VSiN.com senior reporter
LAS VEGAS – The sports books here lost their biggest decision Sunday, but ended up with a decent day after the nightcap.
The Eagles-Rams game drew huge handle as two of the top teams in the NFC squared off in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon. 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. That 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.
Week 14 started with the Falcons’ 20-17 win over the Saints as 2.5-point home favorites and faves went 7-6 ATS on Sunday to stand at 8-6 ATS heading into the Patriots-Dolphins game on Monday Night Football.
If you notice that our ATS record adds up to only 14 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 are 9-6 ATS so far in Week 14, but we stick by our grading against the consensus closing numbers in Vegas).
Faves were 4-3 ATS in the other early games on Sunday 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 the snow. 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 7-0 at halftime, the second-half total was set at 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.
As mentioned above, the biggest game in the afternoon was the Eagles’ 45-37 win over the Rams. It hurt the books and it was also a costly win for Philadelphia as QB Carson Wentz left with a knee injury and the fear is it’s a season-ending torn ACL. The 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.
While favorites are 8-6 ATS heading into Monday night, unders have dominated so far in Week 14 at 9-5-1. The push was in the Bears 33-7 win over the Bengals as the total closed at 40 points.
For the season, favorites stand at 105-92-8 ATS (53.3%) as they’ve covered more games than dogs in six of the last seven weeks. Unders have increased their lead over overs to 105-98-4 (51.7%).