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Sportsbooks Take A Beating On Final Sunday Of NFL Regular Season

James Murphy
by in NFL on
  • The public had a big week in NFL action as favorites won 14 of 16 Week 17 games.
  • Parlays, money line parlays and teasers all went the way of the ‘squares’.
  • 10 of the 16 games went ‘Over’ the total

There are few things more difficult to find sympathy for than a bookmaker moaning about a money losing day. This is particularly true in the National Football League, where sportsbooks bank profits year after year thanks to the huge volume of ‘square’ action. The public got the best of the sportsbooks in the final day of the NFL regular season with a number of Las Vegas books indicating it was the worst Sunday of the entire 2020 campaign.

Against the spread, the underdogs prevailed as they have for most of the season. Sunday NFL underdogs went 9-7 ATS to finish the year with a record of 137-111-3 ATS (55.2%) with five games closing at ‘Pick’. The sportsbooks caught a break here but the damage was done on the moneyline. More specifically, they got burnt on moneyline parlays and teasers. Despite the winning ATS day for underdogs favorites won 14 of 16 games straight up. And since the public loves to play moneyline parlays they cashed a lot of tickets.

As he does on every NFL Sunday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s betting reporter Todd Dewey spoke to a number of sportsbook executives and they all reported a ‘rough day at the office’. Here’s how Westgate sportsbook vice president Jay Kornegay summarized the carnage:

“It was the worst Sunday of the season. The general public had a heyday. They were cashing all day. The big culprits were parlays and money-line parlays, as every team that needed to win won (Sunday).”

Kornegay said that the worst result of the afternoon was the hometown Las Vegas Raiders 32-31 comeback win over the Denver Broncos:

“The reason why the Raiders game was the worst result of the day was because it was the last game posted, Everything was riding on that game, especially the money-line parlays. We needed the Broncos to hang on there.”

Kornegay wasn’t optimistic about getting any help from the Philadelphia Eagles against the Washington Football Team in the lone primetime game:

“We’re already in the toilet. Washington will flush it.”

It probably could have been worse. Philadelphia opened a -1 point home favorite but all of the money came for Washington who closed a -6.5 chalk and won by 6. At least bettors who took Washington at the closing number didn’t cash.

The Las Vegas Raiders made bettors happy in another way as they finished 8-8 with the comeback win and in the process exceeded their season win total of 7.5. The game also went ‘Over’ the total as have most of the defensively challenged Raiders’ games this year. 12 of the Raiders 16 games exceeded the total with 3 ‘Under’ and 1 push.

Of course sportsbooks will be open for business on Monday and will look forward to the postseason. Sunset Stations’ Chuck Esposito likes the way the Buffalo Bills look heading into the playoffs:

“The team to me that really has that kind of swagger and a lot of confidence right now is the Buffalo Bills. Kansas City comes in not covering in eight straight games. The Ravens are a dangerous team in the playoffs, too, but I really think the Bills are fast becoming a public team and are scary good in the AFC.”

There will be three playoff games on Saturday and three on Sunday as the road to the Super Bowl gets underway.

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