So far this season sportsbooks worldwide who take action on American Football are waiting . . . and hoping . . . for a solid winning week in both NCAA and NFL football betting. The fact that there has not been one week in which the public has lost in both flavors of football is astonishing. Last year the average player couldn’t buy a break until week 10 and the NFL is heading into Week 7 with players having two huge winning weekends out of three so far in October.
It not just the fact that many favorites have been covering, but who those favorites are. The top 5 college football teams have done exceptionally well for the players and Green Bay is at 5-1, ’Against the Spread’. New England at 4-2 ATS doesn’t help a books’ bottom line either. In addition, NFL teams that are losers this year and perennial losers alike have done very poorly against the spread. Miami, Cleveland and Denver are all 1-4 ATS. Totals have been no help for sportsbooks either. A quick look at the totals from this year find that over 70% of the NFL teams records are 50% or better on OVER. Buffalo is getting to be automatic having gone over the total in all 6 games this year. The Giants are 5-1 and surprisingly, the Colts are 5-1 also.
Parlays have been especially juicy this year. Every operator we spoke with has at least one or two 10-team or more parlay stories that have cost each book well into five figures. One operator told of a player who sent in $250 and got a 20% Free Play. This new player takes his $50 Free Play and puts it on a 10 teamer – and hits it! What a fantastic play by a newbie at this book! Other books have told us of an extraordinary amount of winning 4, 5 and 6 team parlays. Even the State of Delaware got their butt kicked last week when a player picked 15 consecutive correct picks of pro football game winners against the spread. His $5, 15-team parlay paid out the max of $100,000 at Delaware Park. The customer was the first winner of the 15-team parlay offered at Delaware Park through the Delaware Lottery since the parlay option started two years ago.
A manager at Badlands, one of the books that has been around since the inception of offshore gambling, told us that “bettors are winning at an unprecedented rate this football season”. He added that he “ hasn’t seen a start to the season like this in 15 years.” And this sentiment has been told again and again to us over the last several weeks. Now, more than ever, it is very important to know who you are playing with. Harltey posted in his Insider column earlier this year regarding the effects of a poor NFL season on sportsbooks that cater to U.S. players. “It’s inevitable that some of those operations will close if the NFL season isn’t lucrative.” This is one of the main reasons that we worry about newer books with a small amount of clientele.
Several books have had reports of slow Western Union and Money Gram payouts so far this year. This is generally not an indication of a place in trouble and after checking, these problems all relate to volume. The usually rush of payouts on Monday has caused a couple of Elite-rated books to take up to Thursday to get person-to-person payouts in players’ hands. Simply put, the huge winning streak that players are on has caused a backlog of payouts at almost every outlet. However, we still hear very positive reports on this payout method from players at 5Dimes, WagerWeb and YouWager.
The operators we spoke with and those at sportsbooks that we rate highly are not worried, instead using the sentiment that “It all evens out” over the course of a long season. They also realize that a lot of that money will be back for action this week with inflated bankrolls for most of the bettors and they all expect to see increased handle in the coming weeks. And bookies are not in the business of losing, so their numbers will begin to reflect the wining that has occurred thus far and players must adjust their football betting to stay ahead.