I am a terrible sports bettor. I’ve probably mentioned that before. Fortunately, I live in a state in which there is no sports betting available and I haven’t felt the desire to jump through the hoops required to bet with an offshore book. Thus, I can safely say that I did not contribute to the success of Nevada sportsbooks this year. According to David Purdum of ESPN’s “Chalk” section, Nevada sportsbooks are about to have their best football season of all time.
On pace for $5 billion in overall wagers
College football season starts in late August, but using just the months of September and October, as those are the ones in which the NFL and college football are going on, Nevada sportsbooks profited $87.7 million on football bets. Purdum says that even just a run-of-the-mill December will make this season the best-ever for the Nevada books, beating 2014’s record.
In all sports, Nevada sportsbooks took in $614.1 million in wagers in November. That puts them on track to break the $5 billion mark for the second year in a row. What makes that even more interesting is that about a quarter of the states now have legal sports betting, meaning that the proliferation of sports betting has not put a dent into Nevada’s success.
Sportsbooks should send flowers to the Dolphins
The lowly Miami Dolphins, of all teams, helped sportsbooks have a good final weekend of the NFL season. Using a little Fitzmagic, the Dolphins beat perennial the world beater New England Patriots 27-24 to prevent the Patriots from grabbing a first-round playoff bye.
The Patriots were 17-point favorites, making the Dolphins’ victory the biggest upset of the NFL season. It was the first time that future Hall of Famer Tom Brady lost as at least a 14-point favorite.
Lots of money came in on the Patriots. Scott Shelton, The Mirage’s sportsbook supervisor, told ESPN, “Patriots losing outright was basically the whole day.”
One bettor experienced heartbreak, as the Patriots were the only part of a five-team parlay that lost. The Packers, Chiefs, Saints, and LSU Tigers all came through for the Caesars customer. All he needed was for the Patriots to win – not even cover the spread – and he would have won $140,000.
William Hill told The Action Network that someone put $74,430 on the Patriots money-line at a crazy -1,600. The person would have only profited $4,651.85.
In Australia, the TAB sportsbook took a $50,000 money-line bet on the Patriots at -2,000.
Maybe a gift card to the Lions, too
The Lions covering against the Packers was also big for the sportsbooks. The Packers were 12-3 going into the game, coming off a demolition of the Vikings, and gunning for a first-round playoff bye and possibly the number one seed in the NFC. The Lions, meanwhile, had won just 3 games on the season, had a ton of injuries, and were just playing for pride.
The Packers were listless in the first half, but made a comeback in the second half to win.
Shelton added that in addition to the Patriots loss being huge, a Packers outright loss would have made the week “an all-timer.”
As a Packers fan, I’m SO SORRY the sportsbooks were let down a little bit.