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Nevada Sportsbooks Lose Big, Public Smashes NFL Slate

Nevada sportsbooks haven’t suffered a losing month since July of 2013, but after Sunday’s slaughter at the hands of “public” bettors, that 63-month streak may be in jeopardy.

After the last of 11 pro football games were in the books, public sides – a term used to describe teams attracting the majority of wagers on their respective games – finished off an improbable 11-0 run against the spread (ATS).

Predictably, for the Nevada sportsbooks which rely on carefully calibrated point spreads to punish the public, Week 9 of the NFL season will go down as one of the worst in recent memory.

Per reporting from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, sportsbooks in the Silver State finished Sunday in the red to the tune of a $7-$10 million loss.

Public Betting Proves Prescient to Pound Nevada Sportsbooks

The carnage began during the 1pm ET early timeslot, when four of the heaviest public sides all cruised to easy outright victories and ATS covers.

According to figures released by William Hill U.S. – the largest sportsbook operator in Nevada – the Kansas City Chiefs were the public’s biggest darling, with 91 percent of the book’s tickets sold to Chiefs backers laying the (-8) spread visiting the Cleveland Browns.

The Minnesota Vikings (-5) drew 86 percent of the action hosting the Detroit Lions, followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers with 76 percent of tickets as (+1.5) road underdogs to the Baltimore Ravens.

Three hours or so after kickoff, the trio of games produced comfortable victories and covers for public sides (see table below for full results), final scores which sent the Nevada sportsbooks scrambling.

In an interview with David Purdum of ESPN.com, MGM Resorts’ vice president of race and sports Jay Rood succinctly summed up Sunday’s early damage:

“We were pretty much done at that point. Disaster.”

Other public sides of note included the Carolina Panthers (-6) covering in a home defeat of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Chicago Bears covering as (-10) road favorites against the Buffalo Bills, and the Houston Texans winning outright as (+1) road dogs to the Denver Broncos.

William Hill’s data shows the Panthers (71 percent), Bears (65 percent), and Texans (65 percent) attracted a healthy majority of public wagers.

Bob Scucci – sportsbook director for Boyd Gaming – told Purdum that the public simply outperformed the market in an especially lopsided outlier:

“The public just nailed it. They had the big favorites – Bears, Chiefs, Panthers and Vikings – as well as the short ‘dogs (with) Texans and Steelers. And a lot of the overs.”

Reliably Lucrative Parlays Also Pay Off for Public

Patrick Everson of the sports betting outlet Covers.com reported another statistical oddity from Sunday’s NFL action.

As relayed to Everson by MGM Resorts’ sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback, the operator only suffered a “modest” loss on straight bets. Instead, MGM’s book took a huge hit on parlays running from two- to eight-legs in what he deemed “the worst NFL Sunday in my 32 years of doing this.”

Scucci confirmed the same results for Boyd Gaming, telling Purdum that parlays linking several public favorites on the same ticket killed his book:

“By the time we got to the two biggest games – Packers/Patriots and Rams/Saints – there were so many parlays alive that we were going to lose no matter what.”

NFL Week 9 Betting by the Numbers

Check the table below for a full rundown of NFL Week 9 betting action, complete with matchups, straight up scores, and ATS winners:

Week 9 Results (Straight Up and ATS)

Game Straight Up Score ATS Winner
Raiders @ 49ers 49ers 34-3 49ers (+1.5)
Chiefs @ Browns Chiefs 37-21 Chiefs (-8)
Jets @ Dolphins Dolphins 13-6 Dolphins (-3)
Steelers @ Ravens Steelers 23-16 Steelers (+1.5)
Falcons @ Redskins Falcons 38-14 Falcons (+1.5)
Lions @ Vikings Vikings 24-9 Vikings (-5)
Bears @ Bills Bears 41-9 Bears (-10)
Buccaneers @ Panthers Panthers 42-28 Panthers (-6)
Chargers @ Seahawks Chargers 25-17 Chargers (+1)
Texans @ Broncos Texans 19-17 Texans (+1)
Rams @ Saints Saints 45-35 Saints (+2)
Packers @ Patriots Patriots 31-17 Patriots (-5)