The Eagles' home game against Minnesota, postponed from Sunday to Tuesday because of bad weather, generated some dramatic movement in the over-under line at some Las Vegas casinos, and also provided an example for how odd circumstances are handled differently at various bookmaking operations.
The over-under, which is a wager on the combined points scored by the two teams, started in the 43- to 44-point range early last week. And as it became apparent that bad weather would hit the Philadelphia region by game time, bettors wagered heavily on the under, reasoning that the predicted snow and high wind would reduce scoring. By early Sunday, the over-under was generally around 38 points.
Then, of course, the game was postponed.
Assuming that weather conditions are more moderate when the game is played, bettors who took the over at the lowered number early Sunday would seem to have gotten some good value for money - but that was only if their wagers weren't voided.
At Caesars Palace and the Las Vegas Hilton, for instance, betting tickets for the postponed game were refunded and anyone who wants to wager on the Vikings-Eagles, in which Philadelphia has been about a two-touchdown favorite, will have to bet it anew.
Meanwhile, at MGM Resorts casinos - including the Mirage, the MGM Grand, the Bellagio and a few others - the bets that have already been made will stand. The policy at those casinos is that as long as the site remains the same and the event is held within seven days of the original date, all wagers are still live.
And while a handful of bettors might be holding betting slips at the super-low over-under number of below 40 points, the sports book is actually rooting along with them.
"When it was at 441/2, [the bettors] bet it down to 43 and then to 42, all the way down to where it was [early Sunday], so there's a lot of 'under' money and we kind of need the 'over' on that one," say Jay Rood, director of sports and race book operations for MGM Resorts casinos.
Still, as of Sunday night, Rood had taken the over-under for the Eagles game off the board for any further betting until updated weather forecasts allowed for a more informed line to be posted.
Sunday winners and losers. The betting public leaned heavily on Baltimore against Cleveland on Sunday and was rewarded when the favored Ravens covered a 31/2-point spread in a 20-10 victory. The bettors also seemed to get the upper hand when Chicago, a 11/2-point favorite, covered in beating the New York Jets, 38-34.
The professional bettors, the so-called sharp money, were going in the wrong direction when they took Oakland and the points (from two to three) against Indianapolis as the Colts won, 31-26. Meanwhile, the average bettors were wagering on the Colts.