VSiN.com senior reporter
LAS VEGAS – Favorites have won 11 of the 14 NFL games so far in Week 16, but they are only 7-6-1 ATS heading into the Christmas Day doubleheader.
The sports books here came out ahead as there were enough underdogs to cover as well as breaking up favorite-heavy parlays, plus unders are 11-3 so far on the holiday weekend as the public usually prefers to bet overs and also include in fave/over parlays.
The outright upsets were pulled off by the Bengals, 49ers and Seahawks. The Bengals were backed by a lot of the so-called sharp bettors, as the line was bet down from plus-5 to plus-3 despite most of the public action being on the Lions who were still alive for a wild-card spot, and they won 26-17 at plus-150 on the money line. The 49ers beat the playoff-bound Jaguars 44-33 as 4-point home dogs as Jimmy Garoppolo improved to 4-0 and the Seahawks knocked off the Cowboys 21-12 as 4.5-point road dogs after the Cowboys were bet up from -3 to -5 before closing at -4.5.
The other underdogs to cover on Sunday were the Buccaneers and Titans. The Bucs fell just short of upsetting the Panthers at plus-400 on the money line as Cam Newton led a late TD drive for the 22-19 victory, but the Bucs still covered as 10-point road dogs and killed a lot of parlay and teaser action on the Panthers. The Titans fell to the Rams 27-23, just missing at plus-210 on the money line, but also thwarted a lot of parlays as they covered as 6.5-point home dogs (though the Rams still cashed on teasers).
There was no Thursday night game, but Week 16 started Saturday with the Colts covering as 13-point road dogs in their 23-16 loss to the Ravens. The Vikings shut out the Packers 16-0 to even faves and dogs at 1-1 ATS on the Saturday twin bill, but the unders hit in both games and was a sign of things to come on Sunday as unders went 7-2 in the early window of games and 2-1 in the later games.
The ATS push came in the Chargers-Jets game as the Chargers closed as 7-point road faves and won 14-7. The books lost on that game as the line was -6.5 and they lost all those bets that moved the line to 7 while refunding all the best on plus- or minus-7.
The two biggest lines of Sunday both had the favorites covering as the Chiefs beat the Dolphins 29-13 as 10.5-point home faves and the Patriots beat the Bills 37-16 as 11-point chalk. The latter had the distinction of being the only game to cash on the popular fave/over parlay combination.
The other covering favorites in the early window of games were the Bears -5.5 in their 20-3 win over the winless Browns (who still had support as the line was bet down from an opening line of -7), the Saints -5.5 in their 23-13 win over the Falcons and the Redskins -3 in their 27-11 win over the Broncos.
While the dogs did dominate the afternoon games with the upsets by the Jaguars and Seahawks, the Cardinals did rout the Giants 23-0 as 3-point home faves.
We’ll update this file after the Steelers-Texans and Raiders-Eagles results on Monday.