"It was a great Sunday for the players," said Station Casinos sports book director Jason McCormick. "The Rams and Bills were our only winners out of the 12 early games."
Every book came into the weekend knowing they were going to have to knock down four keys teams: the Colts (-2.5 at Buffalo), Seahawks (-4 at St. Louis), Packers (-7 at Chicago) and Dolphins (-4 at Washington).
The books got half the games in they needed, which on a regular weekend would be outstanding and destroy lots of parlay liability. Unfortunately for them, all the other favorites that mattered covered in Week 1.
There was almost no interest in the battle of No. 1 & 2 draft picks at Tampa Bay squaring off where the Bucs were 3-point home favorites, but lost 42-14 to the Titans. This was one of the underdogs that covered, but nobody cared about it.
"It was a real good day for the public," said South Point sports book director Bert Osborne. "They're having a festive time on this opening day."
Natural instinct has the public generally siding with the favorites. Wise guys usually take the underdogs and more times than not, it's the books rooting for the same side as the wise guys because the public parlay risk is so great.
The perfect example of a game with bitter sweet results for the house was the Bills impressive 27-14 win over the Colts in Rex Ryan's Buffalo debut. This game has stood out since the first line was posted in April because the public absolutely loved it. They love the Colts to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, so winning at Buffalo in September with quarterback Andrew Luck seemed like easy money, and "they're only laying -2.5."
The sports books had to watch the risk grow on this game for the past six months, but on Sunday morning wise guy action came in on the Bills and the number dropped all the way to pick 'em. The books were happy to be balanced before the decision came in, but all the winnings essentially passed through the books and went straight into the wise guys wallets.
"We had zero win on the parlays today," said Osborne, "and we lost on the straight bets and teasers."
With so many favorites coming in, there was lots of live parlay risk going into the Sunday night game where the Cowboys were 7-point home favorites with the total at 52. Osborne said he had a four-way loser, with each side and total, and that the risk was morphing into something massive for the Monday night game no matter who won Sunday night.