The New York Jets beating the Cincinnati Bengals, the New Orleans Saints taking down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Houston Texans coming from behind to beat the LA Rams. These were some of the spooky upsets to take place in the NFL on Halloween, but they definitely delivered treats to the sportsbooks. After suffering through three weeks of paying out more than they were taking in, the NFL’s Week 8 performances turned things around.
Vegas Books Breathe a Sigh of Relief
Todd Dewey of the Las Vegas Review-Journal highlights in an article from Monday how Vegas sportsbooks (others across the country would have seen similar results) bounced back on Sunday after three weeks of nothing but pain and agony. Sports bettors had proven to be too skilled during that time and took the books to the cleaners.
Comments made by MGM Resorts director of trading Jeff Stoneback on BetMGM’s performance summed it up nicely, as the sportsbook reportedly saw almost a “multimillion-dollar” win in a single day. As impressive as that may be, he added that it still wasn’t enough to make up for all of the losses incurred over the three weeks, but it “washed out one of those weeks.”
Jay Kornegay, the VP of the Westgate Sportsbook, added that it was the “best Sunday of the year” for the operator.
What Went Wrong for NFL Bettors
The Bengals have had a decent year so far, heading into their game against the Jets with a 5-2 record and near the top of the AFC North. The Jets, repeating much of their nightmare performance from last season, were 1-5 before the game. This seemed like a sure-thing for sports bettors, and 90% of the bets placed on the game went for the Bengals. Cincinnati got off to a great start, moving to a 31-20 lead with only about seven minutes left in the game. Suddenly, the Jets came alive.
The Jets mounted a comeback that made the sportsbooks proud, ultimately walking away with a 34-31 win. That left football fans – and sports bettors – stunned, especially since the Circa Survivor contest had collected 871 tickets on the Bengals – at $1,000 each – to win, all of which were instantly dismissed.
The Jets weren’t the only team to help the books this weekend. The Saints took a huge win against the Bucs in a 36-27 upset, and the Rams weren’t able to contain the Texans the way they were expected. Houston went into the game on a spread of 16.5 points and had sports bettors happy until halfway through the fourth quarter. The Rams were 38-0 at that point, but the Texans mounted a run that gave them 22 points to kill the spread.
These weren’t the only games to give sportsbooks Halloween treats. The Carolina Panthers, the Tennessee Titans, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots all went into their games as underdogs, and all left the field as winners.