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Las Vegas Dominated the Gamblers During NFL Week 1

September 8, 2014

If you bet big on the favorites you probably lost big this weekend. In 2013, it was the favorites that covered frequently in the NFL. Through Sunday’s games, only 3 out of 13 favorites covered. That’s bad news for the sports bettors that took the favorites. They are going to have to make up for it this week. Those that bet big on the underdogs are celebrating today.

According to Golden Nugget sportsbook director Tony Miller this was the best opening weekend his sportsbook has ever seen. It wasn’t just Golden Nugget that cashed in big off the gamblers this weekend. Every sportsbook in Las Vegas apparently made money.

Enticing Lines on the Favorites

Unfortunately, many lost money this weekend betting on NFL games. Why did so many people bet big on the favorites? There are a couple of likely reasons. First off, last year’s favorites faired so well that it made sense for the general public to hop on the bandwagon.

The other reason is because there were some enticing lines on favorites. Take the New Orleans (-3) versus Atlanta game as a prime example. The Saints are considered a favorite to win the Super Bowl. The Falcons are coming off a complete disaster of a season and are not considered a contender. Therefore, a 3-point spread on New Orleans was quite enticing. As you probably know, Atlanta won by a field goal in overtime.

Denver was a 9-point favorite at home against Indianapolis. The Broncos cruised through the regular season last year and routinely blew out opponents at home. Denver had to hold on to win by 7, but they didn’t cover the spread. Most bettors probably figured Denver was a lock to win by 10+. That, as you know, wasn’t the case.

With Cam Newton out, the Carolina Panthers were a 5-point underdog at Tampa Bay. Newton’s injury caused people to assume Carolina can’t possibly win without him. What they forgot to take into consideration was Tampa Bay is a horrible football team. Carolina won the game and cost some sports bettors money.

St. Louis was a home favorite (-3) against the Minnesota Vikings. St. Louis was never in the game. Minnesota completely exposed St. Louis on both sides of the ball. Had Sam Bradford played, the result would have been the same. Yes, the Vikings were mediocre last year, but they look to be much improved. I don’t think many people expected that performance.

Public Was Correct in the Cowboys/49ers Game

cowboys-ninersOne of the few games the public beat the sportsbook was the San Francisco-Dallas game. San Francisco was a 3.5-point favorite and most of the money was on the 49ers side. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Dallas received tons of criticism from the media in the off-season, which usually results in the general public betting against that team. San Francisco won 28-17, covering the spread. It was an impressive performance by Jim Harbaugh’s squad. Along with Seattle, they clearly appear to be the best teams in the NFL at this point.