Sportsbooks Win Big, Futures In Disarray After Baltimore Ravens Loss

by James Murphy in NFL  / January 11, 2020

Heading into their Saturday Divisional playoff game against the Tennessee Titans the Baltimore Ravens had never lost as a double digit favorite. They were the only team in the NFL that could make that claim. The Ravens had also won 12 straight games this season. But as we’re so often reminded, the NFL is a league built on parity and on Saturday the Tennessee Titans were the better team as they upset the Ravens 28-12. Tennessee will now head to the AFC Championship game where they’ll face the winner of Sunday’s Houston/Kansas City game.

As so often happens in the NFL, the public took a bath and the bookmakers won big with the Titans shocking outright win. Adding insult to injury for the ‘squares’ the 40 combined points stayed ‘Under’ the 47.5 point total. In Las Vegas, bookmakers were celebrating with most major shops posting at least a ‘high six figure profit’ on the game. A few reported that it was their biggest win of the NFL season as the public backed the Ravens on parlay after parlay. There was plenty of in-gaming chasing of Baltimore as well making it a big payday for sportsbooks.

Most sportsbooks have indicated that the only downside of Saturday’s was result was that it wiped out their futures position on Baltimore. Since the Ravens got hot in the middle of the season, sportsbooks have been anticipating a surge of public money on Baltimore to win the Super Bowl and have been able to shape their futures market in a way that they would have made a huge score had that happened.

With Baltimore out, it has left several futures betting markets in disarray. The books likely were happy with the result for another reason–it eliminated the favorite for Super Bowl MVP. Lamar Jackson was installed as a +275 favorite at BetOnline.ag to win the big game honorific but that’s not going to happen now. The Ravens were also part of an interesting prop at BetOnline.ag that pitted Baltimore and San Francisco against the ‘field’ to win the Super Bowl. The Niners/Ravens entry and the remaining six teams were each priced at -110. Bettors that backed SF/BAL are happy because they’re still alive with the Niners but they’ve got them at a bad price since they could now get ‘plus money’ on San Francisco to win the Super Bowl.

James Murphy

James Murphy is a preeminent authority on the international gambling industry and has made frequent appearances in the mainstream media including the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Forbes, Entertainment Weekly, CNBC and NPR. He has previously worked as a radio and podcasting host where he broadcast to an international audience that depended on his expertise and advice. Murphy also serves as an odds making consultant for sports and ‘non-sport novelty bets’ covering the entertainment industry, politics, technology, financial markets and just about everything else.

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