Las Vegas Sportsbooks Had a Bad Weekend on Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers Bets
Las Vegas sportsbooks had a bad weekend, because the betting public picked a number of winning underdogs in the NFL playoffs. Those who picked the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers to win this past weekend came up big winners, which was bad news for William Hill, MGM Resorts, and Caesars Entertainment.
Bill Sattler, Caesars Entertainment’s director of specialty games, said the over/under bet on the Steelers-Chiefs game was the only saving grace. Sattler said, “Seemed like a blue-collar betting day with public parlaying, teasing and pounding money lines on Packers and Steelers. We salvaged the under in [the] late game, but another solid week for the public.”
Reports from other sportsbooks had the same theme. William Hill said it had its worst day ever in the US sports betting market.
MGM and WestGate SuperBook Losses
Jay Rood of MGM Grand said his company’s sportsbook took a bath on the underdogs, but the parlays are what really hurt their book. Rood said of the parlays winnings, “It’s just colossal.”
The same news came out of Las Vegas’s largest sportsbook, the Westgate SuperBook. Ed Salmons, the assistant manager of the Westgate, said of the losses, “Awful. Can’t be worse.”
A parlay requires multiple bets to pay off for the bettor to win. Because it has several working parts, the gambler is paid much larger winnings when a parlay hits.
Home Favorites in the Playoffs
This last weekend’s games put Las Vegas bookmakers in a bind. Teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, and Atlanta Falcons had the home field advantage and were coming off the bye. At the same time, they were hosting veterans playoff teams which were on a roll: the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Seattle Seahawks.
It is natural to make the home teams coming off more rest the favorites, especially became they usually (but not always) have a better record than the wild card winners. Yet a good case could be made that the Packers, Steelers, and Seahawks were the favorites in those games.
Betting on the Steelers and Packers
NFL fans seemed to view it that way. Two-thirds of the bets in the Chiefs-Steelers game were on Pittsburgh. With stars like Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell, casual fans and fantasy football owners were likely to bet on the Steelers. With the Chiefs led by Alex Smith, Spencer Ware, and Tyreek Hill, they simply didn’t have the glamour players to lure many wagers.
While the Dallas Cowboys has a lot of glam with rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott and veteran offensive stars Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, the NFL playoffs are full of rookies faltering under the pressure. With Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on a 7-game winning streak, many gamblers saw the Packers as a nice underdog pick. Parlaying that with a Steelers pick made a lot of sense, and it proved the downfall of Las Vegas sportsbooks.
Brian Yankelevitz and Russ Axelrod’s Packers Bet
The Green Bay Packers have been a windfall for Brian Yankelevitz and Russ Axelrod. Back in mid-November, the two men decided to pick an NFL team that needed to “win out” to make the playoffs. Each week, if their team won, they would roll their winnings into a bigger bet.
After the Packers collected their 8th straight win on Sunday, Yankelevitz and Axelrod collected $28,213.60. They began their lucky streak with a $300 bet.
Gambling $28,213.60 on the NFC Championship Game
Despite the huge profit, the two gamblers plan to stick with the original plan. The two plan to gamble the full $28,213.60 on the Packers defeating the Atlanta Falcons on the road to advance to the Super Bowl. If that bet wins, they plan to gamble everything on the Packers in Super Bowl 51.
If the two win on Sunday, they will collect $76,176.70. Their Super Bowl winnings would be more than double that amount, if the New England Patriots were the opponent.
Big Payouts for the Las Vegas Sportsbooks
Readers should not be too concerned for the Las Vegas Strip sportsbooks. They like the free publicity which comes when gamblers win big. The more wagers made by sports bettors, the more likely the casinos are going to win in the end. Thus, big losses like this last weekend are a way to remind people that gamblers sometimes win big.
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