- Favorites went 13-1 straight up on Sunday’s NFL football card.
- This included an overtime win by the Kansas City Chiefs and an improbable fourth quarter comeback by the Dallas Cowboys.
- If there was one mitigating factor it was NFL favorites going 7-7 against the spread.
There’s a well known dynamic for sportsbooks taking action in NFL football: if the favorites win the public cashes tickets. That was the case on Sunday when NFL favorites combined for a 13-1 straight up record and in the process killed sportsbooks nationwide on moneyline parlays and teasers.
A report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Nevada books is likely indicative of how sportsbooks nationwide fared. Additional context was provided by the Week 2 NFL report at VSIN and the takeaway was the same–the big day for favorites winning straight up cost bookmakers a ton as the ‘squares’ loaded up on moneyline parlays.
Starting in Nevada, the LVRJ reported on some big moneyline parlays at the South Point: $8,000 on a six team ML parlay with a $34,552 payout and $64,000 on a three team ML parlay that paid $64,484. Both tickets needed the Kansas City Chiefs to win outright over the Los Angeles Chargers. In theory that should have been easy enough as KC was a -430 moneyline favorite–the biggest on the betting board.
It didn’t work that way and bettors had to sweat out KC coming back from a double digit deficit in the second half to force OT where they won the game on a 58 yard field goal by Harrison Butker. Butker actually made *three* 50+ yard field goals to put the game away: a 53 yard kick called back by a false start penalty and a 58 yard penalty where the Chargers called timeout before the kick along with the final successful score.
Sunset Station sportsbook director Chuck Esposito looked on the bright side, considering the fact that the Chiefs failed to cover as a -8.5 chalk. Even so, they came tantalizingly close to benefiting even more from an outright win by LA:
“Clearly, the Chargers covering was a very good decision for us. However, we were really close to being able to knock down all the teasers had the Chargers won the game outright.”
“We got crushed on money-line parlays. That’s all it comes down to. We needed one of those underdogs to win. We have these weeks during the NFL season where the favorites are going to get you.”
The story was the same at points East of Las Vegas. VSIN spoke to the Rush Street Gaming sportsbooks, William Hill New Jersey and The Borgata in Atlantic City. They all needed the Jets +7 over the 49ers but it didn’t happen. The Borgata had 95% of the tickets and handle on the Niners with 92% on San Francisco at the Rush Street books.
William Hill US told VSIN that the Kansas City Chiefs -9 was the biggest regular season handle that the company has ever had ‘by a mile’ and the Chiefs outright win over the Chargers caused a 7 figure swing at William Hill’s US books.
On the Don Best screen, the most one sided public percentage game was the Pittsburgh Steelers -6.5 over the Denver Broncos. 78% of pointspread tickets were on the Steelers to cover so the sportsbooks caught a break as Pittsburgh prevailed by only 5. 73% of pointspread wagers in the Atlanta/Dallas game came on the Cowboys but the ‘sharps’ had been hammering the underdog all week. Dallas opened at -6 but got as low as -2.5 at some books with most holding on the key number of -3.