Las Vegas Sportsbooks Lose on Penn State Loss to Ohio State, Buckeyes Back in Title Hunt

Posted on: October 30, 2017, 12:00h. 

Last updated on: October 30, 2017, 02:47h.

#6 Ohio State’s one-point victory over #2 Penn State was a comeback for the ages. A 19-point fourth quarter led by a nearly flawless Buckeye quarterback JT Barrett put OSU back in the College Football Playoff picture, and delivered a financial blow to Las Vegas sportsbooks.

Penn State Ohio State Las Vegas odds
JT Barrett gave Ohio State fans plenty to cheer about on Saturday, but Penn State’s loss wasn’t quite so well received by Las Vegas oddsmakers. (Image: Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)

The marquee game of the week, most of the money on the PSU vs. OSU game was on the visiting underdogs. And despite their 39-38 loss, the Lions still easily covered the spread, meaning all bets on Penn State paid.

Heading into the Saturday contest, CT Technology reported that 80 percent of the money was on Penn State. CT operates numerous sportsbooks in Las Vegas including The Venetian and Palazzo, Palms, Cosmopolitan, and Tropicana.

The Westgate SuperBook also said it needed Ohio State to win by at least a touchdown to cover the seven-point spread. They didn’t, of course, meaning oddsmakers lost cash on the Big Ten showdown. The biggest bet was reportedly a six-figure wager on Penn State at a CT sportsbook.

Oddsmakers slightly offset their PSU losses with #3 Georgia. The Bulldogs were spotting Florida 13.5 points in Gainesville. William Hill said 72 percent of the money was on the visitors to cover, and they easily did by winning 42-7 over the Gators.

Buckeyes Back

College football is like a broken record with four regular season weeks remaining. Alabama is on top, with Ohio State once again lurking.

At the SuperBook, the Crimson Tide remain the big favorites to win it all at 2-3. That’s implied odds of 60 percent, a winning $100 wager netting $66.67.

The Buckeyes jump to 3-1, shortened from 4-1 before Saturday. The Nittany Lions’ title hopes for winning their first national championship since 1986 lengthened from 8-1 to 20-1.

Rounding out the top five after Alabama and OSU is Clemson (8-1), and then Georgia and Notre Dame both at 12-1.

Barkley Still Heisman Frontrunner

After opening the game with a 97-yard touchdown return against Ohio State, Heisman odds-on favorite Saquon Barkley was largely contained by the Buckeyes defense. He rushed for just 44 yards on 21 carries, with four receptions for 44 yards.

Instead of the Heisman frontrunner shining, it was OSU’s Barrett that did the most to improve his chances at winning college football’s most coveted individual award. He threw for 328 yards on 33 of 39 attempts with four touchdowns, and rushed for 95 yards more in front of a national audience.

Barrett’s odds at winning the Heisman dropped from 10-1 to just 4-1 per the SuperBook. However, Barkley remains the favorite at 2-3. Stanford running back Bryce Love is next at 7-2 despite missing his team’s narrow one-point win over a dismal Oregon State on Saturday.

After Barrett comes Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, whose Sooners beat Ohio State earlier this year. Mayfield is at 8-1 to win the Heisman, which he finished third in last year.