Las Vegas the big loser on NFL divisional weekend as bettors crush books

The NFL playoffs are going just like the regular season -- bettors crushed Vegas sports books again.

The Steelers' 18-16 win over Kansas City capped a brutal weekend for bookmakers, with William Hill suffering the biggest single-day loss in company history.

The company's 108 Nevada sportsbooks lost "seven figures" as the underdog Packers and Steelers came through for bettors on the point spread and money line. William Hill did not get more specific on its loss.

In Sunday's NFC game, nearly 90 percent of the money-line action was on Green Bay. Those bettors reaped 2-to-1 payouts when the Pack won 34-31 in improbable fashion. The game easily cleared the Over/Under of 52.5.

"We had a ton of Packer money lines and a ton of parlays on the Over," Wynn sports book director John Avello told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "It was not a good weekend overall."

Saturday, the public cashed with the Falcons (-5) and the Over 52, and with the Patriots (-15.5) and the Over 44.5.

Books desperately needed the Chiefs to beat the Steelers to avoid all parlay and teaser liability built up from the first three games.

Bookmakers took a punch to the gut when the Chiefs' tying 2-point conversion was wiped out by a holding penalty.

Vegas bookmakers desperately needed the Chiefs to win. USATSI

"The worst game of the weekend for us was the Steelers," Jason Simbal, VP of risk for CG Technology sports books, told the paper. "There was so much parlay liability for the Steelers. And the teasers all cashed."

The weekend carnage continued a bad run for the books, which got killed on the College Football Playoff semifinals and championship game.

Clemson's 35-31 win over Alabama cost William Hill seven figures, MGM sports books lost high six-figures and the Wynn low six-figures.

In general, bettors have had the books' number this season. The public rode the Patriots (14-3 against the spread) all year while fading the Browns (3-12-1 ATS) and 49ers (5-11 ATS).

For the conference championship games, the Falcons are 4-point favorites over the Packers with a record total of 60. New England is laying 6 to Pittsburgh, with a total of 51.

Our Latest Stories