If you picked the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs to bet big on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, then I really have nothing more to say than “tough luck.” Really, I feel bad about it. I mean, even I thought the Broncos would win and cover the game. I didn’t bet on it, which in hindsight was a stroke of genius. But I was close to, that much I’ll admit.
Sportsbooks, though, aren’t as sympathetic, especially when you consider that just about everybody had the Broncos in some kind of singles action, teasers, parlays, and all three in some cases. That was the trend heading into the weekend’s games and a lot of books pretty much had their weekends tied to the game. A Broncos cover would be bad news and a Colts cover would be the best case scenario. No in-between.
As it turned out, sportsbooks walked away with huge smiles on their faces when the Colts turned the tables on the Broncos, winning on the road, 24-13, and sending Peyton Manning to a one-and-done playoff appearance. Some bettors walked out huge after betting on the Colts to win outright, but for the most part, the action was heavily on the side of Denver.
With the loss, books likely enjoyed the sight of one teaser bet after another drown in a public tears. If that wasn’t enough, the books also walked away on the winning side of the New England Patriots’ 35-31 victory over the Baltimore Ravens and the Green Bay Packers’ controversial 26-21 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Both favorites won the game but failed to cover, which was the best-case scenario for the sportsbooks. The Seattle Seahawks’ convincing 31-17 win over the Carolina Panthers was the only game that saw the underdog (barely) cover the spread, but even the action on that game wasn’t as big as the other three games.
All in all, it was a very positive week for the books and a disastrous one for the public. With the season down to its penultimate week, you can expect more action to come heading into the Championship round. If recent trends are any indication, you can expect the public to come out swinging this weekend because quite frankly, they probably wouldn’t have it any other way.