Clemson 35, Alabama 31 had one of the best finishes in national title game history, was a big upset, and oh yeah, a huge win for the casual bettor over the Vegas casinos.
That Clemson win for the “public,” plus favorites rolling in the NFL playoffs (7-1 over the first two weeks) led to Nevada sports books taking their first losing football month in four years. The $8.25 million football-related loss in January for the sports books was the second-worst month in their history.
Overall, of course, the sports books still came out positive for the month.
But taking this big of an L on football – the most heavily bet sport in Nevada, by far – is interesting on multiple levels, but chiefly because we’re inching closer and closer to gambling on sports becoming legal. We’re closing in on the day when sports leagues will accept gambling ads. Will Vegas losing plus the future of sports gambling looking positive lead to an influx of new money into the space next season?
If you’re wondering what happened in February … well, the Patriots were favored, and covered, so back-to-back football losses for sports books could be on the horizon.