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NFL Sports Book Industry Report

NFL Sports Book Industry Report

NFL Sports Book Industry Report
By: Micah Roberts

LAS VEGAS -- One week removed from having the worst Sunday in Las Vegas sports book history, the books bounced back strong with what multiple directors termed “an above average day.” Unlike last week when every pivotal game went against the books and created massive parlay liability that exploded, the books won the games they needed.

Recreational bettors account for most of the action at the sports books, and they love betting the favorites. Last Sunday, the favorites went 8-4 against-the-spread, but that doesn’t explain all of the damage, because public bettors had significant money on two of the winning underdogs as well.

On Sunday, the favorites went 5-7 ATS, and only one them – the Broncos – covered among the four key games on the day.

Sunday’s most popular parlay wager was the Patriots (-13.5) against the Bills, the Lions (-3) at Minnesota, the Giants (-4) at Cincinnati and the Broncos (-4) at Carolina. The Patriots won but didn’t cover, and the Vikings and Bengals won outright as underdogs, two of four outright dog winners on the day.

The Broncos pounded Cam Newton and the Panthers, 36-14, but most bettors had them locked up with the other three key losers on the day, meaning the Denver win didn’t carry much momentum or liability to hurt the books.

However, this Denver team is going to be a thorn in the side of sports books for the rest of the season. Their rating has been rapidly adjusted over their past four games, but it hasn’t been enough. The Broncos have always been a public team, but now the bandwagon is getting overloaded. And why not hop on? They have covered the number four straight weeks, scoring 31 points or more in each of those games. In three of those wins, they went over the total, making 13-to-5 two-team parlay payouts a regular occurrence.

The Broncos are about as reliable a team as there is in the NFL right now, and as a bettor, that’s all you can ask for.

When the eight early games were complete, the books had wiped out all the major risk, with only four games remaining to get out of the day a winner. Based on what happened last week, anything seemed possible, but there wasn’t the same type of live parlays extended from Saturday’s college football or the early games. It was almost like the board was cleared and a new day began with the three afternoon games.

The bettors fared well with the Cowboys (-2.5) beating the Eagles, 38-23, and the Seahawks (-6) mopping up the wet turf with the Jets, 28-7, but they couldn’t get the 49ers (-13.5) to cover the big number against the Rams. The 49ers didn’t even get the win and were fortunate to get a 24-24 tie, the first tie we’ve seen in the NFL since the 2008 season.

The 49ers not covering eliminated any chance of major danger for the books leading into the evening game with the Texans and Bears playing on a wet field. The Bears were a 1-point favorite, and bettors’ opinions were mixed. Some books needed the Texans, others needed the Bears, but they all needed the game to stay UNDER the total of 38.5, and it did with the Texans winning, 13-6.

Beyond winning for the week, the real positive note for the sports books is that handle was reported up by a few shops, meaning that bettors came back heavy Sunday with last week’s winnings and upped their wagers from their normal weekly allowance.

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