In a mismatch, Peyton Manning led the Denver Broncos to a win by fourth-quarter knockout. It’s never safe to leave it to the judges, because one might come up with a mysterious score.
Everyone could see this was no draw. Manning walked out — fortunately, without Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne — and dominated his little brother once again.
“It was like a rerun of something that you have seen before,” MGM Resorts sports book director Jay Rood said. “I was not really crazy about it.”
Rood was talking about Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his majority-decision victory over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Saturday night. It was a rather boring, one-sided display of boxing artistry. The veteran champion was so good, his opponent barely had a shot.
The so-called Manning Bowl on Sunday followed a similar script, minus an inept judge. Peyton passed for two touchdowns, Eli threw four interceptions, and the Broncos, 4-point favorites, bloodied the New York Giants 41-23.
The betting scorecard from the most hyped weekend of the fall shows four big winners — Mayweather, the Broncos, the Seattle Seahawks and the Las Vegas books.
The bookmakers won the college football game with the highest wagering handle Saturday, when No. 1 Alabama failed to cover as an 8-point favorite in a wild 49-42 win over Texas A&M.
The books also won on Mayweather and capped it off by beating the bettors on a majority of the NFL games, including the Sunday night finale in which the Seahawks put a 29-3 spanking on San Francisco, a popular 3-point underdog.
“Money was coming in on the 49ers, and I can understand why the public was favoring the 49ers,” LVH sports book director Jay Kornegay said.
Always beware of the public ‘dogs, such as the 49ers and any fighter getting odds against Mayweather.
The Giants were more of a wiseguy underdog, but the betting public was on the right side with the older and wiser Manning, who started slowly but finished with a flurry.
“The first Sunday was really good for us, and today we’re up a little bit,” Kornegay said, with all but one game from Week 2 in the books.
Underdogs went 8-6 against the spread Sunday, and four (Arizona, Buffalo, Miami and San Diego) were outright winners. The Chargers dealt the public the most severe setback.
Six days after looking phenomenal in the prime-time spotlight, the Philadelphia Eagles showed they were penciled in for the Super Bowl too soon. Philip Rivers rebounded from his miserable Monday by leading the charge in San Diego’s 33-30 upset.
“That knocked out a lot of parlays and teasers,” Rood said of the Eagles, who were 7½-point favorites.
The NFC East got knocked out, too, going 0-4. But at least the Dallas Cowboys, 3-point underdogs, managed to cover in a 17-16 loss at Kansas City.
Robert Griffin III helped the Washington Redskins dig another deep hole, this time 31-0, and again piled up impressive garbage-time stats in a 38-20 loss at Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers passed for 480 yards and four touchdowns for the Packers, 7-point favorites.
The standings show Chicago and New Orleans as the league’s luckiest 2-0 teams. But neither team is perfect against the spread.
Jay Cutler rallied the Bears, 6-point favorites, to a 31-30 victory over Minnesota. Drew Brees drove the Saints, 3½-point favorites, to a 16-14 win at Tampa Bay.
The books needed the Buccaneers and Cardinals in the afternoon, and Arizona, a 2-point ’dog, came through with a 25-21 victory over Detroit.
Denver rates as the AFC’s top team, and Seattle is the NFC’s elite side. Now, there is no doubt that the Jacksonville Jaguars rank as the NFL’s worst, after falling 19-9 to Oakland in the Toilet Bowl.
“The sharps came in on the Jaguars,” Kornegay said, “but the public hit the Raiders pretty good.”
The Jaguars are the proverbial turd in the punch bowl.
The Raiders opened as 14½-point underdogs at Denver next Monday, when the public will be forced to lay a big price to ride the Broncos again.
Peyton Manning, like Mayweather, continues to cash tickets. Which one is the bigger hit? Maybe that could be scored a draw.
Las Vegas Review-Journal sports betting columnist Matt Youmans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2907. He co-hosts “The Las Vegas Sportsline” weekdays at 2 p.m. on ESPN Radio (1100 AM). Follow him on Twitter: @mattyoumans247.