For the first nine weeks of the NFL season, underdogs covered at a blistering 57% clip. But yesterday we saw favorites bounce back in a big way. Favorites went 7-5 ATS and 10-2 straight up, with several of the chalkiest plays of the day coming through for public bettors. It was arguably the worst Sunday of the season for sharps as a plethora of wiseguy plays either got crushed or victimized by bad beats.
Here are the seven favorite covers
- Lions (-2.5) beat Washington 30-27
- Bucs (-6) beat Panthers 46-23
- Raiders (-3.5) beat Broncos 37-12
- Dolphins (-1.5) beat Chargers 29-21
- Steelers (-6.5) beat Bengals 36-10
- Rams (-2.5) beat Seahawks 23-16
- Saints (-9.5) beat 49ers 27-13
Sharps took it on the chin as nearly every dog above received wiseguy support and line movement. The only sharp favorite to come through was the Rams. They were a "fade the trendy dog" contrarian favorite, moving from -1.5 to -2.5 despite the public backing the Seahawks.
Here are the five dog covers
- Patriots (+ 7) beat Ravens 23-17
- Giants (+ 4.5) beat Eagles 27-17
- Texans (+ 4.5) lose to Browns 10-7
- Jaguars (+ 13.5) lose to Packers 24-20
- Bills (+ 3) lose to Cardinals 32-30
The Patriots were the biggest sharp hit of the day, upsetting the Ravens on Sunday Night Football and cashing + 260 on the moneyline. New England came up huge for contrarians and sportsbooks as the Pats only received about one-third of bets. The Ravens were the most lopsided play of the day, yet the line stayed at Baltimore -7 and briefly dipped to -6.5, signaling a sharp line freeze and some reverse line movement on New England. With the Pats covering, primetime dogs are now 20-10 ATS (66%) on the season.
Texans bettors were lucky to cover. Nick Chubb could have scored at the end of the game which would have covered the spread for the Browns but instead he elected to go out of bounds. The Browns received sharp movement (-2.5 to -4.5) and it was an awful bad beat for those who laid the points with Cleveland.
The Cardinals pulled off the most thrilling win of the day as Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins connected for a game-winning hail mary. But then Arizona kneeled on the extra point, winning by two instead of three. It allowed Bills bettors to cover and it was a bad beat for anyone on Arizona -2.5.
Much like favorites bouncing back yesterday, so did unders. They went 7-5 (prior to yesterday overs were hitting 54%). Two of the top "windy" unders both cashed as Texans-Browns and Jaguars-Packers both stayed under.
Today a new week begins with Monday Night Football. For an updated breakdown of Monday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at noon ET. I'll also be joining Michael Lombardi and Patrick Meagher on The Lombardi Line at 12:25 p.m ET to offer a market update.
In the meantime, let's examine how lines are moving for MNF tonight.
8:15 p.m. ET: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
These NFC North division rivals are trending in opposite directions. But you wouldn't know it based on the win-loss records. After getting off to a disappointing 1-5 start, the Vikings (3-5 SU, 5-3 ATS) have rebounded in a big way and won two straight, most recently crushing the Lions 34-20 and easily covering as 3-point home favorites. Meanwhile, the Bears (5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS) started a red-hot 5-1 but have been in a tailspin lately, losing three straight games. Chicago fell to Tennessee 24-17 last week, failing to cover as 6-point road dogs. The Vikings are -17 in point differential this season. The Bears are -12.
This line opened with Minnesota listed as a 2.5-point road favorite. Pros and Joes are both backing the streaking Vikings and happy to fade the struggling Bears on a short spread. This lopsided support has pushed Minnesota from -2.5 to -3. The Vikings -3 is juiced up to -120, signaling a possible rise further to -3.5. Road teams with a line move in their favor (aka the Covid system) are 45-32 ATS (58%) on the season. The lead referee, Scott Novak, also favors road teams (57% ATS).
If you bet the Vikings early at -2.5 you beat the closing line and would be wise to just ride out the play. If you're looking to bet the Bears, they now offer inflated line value, especially if you can wait it out and grab them with the hook + 3.5. Chicago has buy-low value as a divisional dog and a contrarian play in a heavily bet primetime game. Divisional dogs are 30-21 ATS (59%) this season. Primetime dogs are 20-10 ATS (66%).
We've also seen some smart money hit this under, dropping the total from 44.5 to 43.5. Weather could play a role as the forecast calls for 15-20 MPH winds. The Vikings have been profitable to the over (6-2) this season but the Bears have been a big under team (6-3).