LAS VEGAS – Week 14 was already one of the most exciting of the NFL season and then the Dolphins capped it off with a 27-20 upset of the Patriots on Monday Night Football.
The Dolphins closed as 10.5-point home underdogs and plus-450 on the money line (odds of 9-2) over the defending Super Bowl champs and current Super Bowl favorite. The game stayed just under the closing total of 48.5.
Longtime readers of mine know that among all the underdogs that I like, I especially love NFL double-digit home dogs. And even in this season where favorites have taken over, big home dogs have been golden at 4-1 ATS, including two outright upsets with the previous one being the Giants’ 12-9 victory over the Chiefs as 10-point home dogs in Week 11.
Week Matchup with DD home dog Score ATS
1 Browns plus-10 vs. Steelers 18-21 Win
8 Browns plus-11 vs. Vikings 16-33 Loss
10 Colts plus-10.5 vs. Steelers 17-20 Win
11 Giants plus-10 vs. Chiefs 12-9 Win
14 Dolphins plus-10.5 vs. Patriots 27-20 Win
There are three double-digit underdogs in Week 15 (Bengals plus-10.5 at Vikings, Texans plus-11.5 at Jaguars and Jets plus-16 at Saints), but none are at home. Double-digit dogs as a whole are 11-8 ATS (57.9%), so road big dogs are exactly .500 at 7-7 ATS.
The Dolphins-Patriots game stayed just under the betting total of 48.5, ending Week 14 with favorites going 8-7 ATS and unders going 10-5-1 (the push was the Bears’ 33-7 win over the Bengals as the total closed at 40 points).
If you notice that our ATS record adds up to only 15 games, that’s because the Lions-Buccaneers game closed at pick ‘em, so there wasn’t a fave or dog in that fight which was won by the Lions 24-21 (Detroit did open as the fave and were probably listed that way in most contests, so we understand if some people say faves went 9-7 ATS in Week 14, but we stick by our grading against the consensus closing numbers in Vegas).
Week 14 started with the Falcons’ 20-17 win over the Saints as 2.5-point home favorites.
Faves went 4-3 ATS in the other early Sunday games besides the Lions-Bucs, with the Bears, Panthers and 49ers winning outright as dogs while the Bills, Chiefs, Packers and Cowboys covered as faves. The wildest betting result was pulled off by the Packers, who had to rally from a 21-7 deficit to force overtime against the lowly Browns, and then not only won in OT but covered as 3-point road favorites on a Brett Hundley-to-Davante Adams 25-yard TD pass to win and cover 27-21.
The funnest game to watch (and another bad beat for those on the underdog) was the Colts-Bills game in a Buffalo snowstorm. The Bills closed as 3.5-point home faves and were also taken to overtime by the Colts before winning on LeSean McCoy’s 21-yard TD run to win and cover 13-7. The total on this game closed at 36.5, but after the Bills led just 7-0 at halftime, the second-half total was set at an ultra-low 13.5 or 14 depending on where you shopped, but it still stayed under all numbers with the Colts winning the second half (which includes OT) 7-6.
The biggest game of the afternoon (1:05 and 1:25 p.m. PT kickoffs here in Vegas) was the Eagles at Rams as two of the top teams in the NFC squared off in Los Angeles. The Rams had opened as 2-point home favorites last week, but lopsided action on the Eagles caused them to close as 1-point faves, which they covered for all their backers with a 43-35 victory. The Eagles’ big victory was costly, however, as their QB and MVP candidate Carson Wentz was lost to a season-ending torn ACL.
That game ended on a wild play that affected some bettors. The Eagles were leading 37-35 (so they were already covering after closing as 1-point road faves) but the Rams tried a desperation lateral play and a fumble ended up being returned 16 yards for a touchdown by Philly’s Brandon Graham to make the final score 43-35 (the Eagles took a knee instead of attempting a conversion). Bettors who teased the Rams got burned, including the King of Downtown Vegas and friend of VSiN Derek Stevens, who showed a $5,000 seven-team teaser ticket (to win $25,000) on VSiN’s “Point Spread Sunday” with Brent Musburger on Sunday morning. Rams plus-7 was his only loss.
Favorites and underdogs split the other four afternoon games with the Jaguars and Chargers covering as faves over the Seahawks and Redskins, respectively, and the Broncos beating the Jets 23-0 as 1-point home dogs and the Cardinals beating the Titans 12-7 as 3-point home dogs.
Eagles-Rams was also the sports books’ biggest decision of the day and it went in favor of the bettors as it wiped out a lot of profits from earlier in the day, but the books ended Sunday on a winning note with the Steelers failing to cover as 6-point home faves in their 39-38 come-from-behind victory over the Ravens.
For the season, favorites stand at 105-93-8 ATS (53%) as they’ve covered more games than dogs in six of the last seven weeks. Unders have increased their lead over overs to 106-98-4 (52%).