Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! Most of us will get to enjoy the late fall long weekend with eating, napping, and sports. For those poor souls who have to work (especially those whose retail jobs interrupt the festivities), I’ll say an extra prayer for you.
There is a lot to be thankful for this year. For those in and around the Garden State, this is the first year of regulated, legalized, and readily available sports betting. Let’s take a look at how the books and bettors did last week.
Flying high with the Seahawks
The NFL has done well in providing marquee match-ups for the Thursday Night slate this year. Two Super Bowl winning QBs faced off as the Packers visited the Seahawks last week. The public gave the Seahawks the slight edge but was very keen on the over around 49.
Russell Wilson provided the late heroics for the 12th Man. He also made winners out of those holding over tickets with the 27-24 win. William Hill saw 75% of the public cash on the over. The game ended with a 3-point win, meaning a push for spread players.
PlaySugarHouse noted the game was also a win for their players. It was one of their most popular games of the weekend.
Mixed Sunday for books
For the second week in a row, some upsets sent players home unhappy. At William Hill, two of the heaviest-bet spread favorites, Carolina and Atlanta, both lost outright. The Panthers earned 80% of the public money but fell in Detroit.
The other 80% spread earner was Houston, who defeated Washington but only by two, missing the spread by one point.
The public caught some breaks in late pushes. Pittsburgh’s last-second four-point win meant the 60% of bettors who backed them wouldn’t lose. Same with the 79% of fans who took the Giants and a field goal at home against Tampa.
The bettors did have some good fades this week. While the Colts were slightly favored at home, they earned 67% of the spread money and demolished Tennessee. The public also correctly backed Cincinnati and Denver to cover on the road.
The big late game was the Eagles-Saints. Fans backed New Orleans to big wins at Hill and FanDuel. FanDuel has moved the Saints to top choice to win the Super Bowl at +310.
Fast times at the LA Coliseum
When the early speculation started for the Chiefs-Rams game to set records for total in an NFL game (at least going back to 1986, which is I guess when people started writing this down), I had one major concern: could the high altitudes slow down the high-octane offenses?
Well, questionable field management at Estadio Azteca forced the NFL to move the game to Cali. That sent the over/under higher than house prices in the Hills.
The bettors can be suckered but this seemed like a historic easy play. Both teams can score at will but neither one seemed to defend at all.
The talk across America was this magic number, hovering around 63. The players went for it. However, those who tried to get in early at FanDuel had their bets voided after the book canceled any action before the venue change.
The public took the over, 69% at William Hill, and also faded the Chiefs getting three. The scoring began early and almost didn’t stop. 23-23 at the half. Two defensive scores by the Rams. Six TDs thrown by KC’s Patrick Mahomes. In the city known for producing blockbuster spectacles, this made for quite a night at the Coliseum.
The Rams scored late and corralled two picks to win 54-51. 105 points. The first time both teams eclipsed 50 points in a single NFL game. Remarkable. A win for the over and a push on the spread.
You can’t script this stuff.