October is probably the most fun month for sports fans. Playoff baseball, college football turns to the conference schedule and the start of the NHL season. At the books, the NFL is still the big attraction. Week 5 brought more wild finishes. Let’s take a look at the action.
Holiday for the books
Overall it was a good week for the books. It started with the Khabib Nurmagomedov win over Conor McGregor in the UFC 229 Main Event. If there was any doubt that big events would drive traffic in the retail locations, Saturday night hopefully helped put those to rest.
Ocean Resort in Atlantic City tweeted a pic (that’s since been deleted) of its William Hill sportsbook during the main event. It was beyond single room occupancy. It looked like Penn Station in NYC during the evening rush. That’s without any train service from Philadelphia and the suburbs. Since opening, that looked like the biggest crowd they’ve had for one evening.
The public missed on many of the games Sunday. In the early window, the only winner was Pittsburgh at home, routing the Falcons, after late money flipped the game. Late money also successfully went towards Buffalo and Kansas City (who had far more tickets but still lost the public money battle to the visiting Jags).
In the late games, the public flipped the spread towards the Cardinals in the day’s biggest shift. They were rewarded as Josh Rosen led his team to its first victory in 2018 at San Francisco. However, the Rams’ narrow win in Seattle was a big victory for William Hill.
Sunday night saw a split between Houston and Dallas, with a slight edge to the Texans. The game saw Houston win in OT by three, right at the number.
Monday night saw the public money give a slight edge to Washington to cover, although more tickets went towards New Orleans. Again, late money helped close that gap from Thursday. The heavy favorite garnered far more money in the moneyline pool but the underdogs sold more tickets. Only the over drew more tickets and money.
Fans of shorter vigs
Last week, we reported that PlaySugarHouse has shortened its vig on spreads and total bets for gameday action. For those who wait, the prices will drop from -110 to -107, -105, or better, pending the leanings. This makes SugarHouse the only book in the NJ market currently offering less than 20-cent vigs consistently.
However, FanDuel took a step toward the competition by offering shorter vigs for the NY teams’ spread bets. The Giants were even money to cover the +6.5 (which they did) while the Jets were -105 at home against the Broncos (they won outright).
While the Giants managed to beat the spread, they lost on a historic field goal by Graham Gano. That swung the ML bet in the Giants-Panthers game, which jumped to +400 after New York completed the late comeback.
Like William Hill, the Seahawks helped a big weekend for FanDuel, while late money made KC the biggest public winner.
Thursday Night special
Eagles-Giants has been a fierce rivalry over the decades but it’s fairly civil (especially compared to how much each base hates Dallas). This Thursday night fans will watch their teams play a weeknight game at Metlife Stadium.
For those at Ocean Resort in Atlantic City, they’ll be joined by Sean Landeta, the former NFL punter who played over eight seasons with Big Blue and four with the Birds over a 20-year career. No advance tickets needed apparently. Just stop by and meet Sean.