The oversized / low overall score in the WNBA All-Star game moved more than 50 points on Wednesday, a historic line move to a number that a Las Vegas bookmaker calls “the worst I’ve ever done.”
Las Vegas sports book Circa Sports, the first to surpass the total number of points in the game, opened it at 248.5. An hour before the game ended, the total score was 195.5.
The 53-point move was the biggest shift more veteran bookmakers could ever think of, and it wasn’t caused by an attempt at corruption or a rush of big stakes. Instead, it was simply the fault of the quota creator who didn’t have the time.
On Wednesday, around 7 a.m. PT, Matt Metcalf, director of the sports book for Circa Sports, saw an opportunity to announce the first overall result at the WNBA All-Star game in the betting market, he told ESPN. He had a morning meeting at 9 a.m. and still needed to take a shower and get dressed for work. In a hurry, Metcalf said he looked at the total number of points scored in previous All-Star games and dropped to 248.5 as the starting number for this year’s game.
“In the worst case, I don’t think this was more than 15 points. It’s as bad as I think it could be,” Metcalf said. “I didn’t think it would be the worst number ever.”
Metcalf said he did not take into account that the WNBA All-Stars have faced the U.S. women’s national team, which is preparing for the Olympics and expects to take the game more seriously than traditional all-star games that are often played with reduced intensity and insufficient defense.
“This is very different from [typical] An all-star game, “Las Aces coach Bill Laimbeer told Sports Illustrated.” Usually everyone is fooling around. That’s not what U.S. basketball wants. USAB wants a very competitive match. “
The starting number of 248.5 was for a couple of hours in Circa before the first bet arrived, and through one esteemed account that total score rose to 252.5. Metcalf said he believes the bet is more designed to “bring in” the market, a tactic used by professional bettors to seduce bookmakers the way they will bet.
At that point, sports books in the U.S. and internationally began to publish more / less total entries similar to or identical to Circa’s number. With more sports books having a total number on the board, bettors started betting below, and the line began to plummet.
“I’ve been following these things since 2004, 2005,” said Rex Beyers, risk manager for the SuperBook in Westgate Las Vegas, “and, without the top of my head, I can’t think of a bigger move. It’s certainly in the top five.”
The SuperBook opened at 251 and moved the number 32 times before dropping to 197. Beyers said they didn’t take any of the limited bets below, but were just trying to stay in line with the market.
“We have more money above than below,” Beyers told ESPN a few hours before the typoff at 7 p.m. ET.
The WNBA All-Stars eventually brought the Olympic squad a rare loss for the final score of 93-85, with a total of 19 points of shy closing over / under.
In the past, when some bookmakers announced the spread of bad points or the overall result caused by a typing error or mistakes, sports bookmakers canceled betting on those numbers, claiming it was a “tangible mistake”. Metcalf stressed that this is not the case with his overall WNBA number: “I made a horrible number, hung it up and bet,” he said.
Metcalf estimates that Circa took only six to 10 limited bets on the under which is why the line has dropped so significantly. The opening limit was $ 2,000 and was later reduced to $ 500.
Circa, which cares for professional bettors, has gained a reputation in the industry because it has sharp lines and totals.
“I always say a bad number is better than any number,” Metcalf said. “I think we’ve gained some confidence in the numbers we’ve had in the past – though we may have ruined it all today.
“I think the market mostly respects our numbers, but we’re not perfect. We’re going to make some bad numbers. That said, I would never expect to put a number on which we have 50 points in total.”