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‘Bloodbath’ for sportsbooks as NFL betting favorites dominate

Updated October 17, 2021 - 9:14 pm

Once or twice a season, almost all the NFL favorites cover and the betting public buries the bookmakers.

Sunday was one of those rare, glorious days for bettors.

Favorites went 7-0 ATS in the 10 a.m. games and 8-4 ATS overall as Las Vegas sportsbooks got destroyed.

Caesars Sportsbook and BetMGM each reported multimillion-dollar losses.

“It’s a bloodbath,” Caesars vice president of trading Craig Mucklow said. “There’s going to be plenty of money to play with at Caesars, that’s for sure.”

The South Point, Station Casinos and Westgate SuperBook also suffered their worst losing day of the season.

“The book got absolutely crushed,” SuperBook director John Murray said.

Bettors cashed countless parlays that included popular favorites such as the Packers (-5½, 24-14 over Chicago), Chiefs (-6½, 31-13 over Washington) and Rams (-7½, 38-11 over Giants).

“This is one of the better Sundays I can remember for the players,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “I’ve seen more five-, six- and seven-team parlays cashed at the window than I can remember.”

Golden Nugget sportsbook director Tony Miller posted on Twitter that “this is just one of those days when I just wanna go home, lock myself in my room with a full bottle of Knob Creek.”

Dallas delivers massive blow

The biggest swing of the day, by far, was when the Cowboys rallied to cover as 4-point favorites over the Patriots in a 35-29 overtime win at New England. The game featured five lead changes in the fourth quarter and overtime, capped by Dak Prescott’s 35-yard touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb.

Dallas went ahead 26-21 with 2:27 to go when Mac Jones threw a pick six returned 42 yards by Trevon Diggs. The Patriots took a 29-26 lead with 2:11 left when Jones threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Bourne and a 2-point pass to Jakobi Meyers.

Prescott completed a 24-yard pass to Lamb on third-and-25 to set up Zuerlein’s tying 49-yard field goal with 20 seconds left. New England punted from midfield to open OT before Prescott directed an 80-yard TD drive as the Cowboys remained the NFL’s only 6-0 team ATS.

“To have Dallas win and cover and the game to go over (50½), it took so much for that to happen,” Murray said. “It’s still kind of hard to believe it happened. It was just a disaster. New England would’ve saved us, and we thought they had the game won.”

Mucklow said the result was an eight-figure swing at Caesars.

“If the Patriots would’ve won straight up, it would’ve been a great result for us, but the Cowboys winning and covering is a monumental result for the public,” he said. “They handed it to us (Sunday).”

Caesars bettors placed eight $500,000 wagers and won seven of them, including two on the Cardinals +3½ (beat Browns 37-14), the Vikings money line (beat Panthers 34-28 in OT), Colts -9½ (beat Texans 31-3), Bengals -3 (beat Lions 34-11), Ravens -2½ (beat Chargers 34-6) and Dallas ML.

“Given the size of the bets we take, when we win, we win big. When we lose, we lose badly,” Mucklow said.

The only $500,000 loser was on the Patriots +3½ in the second half (lost 25-15).

Popular underdogs

The three underdogs that won outright were popular public plays. The Jaguars (+3) snapped a 20-game losing streak in a 23-20 win over the Dolphins in London; Arizona improved to 6-0 in its rout of Cleveland; and the Raiders (+5) responded to Jon Gruden’s abrupt departure with a 34-24 victory at Denver.

“Customers could not get enough of the Cardinals all week,” Mucklow said.

Silver and Black lining

The Raiders and Ravens were the only winners for BetMGM and the biggest winners for the SuperBook, where the Broncos closed as 5-point favorites.

“Everybody kind of jumped ship on the Raiders,” Murray said. “All these wiseguys were on Denver and the public was on Denver, and the Raiders went out and got a great win.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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