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NFL wild-card favorites ding Vegas sportsbooks

All four favorites won and covered the spread during the NFL's wild-card weekend. David Livingston/Getty Images

All four favorites won and covered the spread in the most-lopsided NFL wild-card weekend since 1981, according to the league's media research group.

That's rarely an ideal scenario for Las Vegas sportsbooks, and it certainly wasn't this weekend at Caesars Palace as the Houston Texans, Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers could be found on the bulk of parlay cards. Each favorite covered somewhat comfortably, and by the time Aaron Rodgers and the Packers got through disposing of the New York Giants on Sunday night, Caesars was looking at its most expensive weekend of the NFL season.

Other sportsbooks around Las Vegas fared better than Caesars, with several noting that with all favorites covering, the results could have been much worse.

But no one behind the counter was reporting a big winning football weekend.

"Considering the way these games are falling, we're not going to look too bad this weekend," Jay Rood, MGM vice president of race and sports, said during the second half of the Giants-Packers game. "We just need to avoid the Packers and over combo."

Green Bay fullback Aaron Ripkowski scored a touchdown on a 1-yard run with 2:43 left to push the game over the total of 46.

The Packers also stuck it to the books with Rodgers' Hail Mary hookup with Randall Cobb on the last play of the first half. Green Bay was a 3-point favorite in the first half and was clinging to a 7-6 lead, before Rogers connected on his third Hail Mary touchdown in the last two seasons to send the Packers into halftime with a 14-6 cushion. Nearly 70 percent of bets and 57 percent of the money wagered on the first-half line at William Hill's Nevada sportsbook were on Green Bay.

Some Las Vegas books were able to attract enough money on the underdog Giants, Dolphins and Lions to balance out their action on the games, staving off a much bigger loss. But money on the banged-up Oakland Raiders was hard to find at most shops.

Just hours before the Texans and Raiders kicked off Saturday, there was more money on some college basketball teams than there was on Oakland. The William Hill sportsbook at Eureka Casino in Mesquite, Nevada, did take a $100,000 money-line bet on the Raiders, however. That money is staying with the house. The Texans won 27-14, the worst decision of the four wild-card games for multiple sportsbooks.

"Four-for-four favorites is not good," Ed Salmons, assistant manager at the Westgate SuperBook, said.

And it could get worse Monday night.

Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading at William Hill, said his book is facing a ton of liability on Clemson against Alabama from parlay cards that stayed alive over the weekend and included the national championship game as the last leg.