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Morning results make books happy, bettors woozy


It was a Sunday of mourning at the sports books, and everyone who bet on Eli Manning and the New York Giants was in a foul mood before noon.

The sad-faced Manning was sacked seven times. He took a beating, and so did those who chose to back the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings.

Nine NFL games kicked off at 10 a.m. A few hours later, a lot of bettors were feeling sick.

“We had three major decisions in the morning, and they all went our way,” LVH sports book director Jay Kornegay said. “It’s definitely one of the bigger mornings we’ve ever had. We actually won every game. I can’t remember ever going 9-0. That’s kind of hard to believe.”

The Giants were pounded 38-0 at Carolina. The Packers, 3-point favorites, blew a 16-point lead in a 34-30 loss at Cincinnati. The Vikings, 7-point home favorites, were upset 31-27 by Cleveland.

“The Browns were a huge, huge game. We had an obscene amount of teasers on the Vikings,” MGM Resorts sports book director Jay Rood said. “The sharps and public were all on the Giants. Everybody was betting the Giants like it was free money.”

The Giants, who opened as 2½-point underdogs and were bet to 2½-point favorites, played dead and dropped to 0-3. Bad things tend to happen in threes, and the Giants’ effort was disgraceful, embarrassing and pathetic.

At the South Point sports book, Jimmy Vaccaro said the Packers’ loss was the best parlay result of the first three weeks and the Vikings’ loss was the best teaser result of the season to date.

“The Packers game was the whole morning, and it was a super result,” Vaccaro said, “if you’re on this side of the window.”

The books are enjoying a super September in the NFL, and it’s not just because the public is getting sacked. The wiseguys are not looking too sharp, either.

The top five consensus picks in the LVH SuperContest, a mix of 1,034 sharps and squares, went 0-5 against the spread in Week 3. The Giants, Packers and Vikings were three of the five, joined by the Falcons and the Rams.

If this continues, along with complimentary drink tickets, bookmakers should start handing out barf bags and Pepto-Bismol. But if it makes anyone feel better, the books are not winning big every day of the week. The bettors occasionally come out ahead on college football.

“The books really took a beating Saturday,” Kornegay said. “It was the worst day of the month.”

All of that hard-earned money was not lost Sunday. The bettors won a few games, choosing the right sides with New England, New Orleans and Seattle. Big favorites are square sides, by definition, but there are exceptions.

The Patriots, 7-point favorites, easily put away Tampa Bay 23-3 as Tom Brady passed for two touchdowns. Drew Brees threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns as the Saints, favored by 7½, crushed Arizona 31-7.

The Seahawks covered the most talked-about line of the season. The so-called sharp side was Jacksonville, which was getting 19½ to 20 points, but the Jaguars trailed by 24 at the half and fell 45-17.

“The smarts bought it back for a considerable amount at plus-20,” Vaccaro said.

Kornegay and Rood each said the public played the Seahawks — or smartly played against the worst NFL team we’ve seen in several years.

“I think I’m going to buy a Jaguars jersey because we’re going to be rooting for them every week,” Kornegay said.

San Diego played well enough to win, but flopped in the end again, maybe to honor the memory of Norv Turner. The Chargers, 3-point underdogs, were stunned 20-17 by Tennessee on Jake Locker’s 34-yard touchdown pass to Justin Hunter with 15 seconds left.

Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, 10½-point road ’dogs, shockingly dominated San Francisco, 27-7. The 49ers looked hung over from an Aldon Smith party.

Eight favorites covered, including Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and the New York Jets. The Cowboys are 3-0 ATS, and the Dolphins 3-0 straight up and ATS.

Pittsburgh and Washington dropped to 0-3 along with the Giants, who I bet on for the third consecutive week. Another big mistake.

The good news for the Giants is they face the Redskins twice. The bad news is they are playing second fiddle to the Jets and don’t get to play the Jaguars.

Las Vegas Review-Journal sports betting columnist Matt Youmans can be reached at myoumans@reviewjournal.com 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.