Sports books are taking a battering thus far after just the first 6 days of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. On Monday night, the U.S. scored a late goal to defeat Ghana 2-1 and hit the bookmakers hard.
The bettors have been making dough hand over fist while the sports books have suffered a beat down. The favorites thus far as of Tuesday’s matches are 10-5 and the OVER has paid out on 13 of 16 matches.
One manager on Bovada said this has never happened as parlays are popular and no skill has been needed just take the favorite and the OVER and cash out.
The 10-5 mark for favorites is not the full story. One of the few underdogs to cover was the U.S. at +110, which many bettors on topbet and sportsbook.com took and parlayed it with the OVER, which was at 2 and cashed as the U.S. scored late.
For many bookmakers the losses are easy to swallow. Betonline executives said the positive side to the story is it builds business and large amounts of buzz for soccer.
One bookmaker hopes the U.S. can play off its momentum of winning its opening match and fight its way out of the group stages to the knockout rounds.
That will increase interest and awareness of the World Cup and soccer in general throughout the U.S. and increase the overall handle for future matches.
If the U.S. put together a good run, there will even be action on sites online for those bettors who necessarily are not fans of soccer, but get caught up in the patriotism of such an immensely huge international event.
Early losses by these online sites are worth it for them to earn future gains as the tournament progress, but they just do not want the U.S. to get too, too far.
When the World Cup opened, the U.S. was a 100 to 1 bet to win the tournament and not many $5 bets are needed to make it a very big liability.
Many sites are using what is known as a three-way betting line. The side that is favored gets better odds and the favored team does not have to cover a particular goal spread.
Argentina for instance against Bosnia-Herzegovina was -1.5 (+120) on Sunday, on the normal line wagers went with Argentina so a number of books covered on Bosnia with a 2-1 Argentina win.
On the three-way line, however Argentina was at a high price of -255, but was a winner for those taking Argentina. Making it worse was it was the last match of the day when all three of the favorites that day won.
Right now, the public is getting the best of the house in the World Cup but that can quickly turn on a yellow card, a red card or a penalty.