Baseball betting deals a big foul ball to Nevada sportsbooks' bottom line in November

Dec 29, 2017 |
Baseball betting deals a big foul ball to Nevada sportsbooks' bottom line in November
Baseball handle was $19.4 million in November 2017. In November 2016, baseball handle was $18.6 million and the books won $2.9 million.
Photo By - Covers Media Group
Baseball handle was $19.4 million in November 2017. In November 2016, baseball handle was $18.6 million and the books won $2.9 million.
Photo By - Covers Media Group

While the NFL wasn’t particularly kind to Nevada sportsbooks in November, with favorites winning and covering at a heavy rate, it was actually baseball that delivered a big foul ball to the bottom line.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board released its November sports betting numbers this morning. Total handle was tremendous, at $527.9 million in wagers, a 5.4 percent increase over November 2016, and the books won $9.8 million. Although that represents a hold of just 1.86 percent, it still represented the 52nd consecutive month that the books turned at least some profit.

However, one number really stood out and explained a lot about why the November hold was so low.

“The big story was the baseball loss, which was an all-time record with $11.5 million,” said Mike Lawton, the Gaming Control Board’s senior research analyst. “This was due to several factors, including Game 7 (played Nov. 1), cashed tickets from previous games, and the payouts made on prop bets on who would win the World Series,”

Baseball handle was $19.4 million. In November 2016, baseball handle was $18.6 million and the books won $2.9 million. So the $11.5 million loss this past November represented a whopping 495 percent decline over November 2016.

In football – NFL and college combined – the books held $10.9 million on $329.2 million in handle (3.31 percent). So although NFL bettors hammered the oddsmakers all month thanks to favorites rolling up a 37-16-4 ATS record (69.8 percent) - including 22-7-1 ATS over the last two weekends (75.9 percent) - college football bailed out the books.

“Compared to last year, it wasn’t bad,” Lawton said, noting how November 2017 stacked up to November 2016. “Volume was up, win was up. Last November was a disaster for football.”

November 2016 saw books take in $316.5 million in football wagers and hold $6.6 million, a 77.1 percent drop-off in win from Nov. 2015, when books held $29.1 million on $395.4 million in handle.

Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.


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