Tim Fuller, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Marvin Jones.
- Week 3 was a roller coaster ride for both bettors and bookmakers.
- Kansas City and the LA Rams provided big wins for the public while Tennessee and Buffalo helped the sportsbooks.
- In the end, the house won thanks to the Lions' outright win over the Patriots on Sunday Night Football.
Week 3 of the NFL is in the books and South Point Sportsbook supervisor Tim Fitzgerald summed it up perfectly.
“It was like watching an episode of Game of Thrones,” Fitzgerald joked. “By the end you’re looking around like, ‘What just happened?’ That was the NFL this week. Nobody was safe.”
Oftentimes, it’s pretty easy to guess which games went to the house and which results favored the players. Week 3 was different. Results varied around town and there were some big winners and very big losers on both sides of the window.
You’d think that Buffalo’s shocking win as a 16.5-point underdog in Minnesota was a huge boost for the house, but a smattering of Bills moneyline tickets dented the bottom lines at South Point and William Hill.
“With Minnesota, we actually needed the Vikings to win and not cover,” Fitzgerald explained. “The handful of Buffalo money line tickets at 10-1 (and 11-1 at kickoff) really hurt us for the game but thankfully not the day.”
According to their stats, William Hill took 255 money line bets on Buffalo at 10-1 with the largest wager being $1,000. As you can imagine that will offset any profit very quickly.
Some of the other books, however, were thrilled with how that game played out, including the Westgate where an old friend popped up.
The infamous “Duffel Bag Boy” made an appearance at the South Point and Westgate this weekend. Fitzgerald confirmed he cashed a nice $30,000 bet from Saturday’s Buffalo-Rutgers game taking Buffalo -5 for an easy cover.
However, he got killed rolling the approximately $57,000 winnings over into the Vikings at -17 and making $5,000 parlays that all included Minnesota. Not good for him.
At the Westgate, a player who made a big bet on the over in the Rams game made out “very well” according to Cameron Coombs, supervisor at the Westgate SuperBook. “He did very well in his $5,000 parlays too,” Coombs said without confirming which games were actually bet.
The Mirage Sports Book (the flagship sportsbook for MGM) reported doing very well on the Vikings game.
“That was our biggest winner of the day,”Jeff Stonebeck, the outfit’s sportsbook director said. “We had a ton of parlays and teasers on the Vikings and the public was laying the 16.5 points with the Vikings all day.”
William Hill reported a bettor lost an $18,000 moneyline wager on Minnesota (to win $1,000) and a Westgate player bet $9,000 on the money line that would have paid $450.
This was the second straight week that underdogs came out ahead. Last week seven underdogs won outright, this week the pups went 8-6 against the spread with six outright wins.
There were 12 two-team money line parlays that cashed at over 50-1 at William Hill.
The biggest two-team liability on that wager at South Point was much less according to Fitzgerald. “Our biggest Titans-Bills two teamer was a $2.50 bet to win $150. We got off lucky there,” he said.
At the MGM one player’s pockets got packed thanks to the Saints. He won a six-figure moneyline bet on New Orleans in their 43-47 win. This bettor wasn’t alone, as the MGM got crushed by that result.
“This game was probably the worst game of the season for us with that outcome,” said Stonebeck.
Even with the up-and-down day, the books were bailed out in primetime. As expected bettors loaded up on New England, which closed as a 7-point favorite against the Lions.
It made sense to back the Pats since they rarely lose two games in a row, but unfortunately for the betting public they looked about as lost as Josh Gordon did on the sidelines.
“It went from a decent day to a great day for the books with the Lions winning outright,” Stonebeck concluded.
Coombs at the Westgate SuperBook backed up that sentiment.
“While we only had a solid day after getting beat up on the Rams Over 48 bet from a big player [as reported last Friday], our largest profit came from the Patriots game. After all of the upsets during the day everyone assumed there was no way New England was going to lose. This was great for our book because we had more tickets written on this game than any other throughout the day.”
Fitzgerald took it one step further.
“The only way we get out for the day was Detroit money line and under. It worked out perfectly. It just goes to show you, you just never know in the NFL. The Lions saved our weekend!”