Besides a Super Bowl, multiple Las Vegas bookmakers couldn’t recall a bigger win on a football game than they had Saturday night on the Titans’ titanic 28-12 upset of the Ravens.
MGM Resorts sportsbook, which took a $420,000 money line bet on Baltimore (-420), and Caesars Entertainment each reported seven-figure wins. William Hill also had a huge win. CG Technology and the Westgate each reported mid-six figure wins.
“(Sunday) was a different story,” Westgate vice president Jay Kornegay said. “You’ve got two favorites covering and two overs. That’s a recipe for disaster for the books.
“But the good thing is we only gave back about half what we won (Saturday).”
Three out of four ain’t bad
The Chiefs stormed back from a 24-0 second-quarter deficit Sunday to beat the Texans 51-31 and easily cover the 10-point spread.
The Packers held off the Seahawks in the late game, winning 28-23 and covering for most bettors as 4- to 4½-point favorites when Russell Wilson was sacked on a two-point conversion try with 9:33 left. Some bettors had to settle for a push after the line closed at 5 at several books.
The 49ers covered as 7-point favorites Saturday in a 27-10 victory over the Vikings.
“Three of the four favorites won and covered, yet overall it was a winning weekend for the industry (because of Baltimore’s loss),” Sunset Station sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said.
Conference championship lines
Even when Houston took a 24-0 lead over K.C. — which was a 3-1 in-play money line underdog at the time — there was no discussion at Las Vegas books of a line on a possible Texans-Titans AFC title game.
“Someone said ‘If it’s the Titans and the Texans, are they going to play on Thursday night?’” Kornegay quipped.
The Westgate opened the Chiefs as 9½-point home favorites in the AFC championship over the Titans, who clipped K.C. 35-32 as 5½-point home underdogs Nov. 10. The line quickly dipped to 7 before ticking back up to 7½.
“The line went down to 7 pretty quick. We were a little surprised at that,” Kornegay said. “Kansas City dominated three quarters of that game. That was a very solid comeback.
“The Titans are the hottest team in the league. There were a few bets on them, but then the market opened lower and within a short time everyone was at 7½. I would expect that thing to go back up. There are some dead numbers between 7½ and 9½. It’s not really a big deal.”
The Niners opened as 7-point home favorites in the NFC title game over the Packers, who were whipped 37-8 at San Francisco on Nov. 24 as 3-point underdogs.
“We had anywhere from 6½ to 7½. I wouldn’t be surprised if it got to 7½,” Kornegay said. “The Packers really haven’t been a favorite of sharps. Even though they finished the season strong, they still didn’t get a lot of respect.”
Tailing a whale
The same big bettor at MGM Resorts that cashed about $500,000 on college bowl games and wild-card weekend won more than $1 million over the weekend on the NFL.
The gambler won $490,000 on the 49ers and $200,000 on the Titans through a variety of wagers on the sides and totals in the games and both halves of each game.
The bettor netted $45,000 after placing more than $1 million in wagers on the Texans and over. He won $400,000 on over bets and $100,000 on Houston (+6) in the first half. But he lost $350,000 in wagers on the Texans (+10) and a $105,000 second-half bet on the Texans (+7).
The gambler profited $300,000 on the Packers. He won $200,000 on Green Bay -4½, $100,000 at -4 and $200,000 on the Packers in the first half (-3). The bettor lost $100,000 on a second half money line bet on Green Bay and also dropped $100,000 on the second half under 21½.
“Overall the weekend was very good due to (Saturday). Lost a fair amount (Sunday),” said The Mirage sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback, who happens to be a Seattle native and lifelong Seahawks fan. “Seahawks make that 2-point conversion and (Sunday) is another good day. Was a high six-figure swing.”
Another MGM bettor lost $220,000 on four $55,000 straight bets on Baltimore (-10) and another lost a flat $200,000 straight wager on the Ravens (-10).
“It was probably the best non-Super Bowl day we’ve ever had for football,” Stoneback said.
The big bettor fired five $110,000 parting shots Sunday night on the 49ers (-7), Titans (+7½), Clemson (+5½), Clemson first half (+3½) and Clemson-Louisiana State Over 68½.