Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:55 AM

Public grabs win in Week 16

Sportsbook Betting Recap - Week 16

NFL Week 16 favorites went 7-5 against-the-spread in Sunday’s action making it a two straight week favorite trend after underdogs dominated most of the season. There were mixed results across Nevada sportsbooks with the most important result needing the Bears to cover +7 at home against the Chiefs.

Final score: Chiefs 26, Bears 3.

“We got sharp money on the Chiefs pushing us up to -7, and it was also a popular public play. So we’ve got a 6-to-1 ratio in cash and 7-to-1 ratio with tickets written on the Chiefs,” said MGM Resorts sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback prior to kickoff. “It decides our day. KC will make us a loser.”

The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook opened the Chiefs -5 and while VP Jay Kornegay said they had significant risk on the Chiefs, it wasn’t enough to ruin their day. They showed a higher hold percentage than most.

The Chiefs win and cover makes them 5-0 ATS in their last five with all five staying under the total. It’s a winning 13-to-5 two-team, side-to-total, parlay for the last five weeks. Their defense has been sneaky good over that time and Patrick Mahomes has been elite. They’re clicking at the right time so we might want to be hedging some Ravens future bets about now.

“We had big losses in the morning games,” said Stoneback. “The Falcons and Giants got us in a really big hole. We had a player bet to win $150,000 ($165,000 wager) on Falcons -7 and also -7.5. But we got it all back in the afternoon with the Eagles being the biggest win of the day.”

Have you ever seen such a roller coaster of team ratings than what the Falcons are doing going 5-2 SU, ATS in their last seven which include wins at San Francisco and New Orleans? They aren’t the same team that started with a high rating and went 1-7 SU, ATS to drop rating. They fought back, give the staff and players all credit for the rebound of self-respect.

The Giants started QB Daniel Jones (Danny Dimes) after sitting out the last two games injured and all he’d do is throw for five TDs, including the game-winner, in the Giants 41-35 overtime win. The Redskins opened 2.5-point home favorites and the Giants were bet up to a 1.5-point favorite.

The Ravens (-10, 31-15 win at Cleveland) were part of the trio of teams most bet in parlays during the week that was the root for most books that do large public action losing or breaking even on the day. The Saints was one of them and so was the Chiefs. They all cashed.

The Ravens have won 11 straight. The Week 17 question is 'rest or rust?' with a long layoff bye to start the playoffs.

“Our worst game was the Saints,” said CG Technology sportsbook director Tony DiTommaso. “We needed the Saints (through Friday), but the weekend crowd with Saints action flipped our rooting interest. The Giants game also was no good.”

The Saints won, 38-28, at Tennessee closing at -3 (-120) after opening as 1.5-point favorites. At 12-3, the Saints keep themselves in the running for home-field advantage in the NFC.

The biggest underdog win of the day was the Cardinals closing +7.5 after opening +9.5 at Seattle. They would win, 27-13, handing the Seahawks their third home loss of the season. But all is still well because Seattle can win the NFC West with a home win against the 49ers next week. The Superbook has the 49ers 3-point road favorites. FYI 49ers, the Cardinals just ran for 256 yards against the Seahawks defense.

“The Cardinals win was a positive for us but it wasn’t as big a deal as it might appear,” Stoneback said of the biggest upset on the day. “We just didn’t have a lot of action overall because of the holidays.”

MGM books had the best Cardinals money-line price in Las Vegas at kickoff at +360. The next best was CG Technology at +340 while most others in town were +330. MGM books often have the best underdog money-line prices and Stoneback explains why.

“We have a few players that like to play large favorite money-line parlays so we’re trying to attract any kind of underdog money to offset some of the liability," Stoneback said.

The Eagles control their own NFC East fate after 17-9 win against the Cowboys. A win next week at the Giants (+5) clinches the division regardless of what the Cowboys do at home against the Redskins (+11).

“The Eagles was a monster game, our best on the day,” DiTommaso said. "The Jets (+155 ML vs. Steelers) were good for us all well, and believe it or not one of our best decisions was the Dolphins beating the Bengals.”

The Bengals, once down 28-6, made a furious comeback with 23-points in the final 6:11 capped off by a successful Hail Mary and then a successful 2-point conversion to tie the game, 35-35, and send into overtime. Insane stuff.

The Dolphins kicked the winning field goal as time ran out in overtime to win, 38-35, but for a while, it looked as though it would be the world’s slimmest way for a book to get middled. The Dolphins opened a 1-point favorite and closed as a 1-point dog. “A tie wouldn’t have been good,” DiTommaso said.

Quick observation from Week 16: The four worst rated teams in the NFL managed to produce the two most entertaining games on Sunday. The Dolphins, Bengals, Redskins, and Giants players all played to their fullest and never gave up, or never looked like the worst teams their records and data over the season suggested they were.

You know what else is wild? The Bengals securing the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft with their loss at Miami. The NFL Draft is in Las Vegas next season. The Raiders are in Las Vegas next season. A Super Bowl will be in Las Vegas soon. It was just a short few years ago when the NFL wouldn't allow Las Vegas to buy ads during the Super Bowl. The irony of it all, wait until an official NFL Sportsbook opens near you.

Seriously, the first Las Vegas NFL Draft is going to have the Bengals draft a southeastern Ohio kid, Joe Burrow, No. 1 in the draft. That is an amazing story I can't wait to see unfold for the former Buckeye that couldn't beat out Dwayne Haskins and then transferred to LSU where he won the Heisman Trophy during an undefeated 2019 season. And then he just might face his Buckeyes for the National Championship.

Week 17 of the NFL is upcoming this week and it is the toughest weeks of the season for oddsmakers and also the toughest for bookmakers. Who is resting players? Who cares the most? Information is everything. Be careful this week, my friends.

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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