Updated July 14, 2021 - 6:36 pm
Las Vegas sportsbooks don’t always nail the line.
The over-under total on the WNBA All-Star Game moved 55 points Wednesday at one book before the game tipped off at Michelob Ultra Arena.
Circa Sports was the first book to post the total, which opened at 248½ before plummeting to 195½ as bettors pounced on the under.
“60 points off on the total but I nailed the side,” Circa sportsbook director Matthew Metcalf joked on Twitter.
The game went way under the total, as the teams combined for 178 points in the WNBA All-Stars’ 93-85 win over Team USA.
Metcalf said he simply made a bad number that was based on the past three WNBA All-Star Games. The most recent showcase, in 2019, totaled 255 points.
He didn’t take into account the fact that the matchup of the U.S. Olympic team and WNBA All-Stars — some of whom might have felt snubbed by Team USA — was expected to be much more competitive than a traditional All-Star Game.
“I didn’t stop to consider the situation,” Metcalf said. “I just wanted a number on the board, but was in a hurry and took a lazy approach. Though even if I realized the situation and that the teams were going to play defense, I would never have opened less than 210 probably.
“So, either way, I was going to make a bad number. Maybe just not a historically bad one like I did had I read a little.”
The other books followed Circa’s lead and posted similar totals. The Westgate opened it at 251½, and it dropped to 196½, while the total was slashed from 248 to 197½ at William Hill.
“Whoever put it up first made a traditional All-Star Game total, and everyone went with it, including us,” Westgate vice president of risk Jeff Sherman said. “The funny thing is people see it moved over 50 points, so they think we’re completely buried to it. But it was aggressive moves as the market was moving, and there weren’t really bets coming in. It really wasn’t a big decision for us.
“We had a little bit of money come in on the under, but we got more over money in the 190s range than higher up. I’m sure some people bet it back because there was such an enormous middle opportunity.”
BetMGM and William Hill reported a minimal amount of wagers on the total. In fact, MGM Resorts director of trading Jeff Stoneback said the book took only one under bet, for $500 under 237½.
Circa was taking $2,000 limits on the total, and Metcalf said it was a decent-sized decision.
“For a WNBA total, it’s big,” he said. “It’s not like an insane amount, though.”