Forget Aaron Rodgers -- the most impressive performance of the NFL playoffs belongs to the betting public, which jumped from favorites to underdogs at precisely the right time this weekend and squashed multiple Las Vegas sportsbooks in the process. William Hill, which operates sportsbooks at 108 locations throughout the state, reported suffering the worst day in the company's five-year history in Nevada. So much parlay liability had built up over the weekend, the book's "seven-figure" fate was sealed before the underdog Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 18-16 Sunday night. After Saturday's action, favorites were 6-0 straight up and against the spread. But on Sunday, bettors backed the underdogs, taking the Green Bay Packers and Steelers plus the points and on the money line.
Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores expressed "absolute confidence" in coach/president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy on Sunday despite his team's slow start to the season. The Pistons, with a 19-24 record a season after ending a six-year playoff drought in 2015-16, snapped a three-game losing streak Sunday with a 102-97 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. It was the first time the Los Angeles-based Gores could celebrate a Pistons victory in his adopted hometown since he bought the team in 2011.
Sunday afternoon’s Packers-Cowboys game has done blockbuster TV ratings for the NFL on FOX. Packers-Cowboys drew a 28.2 overnight rating, which is the highest rating for a divisional playoff game in 20 years. The combination of two popular teams and a great game that was decided as time expired gave the NFL an absolutely phenomenal rating — the kind of rating that can be topped only by the conference championship games and the Super Bowls. Other sports simply can’t draw those kinds of ratings, even for the biggest and best games. For context, Game 7 of the 2016 World Series drew a 25.2 overnight rating, while Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals drew an 18.9 overnight rating.
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ down-to-the-wire 18-16 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Playoff on NBC last night averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 37.4 million viewers across NBC and NBC Sports Digital platforms, according to Fast National data released by The Nielsen Company, and digital data from Adobe Analytics. The NBC-only broadcast of Steelers-Chiefs, the first-ever Sunday NFL Playoff game to kick off after 8 p.m. ET, averaged 37.1 million viewers – ranking as the most-watched primetime game ever in the NFL’s Divisional and Wild Card Playoff rounds. TV viewership for Steelers-Chiefs peaked at 39.1 million from 9-9:30 p.m. ET.