Mark D. Smith, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Kyler Murray.
- Saturday was one of the biggest college football days ever for sportsbooks in Las Vegas.
- Oklahoma and Clemson both failed to cover, providing a huge win for books and killing a huge bet by "Duffel Bag Boy."
Every September, it’s the same thing in Las Vegas. Once the NFL kicks off, all attention shifts its focus to football.
Sundays are easily the most important day for the books, so when a sportsbook manager says a different day of the week was a big one, it’s hard not to raise an eyebrow and lean in like we’re in an old E.F Hutton commercial.
According to John Murray, manager of the sportsbook at the Westgate Las Vegas, it was one of the best college football days he could remember as a couple of key favorites (Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Clemson) did not cover the spread.
“We had a great overall day, one of our best college days ever, in fact,” Murray explained. “We had some big house players lay big money on Memphis (-7) against Navy. They even bet — and lost — on Memphis second half. Colorado State beating Arkansas was another huge win, and we also won big on Clemson. In fact, if Clemson lost straight-up to Texas A&M, it might have been the biggest Saturday our book has ever had!”
The backdoor cover by UCLA in the Oklahoma game killed some big tickets. “Duffel Bag Boy” took a beating with Oklahoma as the infamous gambler had six figures on the Sooners at William Hill.
Tim Fitzgerald, supervisor at the South Point Sportsbook, was also pleased with how Saturday went, but also said that the South Point didn’t make out as well as the other outfits did.
“It was very good for us, but unlike other books who had near-record days, ours was just good,” Fitzgerald said. “Clearly UCLA covering late vs. Oklahoma helped us a lot, but some of our biggest action was from the sharp bettors who bet big on Eastern Michigan (won straight-up against Purdue) and Tulsa (covered against Texas).”
Clearly players were focused pretty hard on Week 1 in the NFL considering the fact that sportsbook managers weren’t disappointed that both Ohio State and Alabama covered fairly easily. In fact, they didn’t even mention how those games affected their bottom lines.
Hurricane Florence could cause a bunch of college games to be canceled on Saturday, so be sure to keep an eye on this page.
According to Nick Bogdanovich, the director of trading at William Hill, a couple of key teams could have their season win total bets canceled. West Virginia is trying to reschedule its game against N.C. State, but on the outside chance the Mountaineers cannot reschedule the game, the season total wager becomes NO ACTION and you will be refunded your money as a result.
This is significant because Bogdanovich notes that West Virginia had one of the most heavily bet totals for the season. Their rule states that ALL games scheduled MUST be played or it results in a refund.