Late Manziel TD vs. Bama Costs Sports Books; NHL Stanley Cup Odds; 4th Quarter Covers; Books Win Again

a&m vs bamaThat late Texas A&M score cost sports books over $200,000

By: RJ Bell –
When Texas A&M scored a late touchdown on Saturday to bring the game against Alabama to within 7, sports bettors everywhere – even those without money on the game – understood it to be another example of the added excitement point spreads bring to football.

The game was already decided, but all the bets were not. Instantly on Twitter conversations began on the meaning of this late TD. It’s certainly telling that so many wanted to talk about the spread effect of that late score.

Clearly more than a few had bets themselves – but also many that didn’t understood that in 2013 you are not telling the whole story about a sporting event if you fail to discuss the gambling ramifications.

Respected ESPN writer Darren Rovell tweeted that one sportsbook director told him the late touchdown cost his place $200,000. At almost exactly the same time, I tweeted “Late touchdown gives Texas A&M +7.5 or better the backdoor cover – a win for Vegas since majority of action was on Bama.”

It’s instructional to consider how both of these comments could be true.

Most obvious, although many gambling novices do not understand this fact, is that each and every separate sports book potentially has different odds on an event. With a market like stocks, there is a single universal price. The question: “What’s IBM at today?” has a specific answer. The question: “What’s the Raiders line?” does not. Each sports book also has a different client base making bets. In the broadest sense, the clients of a sports book will collectively fall somewhere on the square to sharp spectrum. Varying odds combined with a different collection of bettors is a recipe for different results.

For the most part, the squares bet favored Alabama – while the sharps bet the underdog. Though not always the case, squares on the favorite and sharps on the dog is by far the most common scenario. So it follows that the late A&M touchdown helped MGM significantly more than LVH.

But it’s not always that simple, especially when the result falls within the game’s line range. Alabama vs. Texas A&M has been available for betting here in Vegas for many months, with the line opening at -6 at the Golden Nugget in June. More than a few sports books opened the game at 7 the Sunday before kickoff.

If a given sports book took significant money on the favorite at 7, then that sports book would be paying a higher percentage of dog bettors while collecting from a lower percentage of favorite bettors (the favorite side at 7 resulted in a push; sports books call this phenomenon “getting sided”).

Other complicating factors include teaser, money line and parlay action. For some sports books on some games, the most often discussed bet type (spread side action laying 11-10) is less than 50% of the overall action on the game.

As an industry reporter, my goal is to gather the facts around these many considerations, and report “the truth” in the most understandable way possible. I write a Vegas Weekend Recap each week for attempting to accomplish this very goal.

As a bettor, your goal should be to understand how the different betting clients for different sports books affect the prices they post, and thus your chance at finding value.

This is a reprint from



blackhawks cup‘Hawks look to repeat

By Sportsbook Share
Odds provided by

Odds to win the 2013-14 Stanley Cup
Pittsburgh Penguins 11/2
Chicago Blackhawks 13/2
St. Louis Blues 10/1
Boston Bruins 10/1
Los Angeles Kings 12/1
New York Rangers 14/1
Vancouver Canucks 14/1
Detroit Red Wings 15/1
San Jose Sharks 18/1
Montreal Canadiens 20/1
Anaheim Ducks 20/1
Washington Capitals 30/1
New York Islanders 30/1
Ottawa Senators 30/1
Edmonton Oilers 30/1
Toronto Maple Leafs 30/1
Philadelphia Flyers 30/1
Minnesota Wild 40/1
Dallas Stars 50/1
Winnipeg Jets 50/1
Tampa Bay Lightning 50/1
Carolina Hurricanes 50/1
New Jersey Devils 50/1
Columbus Blue Jackets 50/1
Colorado Avalanche 60/1
Nashville Predators 60/1
Phoenix Coyotes 75/1
Florida Panthers 100/1
Buffalo Sabres 100/1
Calgary Flames 100/1

Odds to win the 2013-14 Eastern Conference
Pittsburgh Penguins 5/2
Boston Bruins 5/1
New York Rangers 7/1
Detroit Red Wings 15/2
Montreal Canadiens 10/1
Ottawa Senators 15/1
Washington Capitals 15/1
Toronto Maple Leafs 15/1
Philadelphia Flyers 15/1
New York Islanders 15/1
New Jersey Devils 25/1
Carolina Hurricanes 25/1
Columbus Blue Jackets 25/1
Tampa Bay Lightning 25/1
Buffalo Sabres 50/1
Florida Panthers 50/1

Odds to win the 2013-14 Western Conference
Chicago Blackhawks 5/2
St Louis Blues 9/2
Los Angeles Kings 5/1
Vancouver Canucks 6/1
San Jose Sharks 8/1
Anaheim Ducks 10/1
Edmonton Oilers 15/1
Minnesota Wild 20/1
Winnipeg Jets 20/1
Nashville Predators 25/1
Dallas Stars 25/1
Colorado Avalanche 25/1
Phoenix Coyotes 30/1
Calgary Flames 50/1

4th quarter covers24th Quarter Covers – Week 4

By Joe Nelson

Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread in the fourth quarter last week in the fourth weekend of college football. Each week there are several teams that cover despite not necessarily deserving it, as well as other teams that played much better than the final score shows, get the details in this weekly column.

Clemson (-14) 26, N.C. State 14: Highly ranked Clemson had a battle Thursday night in a game that was rather even statistically. Late in the third quarter a touchdown allowed the Tigers to pull away, going up 20-7 and past the spread for the first time and the favorite cover seemed likely after Clemson scored early in the fourth to go up 26-7. They went for two after that touchdown and failed, a key play for those that had -14 on the game as NC State would add a late touchdown with less than four minutes to go to put the final margin at 12. After a failed onside kick Clemson had the ball back in great field position and eventually moved into field goal range but the Tigers opted to go for it on fourth down rather than kicking a spread-saving field goal.

Fresno State (-4) 41, Boise State 40: Fresno State pulled away in the third quarter of this huge Mountain West clash with a 34-19 lead with just a minute left in the quarter. Boise
State quickly scored after a great kick return to get within eight entering the fourth and then went on to take a 40-34 lead in the fourth quarter with back-to-back touchdown drives,
the second score coming after a Fresno State fumble. The Bulldogs answered to take the lead with just over two minutes to go after a 13-play drive and while Boise State got to mid-
field on the next drive, they came up short, though still earning the underdog cover.

Florida (-15½) 31, Tennessee 17: The Gators lost quarterback Jeff Driskel but still managed to pull away from the Volunteers, leading 24-10 heading into the fourth quarter and then up
31-10 early in the fourth. Tennessee added a touchdown pass to trim the margin back to 14 and the underdog held on as Florida missed a field goal and opted for a short punt in two
possessions in Tennessee territory in the final 10 minutes.

Pittsburgh (-4½) 58, Duke 55: Pittsburgh seemed to be in command with a 51-28 lead late in the third quarter but Duke hit a 75-yard pass play late in the third and then was within 10
early in the fourth quarter. Duke had the ball back but a 37-yard interception return touchdown seemingly wrapped things up for Pittsburgh, up 17 with just over eight minutes to go.
Duke was able to score another touchdown to get back within 10 and then they were able to get the ball back in good field position after a fumbled snap on a punt attempt for
Pittsburgh. It took Duke just three plays to score again, getting within three points with about four minutes to go in the game. Duke failed on the onside kick and Pittsburgh was able
to get a first down to run out the clock but the Blue Devils earned an unlikely underdog cover in a wild ACC game.

Penn State (-23½) 34, Kent State 0: Penn State dominated statistically in this matchup but they led just 21-0 entering the fourth quarter. A field goal early in the fourth put the
Lions past the spread and Penn State went on to add 10 more points late to pad the scoreboard. 216 yards for Penn State came on the final four possessions with the result in hand as
the yardage production was a bit misleading but the Penn State defense was impressive, forcing 10 punts and not allowing a drive longer than 42 yards.

Georgia Tech (-7) 28, North Carolina 20: North Carolina led 20-7 at one point early in the game but Georgia Tech slowly took over the game, eventually leading 21-20 entering the fourth
quarter and moving by the home favorite spread with an early fourth quarter score 28-20. The Tar Heels threatened to answer but a drive deep into Yellow Jacket territory ended in an

Notre Dame (-4) 17, Michigan State 13: This game was tied 10-10 through three quarters with a complete dearth of offense but Notre Dame was able to punch in a touchdown very early in
the final frame, getting past the spread that opened at -7 and came down throughout the week, eventually closing as low as -4. Most on the underdog Spartans still wound up winning
however as Michigan State hit a 42-yard field goal with less than 11 minutes to go in the game. There were seven combined possessions after that field goal be neither team even
remotely threatened to add points.

Stanford (-7) 42, Arizona State 28: Stanford was in complete control in this huge Pac-12 contest, leading 39-7 entering the fourth quarter. With some starters out of the game and
clearly letting off the gas Arizona State scored three consecutive touchdowns in the fourth to cut the margin to just 11 points and certainly making Cardinal backers a bit nervous.
Stanford was able to burn most of the rest of the clock while adding a late field goal and with little time on the clock Arizona State’s final threat ended with an interception.

Louisiana-Lafayette (-7½) 35, Akron 30: This game had some big swings and Akron took back the lead early in the fourth quarter to lead 24-21. With two touchdowns in less than two
minutes of game clock the Ragin’ Cajuns appeared on the way to a win and a cover leading by 11 but Akron scored on a 28-yard play with less than 30 seconds to go to flip the ATS

Middle Tennessee State (-3) 42, Florida Atlantic 35: This pair of new Conference USA entrants traded scores the entire game with the game tied 21-21 entering the fourth quarter and
with matching touchdowns in the final two minutes overtime was forced at 35-35. The Owls scored to force overtime with just three seconds left on 4th down but in overtime the Owls were
not able to answer a quick Blue Raiders touchdown, failing on fourth down from the 13-yard line, giving the road favorite a fortunate overtime cover.

Toledo (-14) 38, Central Michigan 17: The Rockets only led by seven entering the fourth quarter as a two touchdown road favorite. Toledo matched the spread early in the fourth and with
five minute to go the Rockets put in another score to get past the spread. Turnovers helped the Rockets greatly in a game that was closer than the final score indicated.

LSU (-17½) 35, Auburn 21: LSU dominated the first half, leading 21-0 in the big SEC clash with Auburn but the defense came out lacking intensity in the second half and Auburn made it a
game. Entering the fourth quarter the lead was short of the spread at 28-14 but LSU went back up by 21 early in the final frame. With about six minutes to go Auburn took the cover back
with an 88-yard touchdown drive and despite LSU starting in Auburn territory on the next drive a fumble cost LSU the opportunity for more points.


bookie moneySports book industry report – Giants’ debacle helps Vegas overcome favorite-heavy day
Bengals, Browns also boost bet shops

Many bettors ripped up their tickets on Eli Manning and the Giants on Sunday.

By: Micah Roberts


LAS VEGAS — Every once in a while, the Las Vegas sports books have one of those days when everything seems to go right, no matter how many favorites win. On Sunday the favorites went 9-4-1 against the spread, but with nine games featuring spreads at 3 points or less, picking the right mismatch was a difficult process for the bettors.

“It was a really good day, and we needed it after a rough Saturday,” said LVH SuperBook vice-president Jay Kornegay. “The morning games (1:00 p.m. ET kickoffs) all went our way, which
included our three biggest decisions of the day with the Bengals, Panthers and Browns all covering.

“It’s rare to see, but we actually won every one of the early games. It might have been our best morning wave of games we’ve ever had.”

The Giants were one of those short favorites the public loved, even though they were 0-2 coming into Sunday’s game. But after seeing them destroy the Panthers at Carolina last season
and reasoning that the Giants couldn’t possibly start 0-3, Giants money flooded in from the moment the Panthers opened as 3-point favorites last week.

The game closed Giants -2.5, and the sharps that moved the number took a bath and the public joined them, as the Panthers dealt coach Tom Coughlin a 38-0 loss, the worst of his Giants

The most one-sided action of the day came on the Vikings, who went from a 3.5-point home favorite against the Browns earlier in the week to as high as -7. The public’s reasoning was
simple: First off, they’re the Browns, and secondly, they traded their best player (Trent Richardson), and back-up QB Brian Hoyer is starting. The Vikings should kill them.” Of course,
the Browns won outright, 31-27.

The Packers had similar backing from bettors during the week that saw their line go from an opener of -1 up to -3 by kickoff at Cincinnati. The Bengals came up big late with a 34-30
win that sent bettors to the ATM to regroup for the afternoon games.

The real surprising part of the day is that one of biggest public teams over the past decade, the Patriots, didn’t see a lot of public action for their home game against the
Buccaneers. The Patriots were only laying 7 points, and ended up winning, 23-3, but the line stayed at -7 all week. By not covering the spread the first two week, thanks to some
growing pains Tom Brady is experiencing with his new receiving corp, bettors hopped off the wagon for a week.

But after the Pats covered Sunday, they may be back on board with them at Atlanta next week. But there is a lot of confusion about what to make of certain teams through three weeks.
The public loves the Broncos and Seahawks, but they’re not sure if they can trust the Patriots, 49ers or Packers. And even though the Cowboys are 3-0 ATS after beating the Rams, 31-7,
Sunday, the deep wounds left by the Cowboys the past seasons give bettors the feeling the Boys are soon to fail, a trap they don’t want to fall into again.

Splitting the later slate
The LVH split the four 4:00 p.m. ET games.

“The late games weren’t as good, but we didn’t give much back from the morning,” Kornegay said. “The Dolphins winning was a decent win (for us), and the Jets was a small win – not a
lot of people bet that game. But we lost with Seattle and the Colts.”

The LVH may be one of the few books in town that lost when the 49ers went down as 10-point favorites, which killed a large a portion of teasers and money-line parlays tied to San Fran,
but it was the chunky +400 moneyline on the Colts that sent that game into the bookmakers’ red-zone for Kornegay.

“We had a couple of house players that had some large money parlayed on the Colts, Browns and Panthers – all on the moneyline, in various combinations.”

Using the closing line from the LVH, a three-team parlay with the Colts (+400), Browns (+240) and Panthers (+120) paid out at just over 36-to-1 odds. Even if the parlays wagered were
as small as $1,000, that’s a pretty big hit, but it shows how great of an early session it must have been for the LVH not to have losses that fazed Kornegay.

Tough Saturday
As for Saturday, when college football favorites went 25-19 ATS on the regular board, none of the games fell Kornegay’s way.

“There were no upsets. We lost to the sharp players, the public and also to house players. With no marquee games, everyone was all spread across the board with their action.”

Only two of the underdogs won outright on Saturday, and neither of the favored teams that lost (Arkansas State -4 and BYU -7) did much to help the books out.

Books have favorite teams, too
Coming off a winning Sunday, Kornegay was pretty chipper and even wanted to talk about his Broncos on Monday night.

“I’m really concerned about losing (left-tackle) Ryan Clady. I think it’s a big deal – bigger than most are talking – and I’m hoping they can manage the situation somehow to keep the
great protection Manning’s been getting.”

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