That’s Gonna Leave A Mark: Vegas Sportsbooks Take Historic Losses On NFL Sunday

Chops November 5, 2018 856 Reads
las vegas sportsbooks

It’s said that they wouldn’t erect giant casinos in the desert if the public knew what it was doing.

For one Sunday, at least, the public massively proved that maxim wrong.

Las Vegas sportsbooks took historic losses on Sunday’s NFL games.

According to David Purdum at ESPN, Vegas sportsbooks lost between $7-10 million on Sunday’s NFL slate.  Given the modeling and advanced analytical information at bookmaker’s fingers, how did this happen?

Three games really decimated the books

Three public and popular picks made it a bloodbath for Vegas. The Minnesota Vikings (-5.5), Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5), and Kansas City Chiefs (-8) were all bet heavily. There wasn’t much suspense in any of those games.

The Chiefs as an 8-point road favorite particularly left a mark, with close to 90% of the action on them covering (they won 37-21, the outcome never really in doubt).

Purdum quoted Jay Rood, MGM’s VP of race and sports, as saying, “We were pretty much done at that point.” Rood also said it was in his personal “Top 10” list of worst NFL Sundays.

While three games created most damage, it wasn’t limited to just those contests. Teams that took the majority of spread bets went 11-0 ATS on Sunday. That simply doesn’t happen often (if ever).

Three weeks in a row of this

Even more surprising, this Sunday’s battering caps off a three-week run of losses for Vegas books. The losses stretched beyond the Silver State, as newly opened sportsbooks in New Jersey and Mississippi took hits as well.

“In a great weekend of NFL matchups, the players had their best week of the season as it was one of the worst weeks for sportbooks in recent memory,” said Mattias Stetz, COO at Rush Street Interactive, which runs PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook in NJ. “Our worst result by far was the Chiefs covering vs. the Browns. The Chiefs are now 8-1 against the spread and have consistently been outperforming oddsmakers and attracting heavy betting interest.”

The pendulum on these things tends to swing and eventually lands back in the sportsbook’s favor. September of this year saw record numbers for Nevada, with sportsbooks winning over $56M for the month.

Expect a market correction for November and some articles on TheLines about the public giving those winnings right back to the casinos.

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