Forget temperature scans and masks. Bettors should have their hearts checked and be handed towels when entering Las Vegas sportsbooks to ensure they’re properly prepared to sweat out NFL games.
Anyone who had the Chiefs in a teaser or money-line parlay Sunday can relate. Like the South Point bettors who needed Kansas City to beat the Chargers to close out an $8,000 six-team ML parlay that paid $34,552 and a $64,000 three-team ML parlay that paid $64,484.
All they had to do was watch the Chiefs, the biggest ML favorites on the board (-430), trail the entire game at Los Angeles before they erased an 11-point second-half deficit and forced overtime.
KC bettors then had to sweat out three 50-yard-plus field goal tries in a row by Harrison Butker before they could exhale.
Butker made an apparent game-winning 53-yard kick but it was negated by a false start penalty. He then nailed a 58-yarder but LA had called timeout before the kick.
Finally, Butker booted a 58-yard field goal to lift the Chiefs to a 23-20 win.
KC failed to cover the 8½-point spread but it cashed countless teasers and ML parlays on a day that saw favorites go 12-1 straight up (entering the Patriots-Seahawks Sunday night game).
“Clearly, the Chargers covering was a very good decision for us,” Sunset Station sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “However, we were really close to being able to knock down all the teasers had the Chargers won the game outright.”
Westgate sportsbook director John Murray blames LA coach Anthony Lynn’s decision in OT to punt on fourth-and-1 from his own 34.
“The game was over when the Chargers didn’t go for it on fourth down,” he said. “You can’t give the ball back to (Patrick) Mahomes.”
Bad day for books
With only one underdog winning outright — the Rams (+1½) beat the Eagles 37-19 — Murray said the Westgate had a bad day.
“We got crushed on money-line parlays. That’s all it comes down to,” he said. “We needed one of those underdogs to win. We have these weeks during the NFL season where the favorites are going to get you.”
The 49ers were on both big parlays at the South Point and the other legs were the Buccaneers, Packers, Ravens, Steelers and Bills. Favorites went only 6-7 ATS as the Chiefs, Steelers, Bills, Bears, Titans and Cowboys all won but didn’t cover.
Dallas, a 3-point home favorite over Atlanta, rallied for an improbable 40-39 win. But it was more a Falcons’ collapse than a Cowboys’ comeback.
Atlanta led 20-0 after the first quarter, 29-10 at halftime and 39-24 with 7:57 left following a failed fake punt by Dallas.
The Cowboys were 25-1 on the in-play line at that point and three William Hill bettors placed wagers on them at those odds. Dallas scored two TDs to close to 39-37 with 1:49 left, then recovered an onside kick and won on Greg Zuerlein’s 46-yard field goal as time expired.
“I saw Dallas do an onside kick and all the Falcons players were backing away from it like it was radioactive and it goes 10 yards and the Cowboys fell on it,” Murray said.
The Falcons were a big sharp play and they still covered. It was their largest blown lead since they blew a 28-3 lead over the Patriots in a 34-28 OT loss in Super Bowl LI.
Atlanta inexplicably went for two in the first half after going ahead 26-7.
“That doesn’t make any sense,” Murray said. “I don’t know how (coach) Dan Quinn hasn’t lost his job. You can’t possibly lose that game.”
Close, but no cover
Several other favorites blew double-digit leads and didn’t cover.
— The Bills (-5½) led the Dolphins 31-20 with 3:09 left. But Ryan Fitzpatrick drove Miami for the dreaded backdoor cover with a TD pass to Mike Gesicki with 49 seconds left in a 31-28 loss.
— The Bears (-4½) led the Giants 17-0 at halftime but were outscored 13-0 in the second half of a 17-13 win.
— The Titans (-7) were up 30-17 on the Jaguars in the fourth quarter before Jacksonville tied it on a pair of Gardner Minshew TD passes. Stephen Gostkowski booted a game-winning 49-yard field goal to bail out Tennessee and ML, teaser and Survivor bettors.
— Finally, the Steelers (-6½) led the Broncos 26-14 in the fourth quarter before Denver capitalized on a turnover to make it 26-21. The Broncos threatened to pull the upset late, driving to the Pittsburgh 15 before turning the ball over on downs with 1:51 left. James Conner then broke loose for a 59-yard run. But he was stopped short of the end zone and the Steelers ran out the clock, depriving bettors of a cover but cashing teasers in yet another NFL thrill ride.