors who stuck to their guns with their favorites (8-5-1 ATS) and had one of their few collective wins of the season.

“It was a horrible day,” said MGM Resorts sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback. “We had a couple of casino players do really well with the 49ers and Ravens covering. One of them had $300,000 on the 49ers and then we had five different $100,000 wagers on the Ravens that forced us to move all the way to -6.5 -120. We got some back on the Bills at (+6.5) even money, but not enough to erase the hole we had with the Ravens.”

The 49ers (+1.5) won a 48-46 thriller at New Orleans which coupled with the Seahawks 28-12 loss at Los Angeles gave the 49ers the NFC West lead and No. 1 playoff seed in the NFC with three weeks to go. The 49ers were one of the more popular public plays of the week and so were the Ravens (-6.5) who won 24-17 at Buffalo to keep the No. 1 playoff seed in the AFC. The Ravens have won their last nine games which explains their public popularity and the reason they’re the 3-to-1 favorite to win the Super Bowl.

But there had to be some better games for MGM books, right?

“No, not really,” Stoneback said. “Handle was light because of the (NFR) rodeo in town so we were kind of at the mercy of those large wagers we lost on to decide our day. We’re even getting beat on the Bull Riding nightly.”

Stoneback says it’s all about what bull the riders draw so it’s not always the favorites that win daily. As for the low handle, when the NFR is in town, they take over the rooms on the strip and they don’t bet on an NFL Sunday as a normal weekend crowd would.

MGM books couldn’t win on the day if the Sunday night game went their way, but it could have gotten a lot worse.

“We need the Rams because we took a $270,000 wager on the Seahawks,” Stoneback said prior to kickoff of the late game. “If Seattle wins it will probably be our worst day of the season.”

The Rams gave them a big boost in a dominant win ending the Seahawks five-game win streak.

Caesars Palace book director Jeff Davis said the 49ers was their biggest loser on the day and claimed the day as a ‘solid loser.” Station Casinos book director Jason McCormick got some aid with the Rams winning but said they were “still going to have a pretty bad losing day.“ It was the same story at William Hill sportsbooks.

However, there were a couple of books that didn’t lose Sunday.

“We’re about breakeven with a slight lean to the black,” said CG Technology sportsbook director Tony DiTommaso. “We’re lose-lose to the late game but our best scenario would be if the Seahawks and under came through.

“The Broncos winning (38-24 at Houston) was a good game but we had wise guys take +9.5, and +8 to lessen the win,” DiTommaso said. “The Ravens were bad with parlays, the Falcons (-3.5, 40-20 vs. Panthers) were awful and the Vikings (-12, 20-7 vs. Lions) were no good, either, nor was the Steelers winning (-1.5, 23-17 at Arizona). Our best game was Tennessee (-3, 42-21 at Oakland) just because of some late action on the Raiders.”

Unlike most books, CG bet shops did “okay” to the 49ers win.

The only Nevada book I know of that reported a win was at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook. VP Jay Kornegay said the Broncos were their biggest win (killed popular teaser plays), followed by the Redskins (+13, 15-20 at Green Bay), and Vikings. He also had another late surprise to flip the risk of a key game.

“We took a late $70,000 bet on the Patriots to make that game a solid winner,” Kornegay said.

The Patriots 23-16 home loss to the Chiefs (+3) was their second straight loss and it’s apparent Tom Brady’s offense is struggling. Rob Gronkowski, your skills are much needed.

What I took away with most during Week 14 was that if the Titans and Rams make the wild card round, I wouldn’t want my team playing them. The Rams receiving corps is healthy, their defense has upped their game, and Todd Gurley is getting a full load after being part of load management plan most of the season to have him completely healthy for the stretch run. Right now, the Rams are outside looking into the chase one game behind the Vikings for the final wild card with three games to go.

The Titans are going to be a nightmare for some team with QB Ryan Tannehill winning six of his last seven starts (6-1 ATS) since taking over for Marcus Mariota. With Derrick Henry going over 100 yards in his last four games, the Titans offense has been high octane and difficult to stop which has helped their last seven games go over the total.

The last thing that should be noted which has been happening all season is the inconsistent, or rather awful, officiating in the NFL. They can make a call on any play if they wanted in such a physical game but it seems like they insert themselves too much as part of the show. I want robots.

And then the reviews, wow, what a joke. Or how about the lack of reviews, such as when the Saints went for a fake punt and threw the ball downfield and the receiver was mugged for 30 straight yards while the ball was in the air. It wasn’t reviewable because they said defensive holding wasn’t reviewable but they didn’t even throw a flag for that. It was clearly pass interference, the very type of reviewable play instituted in the off-season because of the Saints getting screwed in the NFC Championship game last season.

Human error is part of officiating, but reviews do no good when we’re all seeing the same thing and a change of call isn’t made, or when something happens that was clearly wrong for all to see, but it’s not a reviewable play.

I’m with former coach Marv Levy when he made his famous statement captured by NFL Films back in the day when he was wronged and called a referee “an over-officious jerk.”

Yes, over-officiating is rampant, and at other times they get it completely wrong like calling Patriots WR N’Keal Harry out of bounds at the 4-yard line instead of a TD late in the game when he was clearly in bounds to any eye 55-years old or younger. The Pats settled for a field goal and soon after lost chasing that TD when a field goal could have tied it had the officials made the correct call.

I’m no Patriots or Saints fan, but wrong is wrong. More action, less calls, please. Let the boys play, or get it right with video evidence. And let’s get some full-time officials in the 30-to-45-year-old range.

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