Sports Book Industry Report

Sports Book Industry Report

Sports Book Industry Report – Patriots help books salvage a push in Week 4
By: Micah Roberts 
Sportingnews.com

LAS VEGAS - The Las Vegas sports books found themselves in an unusual position on Sunday night. After 12 games had already been posted, their fate was resting on the outcome of the final game between the Falcons and Patriots. The late game being pivotal to the overall outcome is nothing new, but the unusual part is that they needed the Patriots to play the role of hero.

"I think the last time we needed the Patriots to save the day was in 1983 with Steve Grogan, " joked Aliante sports book director Marc Nelson. "It's been a long time."

The Falcons had been bet up from a 1-point favorite up to -3 for their home game against the Patriots, and even though New England was 3-0 on the year, the public perception was that this wasn't the same dominant squad we have all witnessed over the years. Meanwhile, the 1-2 Falcons were in desperation mode with an offense still somewhat respected. After the Pats improved to 4-0 after their 30-23 win and may finally have bettors' attention moving forward.

The game also marked the first time this season the Patriots have gone OVER the total. Last year they went OVER the number in 11 of their 16 regular games and their high-scoring ways have been part of the allure the public has had with them. During the Tom Brady era, Patriots-to-OVER has been the most popular side-to-total combination with bettors. It happened for the first time this season, but not many had it.

The books were actually fortunate to be in the position they were in heading into the late game because somehow they dodged a bullet when their three worst possible decisions on the day went against them. The Colts 37-3 thrashing at Jacksonville easily covered the 8-point spread for the masses in the most lopsided one-way bet action of the day. Seattle's 23-20 overtime win at Houston covered the short spread (-1.5) and Denver thumped the Eagles, 52-20, to cover (-11) and also send the game OVER the total (58.5), which was the most popular side-total combination of the day.

However, it was the other nine games of the afternoon that fended off the mounting risk from the Colts-Seahawks-Broncos combination. Underdogs like the Bills (+3.5), Vikings (+3), Browns (+3.5), Cardinals (+2.5) and Chargers (+1) all won outright and eliminated any momentum bettors had linked in parlays to the most popular sides.

The Cowboys had covered all three of their games this season, but the public had been weary of backing America's team until Sunday. Sharp money was on the Chargers, but the parlay bettors that can do the most damage to a book were on the Cowboys. The Chargers 30-21 win now puts them in a select group of unbeatens against the point spread at 3-0-1. They're joined by Seattle (4-0) and Denver (3-0-1), with Miami (3-0) playing Monday night.

Overall, the favorites went 7-6 ATS, with all six underdogs that covered winning outright. Seven of the 13 games went OVER the total. The bettors didn't lose too much and the books didn't win too much. Week 4 was pretty much a draw.

Now the biggest task at hand for the books is trying to figure out how high to make the number on Jacksonville games. This week they are +13 at St. Louis, and then next week they're at Denver. MGM Resorts vice-president of race and sports Jay Rood said that game is already on his mind and that he's looking at Denver being -27.5 with a total at 57.

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