- Sportsbooks in Nevada and elsewhere in the US are coming off their best Sunday of the NFL football season.
- NFL underdogs went 8-4 against the spread with five outright upsets.
- The Tampa Bay/Green Bay game provided one of the best single game results of the year for bookmakers.
Generally speaking, when NFL favorites win big the betting public is the beneficiary. The opposite is typically true when pro football underdogs win outright. Sunday, October 18 had more of the latter. In fact, many bookmakers throughout the country characterized Sunday’s card as the ‘best of the NFL season’ for sportsbooks.
Overall, NFL underdogs went 8-4 against the spread with five outright upsets. A couple of these results produced huge swings in favor of ‘the house’. The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s weekly NFL betting rundown talked about one such game–New England’s 18-12 loss to the Denver Broncos.
Cam Newton didn’t look sharp in his return from the COVID-19 list and although the New England defense played well it wasn’t ‘well enough’. Denver kicked six field goals to open up a 18-3 lead after three quarters. They would go on to hold off the Patriots 18-12, winning outright as a +7 point road underdog. New England had a 39-0 winning streak when not allowing a touchdown broken in the defeat. Jeff Stonebeck, sportsbook director at The Mirage, emphasized with bettors in his comments to the LVRJ:
“If someone had said the Broncos are not going to get in the end zone against the Patriots, I’d say where do I sign up to bet the Patriots?”
The outcome was costly for players in a variety of ways. 51 contestants in the Circa Sports Survivor Contest picked the Patriots and were eliminated. The ugly Denver victory wiped out countless teasers and moneyline parlays. BetMGM reported that the game was the biggest win of the day for their sportsbook which took a $270,000 straight bet and a $100,000 moneyline play on New England. Over at VSIN, their Sunday NFL betting rundown indicates that Stations Casinos reported ‘several large five figure teasers’ that went down in flames due to the Patriots’ loss. The Borgata in Atlantic City also reported that the New England/Denver game produced ‘the biggest decision in our favor’.
The biggest Sunday result in favor of sportsbooks–and for that matter, one of the biggest of the year to date–was the outcome in the Tampa Bay/Green Bay game. The Las Vegas Review-Journal offered a quote from Sunset Station sportsbook manager Chuck Esposito:
“Overall, it was probably the best Sunday of the year. One of the biggest decisions of the year so far was the afternoon game between the Packers and Buccaneers. There was a late push with a lot of Packers money. We were certainly Bucs and under fans and we got both of them. That was huge.”
The story was the same on the East Coast where VSIN quoted Thomas Gable, sportsbook director at the Borgata in Atlantic City:
“The Tampa-Green Bay game was the most heavily bet game of the day for us. The Packers had 66% of the money and 69% of the tickets.”
“Not a banner day by any means, but for this season, it’s probably been the best Sunday so far.”
VSIN reports that Baltimore took more than 70% of straight bets at William Hill, FanDuel and BetRivers. They won but didn’t come close to covering as a -10 point favorite over the Philadelphia Eagles. William Hill took down a big score as the Atlanta Falcons demolished the Minnesota Vikings 40-23 as +3.5 point road underdogs. Over 86% of the money at the sportsbook was on Minnesota.