VSiN.com senior reporter
LAS VEGAS – This was another crazy week in the NFL, and I’m just talking about the slew of deals at the trade deadline, the on-again/off-again Ezekiel Elliott suspension and a season-ending injury to one of the game’s rising stars, Deshaun Watson. So, it’s nice to actually look at the news on the field and (for our purposes here at VSiN) in the sports books here in Vegas.
NFL Week 9 kicked off Thursday night with the Jets beating the Bills 34-21 as 3-point home underdogs. It was a good result for not only underdog bettors but the sports books as the last two weeks had seen favorites go a combined 17-8-3 ATS (68% after pushes are discarded, though pushes are often viewed as losers by books as there could be liability with bets it took to get to that closing number, plus all teasers hit).
However, that was short-lived as favorites dominated the rest of the weekend, from the early Sunday games to Monday Night Football with the Lions' 30-17 win in Green Bay as 2.5-point road favorites (Vegas Book Note: the bigger betting news came with the over/under of 43 points as the Lions were ahead 30-10 with the Packers driving in the closing seconds. A defensive pass interference call in the end zone set up Green Bay at the Detroit 1-yard line and Jamaal Williams scored the TD on the final untimed down -- plus the untimed PAT -- to put the game OVER the total and dealt a bad beat to under bettors).
Back to the first window of games on Sunday (1 p.m. ET kickoffs/10 a.m. PT), favorites were 5-2 straight-up and 4-2-1 ATS. The push was in the Titans’ 23-20 win over the Ravens as Tennessee closed as a 3-point home fave (note: as alluded to above, the Titans opened -5.5 and the books paid out on the majority of bets made at 5.5, 5, 4.5, 4, and 3.5 while giving refunds on all bets when the line was 3).
The books also took it on the chin in the Rams’ 51-17 rout of the Giants as that line opened L.A. -3.5 and closed at -6. The Eagles, Saints and Jaguars also rolled to easy wins to cover their spreads as home favorites.
The best early result for the house was the Panthers’ 20-17 win over the Falcons after closing as 2.5-point home underdogs. The Panthers actually opened as 2.5-point home faves last Sunday and the line totally flipped with the books pocketing most of that money. The other upset in the early window of games was the Colts’ 20-14 win over the Texans as 6-point road dogs (the line was Houston -13 before Watson’s injury; the line was adjusted to Houston -7, but it was bet down to 6 by kickoff so that’s still a loss at most books despite the dog cashing).
In the second window of games, favorites went 2-1 SU & ATS with the Redskins beating the Seahawks 17-14 after closing as 8.5-point road underdogs and plus-340 on the money line for the biggest upset of the week. The Cardinals beat the 49ers 20-10 as 2.5-point road favorites, but the best game for bettors was the Cowboys’ 28-17 win over the Chiefs after closing as 2.5-point home faves (the game had been around pick ‘em with the Chiefs also short faves at some books before Elliott’s suspension was put off and bettors jumped all over the Cowboys).
In the Sunday night game, the Raiders beat the Dolphins 27-24 as 3-point road favorites to end up in a push after Jay Cutler hit TE Julius Thomas for a 15-yard TD pass with 1:32 to play and Kenyan Drake ran in the 2-point conversion to put the final margin at 3 (though some books had gone to 3.5, so those Miami backers got the back-door cover).
Heading into the Monday Night Football game of Detroit at Green Bay, favorites were 6-4-2 ATS in Week 9 with unders slipping to 7-5 on that late Miami TD that put it over the closing total of 45. The Lions' fave/over result described above made faves 7-4-2 ATS on the week as unders slipped to 7-6. were 2-point road favorites over the Packers at VSiN's host hotel at the South Point with a betting total of 43.
For the season, underdogs still lead 65-60-6 ATS (52%) against my ViewFromVegas Consensus Closing Lines. Unders have an even smaller lead at 66-64-2 (50.8%).