Sportsbooks on pace for best football season ever

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The betting public doesn't exactly have a stellar track record, but the 2019 football season will go down as one of its worst.

From September through November, while both NFL and college football are in full swing, Nevada books won a record $87.7 million on football wagers. With an average December, 2019 will easily surpass 2014 as the books' most lucrative football season ever. (Nevada Gaming Control will release December revenues next month).

"It's been a successful season," Alan Berg, senior oddsmaker for Caesars Sportsbook, said Sunday night, with his shop having already secured another winning day

In November, bettors plunked down a record $614.1 million with Nevada books, putting the state on pace to eclipse $5 billion in total handle for a second straight year -- despite a dozen more states now offering legal sports betting. The books won a net $31.0 million in November, $22.4 million from football.

Indeed, it has been a tough stretch for bettors, but that leaves plenty of room for improvement in 2020.

Here is the final Notable Bets of 2019. Thank you for reading our weekly wrapup of sports betting storylines from around the globe. May 2020 be your most profitable yet.


• Multiple sportsbooks reported a winning Sunday in Week 17. The Dolphins' outright upset of the Patriots and the Lions covering the spread against the Packers produced the biggest wins for Caesars Sportsbook.

• The Dolphins pulled off the largest upset of the season Sunday, when they beat the Patriots as 17-point underdogs. It was also the largest upset loss of Tom Brady's career. Brady was 30-0 as an at least 14-point favorite, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

• In the Super Bowl era, teams favored by 17 or more points are now 153-16 straight-up.

• The upset was costly for a customer at Caesars Sportsbook, who saw a six-figure, five-team money-line parlay lose. The parlay, according to director of risk Jeff Davis, would've profited approximately $140,000 if the Patriots won. The bettor parlayed the Patriots along with the Saints, Packers, Chiefs and LSU, who each won their games.

• Bookmaker William Hill U.S. reported taking a $74,430 money-line bet on the Patriots at -1,600. The bet, which was first reported by the Action Network, would've paid a net $4,651.85.

• Australian sportsbook TAB said it took a $50,000 money-line bet on the Patriots to beat the Dolphins at -2,000 odds. The bet would've paid $2,500.

• On the other side, John Murray, executive director of the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas, reported taking four $1,000 money-line bets on Miami at 10-1 from the same customer. Caesars Sportsbook also reported taking a $1,000 money-line bet on the Dolphins that paid a net $9,500.

• The loss, which cost the Patriots a bye in the AFC playoffs, follows a recent surge of betting interest on New England to win the Super Bowl at the SuperBook. Last week, the SuperBook took a $15,000 bet on the Patriots at 8-1 and a $10,000 bet at 7-1. "Baltimore is actually our biggest winner of the teams that can realistically win the Super Bowl," Murray said. "That's obviously a good position to be in."

• "We had a nice finish to the season," Scott Shelton, sportsbook supervisor at The Mirage in Las Vegas, told ESPN. "Patriots losing outright was basically the whole day. If the Packers had lost, it could've been an all-timer."

• Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technology said it won more than six-figures on its futures markets, including season-win totals. "We won to ever division, except for the Eagles," CG Technology director of risk Tony DiTommaso said. "The Eagles were great on the season-wins, though. The Seahawks are going to be our worst."

• The Bears staying under their season-win total of nine produced the biggest win for Caesars Sportsbook. "That one was a monster," Berg of Caesars said. "We won two and half times as much money on the Bears as we took [overall] on the Falcons."

• Based on Caesars Sportsbook's closing season-win totals, 16 teams stayed under their season-win totals and 14 went over, with two pushes.

• Road teams finished the regular season at 139-108-10 (56.2%) against the spread, the best ATS mark for visitors in the Super Bowl era, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

Early wild-card round lines

From Caesars Sportsbook, Monday morning.


Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans (-3, 41.5)
Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (-5.5, 43.5)


Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (-7.5, 47.5)
Seattle Seahawks (-1, 46) at Philadelphia Eagles

College football

• After opening as low as LSU -3, the point spread on the College Football Playoff championship game was up to as high as LSU -6.5 to start the week.

• Approximately 87% of the early point spread bets were on LSU at the SuperBook, including a $55,000 wager on the Bayou Bengals placed shortly after the line was posted. "The public is going to be all over LSU after what they did to Oklahoma," the SuperBook's Murray said.

• More money was bet on the Ohio State-Clemson game on Saturday than has been bet on any NFL game this season at Caesars Sportsbook. Jeff Davis, head of risk for Caesars, estimated the Ohio State-Clemson game attracted roughly 15% more than the most-heavily bet NFL game.

• The sportsbook at The Borgata in Atlantic City took a $200,000 bet on LSU -13 before Saturday's Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

• Favorites went 4-0 ATS in Saturday's bowls. The betting public sided with LSU and Clemson and was rewarded, although there was interest on underdog Ohio State on the moneyline. Multiple sportsbooks went into the late game with Clemson winning by one as the best-case scenario. It looked possible as Clemson, down by two, mounted a two-minute drive and could have taken a late one-point lead with a field goal. The Tigers ended up scoring a touchdown and covered the 2.5-point spread in a 29-23 win. Davis of Caesars said Clemson winning by one would have been "enormous ... probably our second-biggest win on any football game of the year."

Odds and ends

• Boxing: The odds on the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury heavyweight rematch remain -110 on both sides at the majority of sportsbooks. Wilder and Fury, who fought to a draw in their first bout, will meet again Feb. 22, in Las Vegas.

"We have been mostly taking Deontay Wilder bets," the SuperBook's Murray said. "It will be a monster handle fight with action both ways due to the price."

• 2019 in review: Teams that attracted the most money wagered in 2019 at sportsbook PointsBet:

1. Chiefs
2. Warriors
3. Packers
4. Patriots
5. Bears