It was a wild Week 2 Sunday of NFL betting, and one that sportsbooks would soon prefer to forget.
One bookmaker I spoke with on Friday morning said that this week was "teaser heaven" -- and indeed it was for bettors.
Here is our weekly look at how sportsbooks across the U.S. did, along with an against-the-spread recap of every game.
-The worst game of the early slate for several sportsbooks was the San Francisco 49ers (-7) beating the New York Jets 31-13. Over 95% of the tickets and handle were on the 49ers at The Borgata in Atlantic City. The 49ers received the second-most moneyline wagers of any Sunday side at Rush Street Gaming books and 92% of spread bets as well. Even William Hill NJ books had most money and tickets on 49ers.
“The 49ers game killed us in the early games and the Packers were a bad result as well,” Thomas Gable, sportsbook director at The Borgata said.
-The most-bet Sunday game by handle (29%) and total bets (34%) at Rush Street Gaming books was the Green Bay Packers (-6) hosting the Detroit Lions. The Lions were up 14-3 early, but Green Bay rolled from there, winning 42-21. The most popular over/under bet at Rush Street books was Over 50, which got there easily.
-Respected money pushed the Cowboys-Falcons line down all week, as it opened at Cowboys -7 and got as low as Cowboys -2.5, before closing a consensus Cowboys -3.5. Dallas, down 39-24 in the fourth quarter were 25-1 underdogs on the ML at William Hill US. Three bettors grabbed that number, the biggest bet $20. Still, the majority of the money at most books was on the Cowboys, and the Over 53.5 was a very popular public play that also hit.
The Cowboys came all the way back to win (but not cover) 40-39. The Falcons had 39 points with zero turnovers in their loss against the Cowboys. Entering Sunday, teams had been 440-0 when scoring 39 points with 0 turnovers since 1933, when team turnovers were first tracked, according to Elias.
-The biggest game for sportsbooks was the Kansas City Chiefs (-9) visiting the Los Angeles Chargers. Sportsbooks won on the spread -- over 90% of spread bets were on the Chiefs at many books – but lost when Kansas City came back to win the game 23-20 in overtime.
William Hill US director of trading told VSiN it was the most-bet regular-season game the company has ever had “by a mile.” Chiefs ML was the second-most popular NFL bet of the weekend at Rush Street books and 95% of the bets and handle at PointsBet sportsbooks were on the Chiefs to win. As ESPN's David Purdum reported, the Chiefs' outright win over Chargers caused a swing of "several seven figures" at William Hill US books.
“Our entire day came down to the Chiefs game,” Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook director John Murray said. “If the Chargers won, we would’ve had a good day.”
-The public was also all over the favored Arizona Cardinals (-7) and Baltimore Ravens (-7.5), which drew more than 80% of spread handle at multiple books.
"The 49ers, Ravens, Cardinals and Packers all excellent results for the bettors," John Sheeran, sportsbook director at FanDuel said. "The Chiefs not covering was big for us, as was Bills."
-The Sunday night game didn’t help the books either, as the majority of the money was on the Seahawks (-4.5) at several shops.
“We’re going to need New England pretty big,” Murray said. “The public players and the sharps are all on Seattle.”
The biggest bet of the weekend came on this game as one BetMGM bettor put $450,000 on the Seahawks -4.5 (-120) and $225,000 on the Under 45. Over 70% of the handle was on Seattle and the Over at Rush Street books.
-While underdogs were 8-7 ATS on the week, the issue for sportsbooks is that they were 1-14 straight-up, with the Los Angeles Rams (who were favored early in the week) the only team that closed an underdog to win. That meant that every single favorite won on both a ML parlay AND a teaser, which was a nightmare scenario for the books.
Just look at how these Week 2 favorites of at least five points did:
- Tampa Bay -8.5 (won and covered, teaser won)
- Pittsburgh -6.5 (won, didn’t cover, teaser won)
- San Francisco -7 (won and covered, teaser won)
- Tennessee -7 (won, didn’t cover, teaser won)
- Arizona -7 (won and covered, teaser won)
- Baltimore -7.5 (won and covered, teaser won)
- Kansas City -9 (won, don’t cover, teaser won)
- Green Bay -6.5, Buffalo -5.5, Chicago -5, Cleveland -5.5 all win on teasers, ML as well
-The South Point had one bettor win a $64,000 three-team moneyline parlay of Chiefs -430, Bucs -400 and 49ers -330 that paid out $64,484.85.
THURSDAY: Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (-6, 44.5)
The Under never had a chance in this one. Cleveland led 21-13 at halftime as both offenses bounced back from disappointing Week 1 performances (with neither defense offering much resistance). The Browns were mostly in control, but the Bengals stuck around and Joe Burrow got them within the spread at 28-23 with a 4-yard TD pass to Mike Thomas with 5:55 left. Kareem Hunt scored on a 1-yard TD run with 3:55 left to put Cleveland backers back over the number, but then Burrow got the Bengals in the back door again with a 9-yard TD pass to Tyler Boyd with :43 to play to cover the spread.
Final score: Browns 35, Bengals 30
ATS winner: Bengals
Total: Over 44.5
Washington Football Team at Arizona Cardinals (-7, 46.5)
The Cardinals jumped out to a 20-0 halftime lead and coasted to the win and cover. Tyler Murray hit DeAndre Hopkins with a 4-yard TD pass to start the scoring and then added two rushing TDs as he passed for 286 yards and rushed for 67 more. Trailing 27-3, Washington scored two fourth-quarter TDs to get within one TD of a back-door cover before Zane Gonzalez added his third FG to put that out of reach. Still, the late scoring wasn’t enough to get to the total of 46.5 points.
Final score: Cardinals 30, Washington 15
ATS winner: Cardinals
Total: Under 46.5
Baltimore Ravens (-7.5, 49.5) at Houston Texans
This was looking like a back-and-forth game, but a 22-yard fumble return for a TD by Baltimore’s L.J. Fort in the second quarter put the Ravens in control at 20-7. Defending MVP Lamar Jackson (18-for-24, 204 passing yards and another 54 yards rushing) was efficient. Justin Tucker booted two second-half FGs and RB Mark Ingram added a 20-yard, fourth-quarter TD to make sure the Texans weren’t able to get in the back door. The Under was a popular play -- bet down from 52.5 to close at 49.5 -- and all those bettors cashed.
Final score: Ravens 33, Texans 16
ATS winner: Ravens
Total: Under 49.5
Kansas City Chiefs (-9, 47) at Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City closed as the biggest favorite of Week 2 but it wasn’t easy (and the Chiefs never led by more than the spread!). Rookie QB Justin Herbert (22-for-33, 311 yards), starting in place of Tyrod Taylor -- a late scratch -- nearly outdueled Patrick Mahomes (27-for-47, 302 yards). Herbert ran for the first TD of the game and threw for another as the Chargers built a 17-6 lead behind a defense that played great against the defending Super Bowl champs.
However, the Chiefs rallied to tie the game at 17-17 with a Harrison Butker 58-yard FG in the third quarter and a 54-yard TD pass from Mahomes to Tyreek Hill, plus a 2-point conversion. After the teams traded field goals, they went to overtime with Butker kicking another 58-yard FG for the game-winner. Despite all the excitement, the game stayed Under 47 points.
Final score: Chiefs 23, Chargers 20 (OT)
ATS winner: Chargers
Total: Under 47
Los Angeles Rams at Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5, 46)
Rams opened as short road favorites but the Eagles were a popular play and bet to favoritism (and the No. 1 choice in the Circa Sports Million), but the Rams looked like they should have been favored after all as QB Jared Goff (20-for-27, 267 yards) connected with TE Tyler Higbee for all three of his TD passes, the Rams outgained the Eagles 449-363 and the game wasn’t close for long.
Final score: Rams 37, Eagles 19
ATS winner: Rams
Total: Over 46
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8, 47)
The Buccaneers jumped out to a 21-0 lead as Tom Brady earned his first win in Tampa Bay, but the point-spread was in doubt until the end. The Panthers rallied in the second half and actually got within the spread at 24-17 on Joey Slye’s 23-yard FG with 1:57 left. After Tampa recovered the onside kick, all the Carolina defense had to do for its backers was to stop the run, but Leonard Fournette broke through the line and rambled 46 yards for the covering TD and the Panthers’ last drive came up short of getting back in the back door. Fournette’s score also put the game Over the closing total of 47 points.
Final score: Buccaneers 31, Panthers 17
ATS winner: Buccaneers
Total: Over/Under 47
Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5, 41)
The Steelers were in control early, leading 17-3 at halftime, and the Broncos lost starting QB Drew Lock. However, Jeff Driskell came on in relief and got the Denver back in the game with a 20-yard TD pass to TE Noah Fant late in the third quarter and then a 16-yard TD pass to RB Melvin Gordon to get within the spread at 26-21 and also put the game Over the total. The Broncos had a chance for a go-ahead TD but turned the ball over on downs at the Steelers’ 15.
Similar to the Panthers-Bucs game, the Steelers were trying to run out the clock when James Conner broke away for 59 yards but was tackled at the Denver 10-yard line instead of scoring a TD. From there, the Steelers ran out the clock.
Final score: Steelers 26, Broncos 21
ATS winner: Broncos
Total: Over 41
Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys (-3, 54)
The Falcons, already famous for their 28-3 collapse against the Patriots in the Super Bowl, added another chapter to their legacy as they jumped out to a 20-0 first-quarter lead and 29-10 at halftime only to lose outright (though they did at least cover as popular 3-point underdogs as this line opened Cowboys -5).
Dak Prescott (34-for-47 for 450 yards) started the rally with two third-quarter TD runs as the Cowboys pulled within 29-24. The Falcons responded with a TD (putting the game Over 54 points) and FG in the fourth quarter to again look in control at 39-24. However, a TD pass by Prescott and his third rushing TD of the game pulled the Cowboys within 39-37 with 1:49 to play. And as unbelievable as this game was, the craziest thing might have been the Cowboys recovering the onside kick as Greg Zuerlein kicked a spinner along the ground that the Falcons failed up and then the Cowboys fell on it after it went the required 10 yards. From there, Prescott drove the Cowboys down to set up Zuerlin’s 46-yard game-winning FG as time expired.
Final score: Cowboys 40, Falcons 39
ATS winner: Falcons
Total: Over 54
San Francisco 49ers (-7, 41.5) at New York Jets
Raheem Mostert broke away for an 80-yard TD run in the opening minute for the 49ers and the rout was on. Jimmy Garoppolo was also efficient as he was 14-for-16 and two TD passes before his day was cut short by an ankle injury. Mostert, defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas all left the game with injuries. The 49ers’ defense also dominated the Jets, allowing under 200 yards and just six points before garbage time. Game went Over 41.5 points on a Jets TD with 1:23 to play.
Final score: 49ers 31, Jets 13
ATS winner: 49ers
Total: Over/Under 41.5
Buffalo Bills (-5.5, 42.5) at Miami Dolphins
With a total of 42.5 points, this wasn’t supposed to be a shootout but Buffalo QB Josh Allen (417 yards, 4 TDs) and Miami QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (328 yards, 2 TDs) put on an aerial show. The Bills were in control early, but the Dolphins rallied to take a 20-17 lead on Jordan Howard’s 2-yard TD run with 10:11 to play. Allen threw two TD passes in the fourth quarter to give the Bills the lead and then an apparent cover at 31-20, but then Fitzgerald hit TE Mike Gesicki with an 8-yard TD pass with :49 left to get the Dolphins back in the back door.
Final score: Bills 31, Dolphins 28
ATS winner: Dolphins
Total: Over 42.5
MInnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts (-3.5, 49)
Minnesota grabbed an early 3-0 lead but then the Colts ran away to an easy victory by scoring 28 unanswered points before the Vikings finally scored again in garbage time. The Colts bounced back from their embarrassing loss to the Jaguars in Week 1 by intercepting Kirk Cousins (11-for-26 for just 113 yards) three times. Colts rookie RB Jonathan Taylor ran for 101 yards and a TD.
Final score: Colts 28, Vikings 11
ATS winner: Colts
Total: Under 49
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-6.5, 51)
The Lions looked like they might bounce back from their Week 1 collapse to Bears as they jumped out to leads of 7-0 and 14-3, but then the Packers scored 31 unanswered points to blow the game open behind QB Aaron Rodgers’ two second-quarter TD passes and RB Aaron Jones’ 168 rushing yards and three TDs.
Final score: Packers 42, Lions 21
ATS winner: Packers
Total: Over 51
New York Giants at Chicago Bears (-5, 42.5)
The Bears jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead as Mitchell Trubisky threw TD passes to David Montgomery and Darnell Mooney. But New York’s defense shut them out in the second half and pulled within 17-13 midway through the fourth quarter. The Giants had a shot at the outright upset (which would have been similar to the Bears’ Week 1 rally over the Lions) but they only got as far as the Chicago 10-yard line as the Bears held on (but didn’t cover). Montgomery led the Bears in both rushing (82) and receiving yards (45).
Final score: Bears 17, Giants 13
ATS winner: Giants
Total: Under 42.5
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-7, 45)
The Titans jumped out to early 14-0 lead and looked in control at 24-10 at halftime as Ryan Tannehill threw 3 of his 4 TD passes, but Gardner Minshew (339 yards, 4 TDs) mounted another comeback and actually tied the game 30-30 on a 14-yard TD pass to RB Chris Thompson with 7:25 to play. Stephen Gostkowski kicked his second game-winning FG for the Titans in as many weeks, but the Jaguars still covered as a popular dog. Tennessee opened a 10-point favorite and was -8.5 most of the week.
Final score: Titans 33, Jaguars 30
ATS winner: Jaguars
Total: Over 45
New England Patriots at Seattle Seahawks (-4.5, 45)
Russell Wilson (21-for-28 for 288 yards and 5 TDs) and Cam Newton (30-for-44 for 397 yards and 1 TD while also running for 47 yards and two more TDs) put on a show on Sunday Night Football. The Seahawks went up 28-17 through three quarters as the game reached the total of 45 points, but there was still more scoring to come. Newton pulled the Patriots within 28-23 with 14:14 to play on a 1-yard TD pass to FB Jakob Johnson, but the two-point conversion failed to keep the Pats from getting inside the number. Wilson hit RB Chris Carson with an 18-yard TD pass to extend the lead to 35-23 -- and they needed that score as Newton scored on a 1-yard TD with 2:16 left to cut the lead to 35-30.
The Patriots got the ball back and Newton drove his new team down to the Seattle 2-yard line for the final play of the game only to be stuffed on a running play with the outright winner and spread result in the balance. The line closed Seahawks at an average of -4.5 so the majority of bettors got the cover, though it closed at 5 at a few books, so a few Patriots backers salvaged a push.
Final score: Seahawks 35, Patriots 30
ATS winner: Seahawks
Total: Over 45