The gambling public slammed the over when betting the Rams-Chiefs game on Monday night, and wound up costing Las Vegas a seven-figure payout.
- The Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs combined to score 105 points on Monday night, meaning a big payday for people who bet the over in Las Vegas.
- A spokesman for William Hill sportsbooks said that the game ended in a "healthy seven-figure loss" for the books, as almost 70% of the public bet the over.
- Jay Kornegay of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook told Business Insider that while pre-game wagers were fairly balanced, in-game wagering was heavily tilted towards the over, leading to a tough day for the sportsbooks and a great day for gamblers.
On Monday night, the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs battled in the best game of the NFL season thus far, with the Rams eventually prevailing in the back-and-forth tilt, 54-51.
Rams fans were undoubtedly delighted with the result, with Los Angeles winning what could be a preview of Super Bowl LIII and looking every bit the powerhouse that they hoped coming into the year.
But one group left Monday night even happier than Rams fans — the gambling public, specifically those who bet the over on the game's total.
A wager on the total is a bet on how many points the teams will combine to score in the game, and with the Rams and Chiefs putting up 105 points between them — the third-highest total in NFL history — over bettors won easily, laughing all the way to the bank.
Las Vegas prepared for a high-scoring affair. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the total (63.5) was the highest set since at least 1986, as far as their records date back.
But despite the huge number posted by sportsbooks, the Rams and Chiefs blew past the total with ease, surpassing 63.5 points before the end of the third quarter.
Michael Grodsky, a spokesperson for William Hill sportsbooks, told ESPN that the game wound up being a "healthy seven-figure loss" for their books, as almost 70% of bettors were backing the over.
But it wasn't just the pre-game betting that cost the books money.
Jay Kornegay, VP of Race and Sports Operations at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, told Business Insider that it was in-game betting that did the most damage.
"Pre-game wagering was fairly balanced and didn't hurt us," Kornegay told Business Insider when asked about how the total had been bet. "In-progress wagering was tough on us as the betting public couldn't get enough of the 'over.'"
In-game wagering is a huge growth opportunity for sportsbooks, as it allows for bettors to continue placing bets throughout the game beyond the usual pre-game and halftime lines.
But as Monday night showed, there's also a risk in offering bettors to keep their bets coming during the game. While books can mitigate their losses on pre-game wagers by adjusting the line to attract action on both sides of a bet, in-game wagering could prove more difficult to keep balanced.
Take last night for example — it's hard to imagine a casual bettor watching that game at a sportsbook would start putting money on the "under" side of the live total after the teams put up 46 points in the first half alone.
No matter how high bookmakers decided to set the live total, it probably wasn't enough as you can't assume a game is going to be the third-highest scoring affair in the history of the league.
The result was a massive payday for the gambling public, who recognized both before and during the game that these teams were going to start scoring and never stop.
It meant a hard day for the sportsbooks, but I wouldn't worry too much about them — they always seem to bounce back from a tough week.