It was another big weekend of wagering in the NFL, even without some of the larger wagers we've seen recently. Overs regressed, going 5-7 in Week 5, and favorites were 6-6 against the spread heading into Monday Night Football.
Here is a look at how the books did, along with an ATS recap of every NFL game.
One of the best early decisions for Station Casinos and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook was the Carolina Panthers (+ 2.5) beating the Atlanta Falcons outright 23-16. The game also stayed well under the total of 54.
There was respected money on both sides of the game, as the line opened Falcons -3.5 and was bet across the key number of 3, all the way down to Falcons -1. At that number, respected money came in on Atlanta, driving the number back up to the closing spread of -2.5.
With the Carolina Panthers up 20-7 at halftime, one bettor at the Borgata in New Jersey wagered $100,000 on Carolina + 4.5 in the second half. Needing a field goal and a touchdown to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, the Falcons elected to kick a 54-yard field goal with 4 seconds left. The kick was good, making the final 23-16 and costing the bettor $100,000. A South Point bettor also lost a $33,000 wager on the Falcons -2. Teddy Bridgewater improved to 19-4 ATS an an underdog in his career.
The Las Vegas Raiders (+ 10.5) winning outright 40-32 over the Kansas City Chiefs was also a huge result for sportsbooks across the nation. Over 92% of the total game handle (ML and spread) was on the Chiefs at BetRivers and SugarHouse books.
One bettor at BetMGM wagered $100,000 on the Dallas Cowboys ML at -400 odds. The bet came through, as the Cowboys beat the New York Giants 37-34. The Cowboys ML was the fourth most popular single game bet of the day at BetRivers and SugarHouse books. The Cowboys fell to 0-5 ATS.
One of the worst decisions for the books on the day was the Arizona Cardinals (-7) beating the New York Jets 30-10. A bettor at South Point cashed a $64,000 ticket on the Cardinals ML at -320 odds, which won $20,000. The game had the most money wagered of the early slate at the Borgata in New Jersey, with 88% of the money on Arizona.
The Jets are now 0-5 against the spread this season and haven’t covered games by an NFL-worst 10.8 points per game. According to VSiN’s database, which goes back to 1993, it’s the first time they are 0-5 ATS to start a season.
Another bad decision for the sportsbooks was the Los Angeles Rams (-7) beating the Washington Football 30-10. The Rams had 93% of the total game handle, with 95% of ML bets backing the road favorites at BetRivers and SugarHouse sportsbooks. Over 80% of all spread bets at William Hill US books were on the Rams as well. Down 20-10 at halftime, Washington had seven possessions in the second half and had minus-6 yards and zero first downs.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (-7.5) covering and winning 38-29 over the Philadelphia Eagles as 7.5-point home favorites was a bad break for the books as well. The game going Over the total was bad for PointsBet, as 81% of the bets and 86% of the handle was on the Over 44. It was the most-bet game of the early slate at BetRivers.
“It was a weird day because we lost more decisions than we won but we came out ahead because we won the really big decisions,” Westgate executive director John Murray told VSiN. “The Cardinals, Rams, Steelers, Browns were all public sides we lost … but between the Panthers winning, the Giants covering, and of course the Raiders winning outright, we came out ahead a good amount overall.”
“The Panthers were clearly the biggest decision of the morning,” Station Casinos sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “Players did will on the Rams, Cardinals, Steelers and Browns. The Dolphins winning outright was great, killing teasers.
“Overall a good day on our side of the counter. However, we are clearly Vikings and under fans! It might be one of the larger Sunday night or prime-time decisions of the year.”
The Sunday night game went the books' way, as the Vikings (+ 6.5) lost 27-26 to the Seahawks and the game stayed just under the total of 54 after Seattle didn’t convert a two-point conversion with under a minute remaining. The largest reported wager of the day ($290,000 on Seattle -6.5 at BetMGM) failed to cash.
FanDuel Sportsbook had a boosted TD prop on Dalvin Cook to score the first TD (+ 600 to + 750), which resulted in a loss of over $1 million.
One bettor at PointsBet won a large cross-sport three-leg parlay, encompassing the NFL, NBA and French Open. The bettor wagered $150,000 on:
Ravens ML -715
Lakers ML -225
Rafa Nadal to win a set in French Open Final -1000
The bet won $120,000.
-- Ben Fawkes
THURSDAY: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5, 44) at Chicago Bears
The Bucs jumped out to a 13-0 lead with a Tom Brady 2-yard TD pass to Mike Evans sandwiched between a pair of Ryan Succop FGs, but the Bears came back to actually lead 14-13 at halftime. The game was on pace to go Over 44, but both defenses stiffened in the second half as Succop and Chicago’s Cairo Santos traded FGs back and forth with Santos’ 38-yarder with 1:13 left proving to be the game-winner. The Bucs had a chance to pull out the victory (and to push the game Over if they scored a TD), but they turned the ball over on downs with Brady apparently not realizing they already ran their fourth-down play.
Final score: Bears 20, Buccaneers 19
ATS winner: Bears
Total: Under 44
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-2.5, 54)
Todd Gurley’s 35-yard TD run put the Falcons ahead 7-0 early, but the Panthers ran off 20 unanswered points on a Joey Slye FG and two TD passes from Teddy Bridgewater (313 yards) to DJ Moore (a 57-yarder) and Mike Davis (3-yarder) for a 20-7 halftime lead and they coasted from there. Similar to the Bears-Bucs game with only FGs scored in the second half to keep the game more than two TDs Under the betting total. Davis also had a strong game with 89 yards on 16 carries to help run the clock and secure the 125 upset on the money line.
Final score: Panthers 23, Falcons 16
ATS winner: Panthers
Total: Under 54
Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-10.5, 54.5)
The Chiefs aren’t unbeatable after all. Derek Carr (22-for-31, 347 yards, 3 TDs) outdueled Patrick Mahomes (22-for-43, 340 yards, 2 TDs). The Vegas defense gave up more than 400 yards, but forced the Chiefs into third-and-longs that stalled just enough drives and intercepted Mahomes for the first time this season. The game was tied 24-24 at halftime and after a scoreless third quarter, but Josh Jacobs (77 yards rushing) gave the Raiders a 26-20 lead as Daniel Carlson missed what could have been a critical PAT. Bur Carlson added a 43-yard FG to give the Raiders a 29-20 lead and put it Over 54.6 points, and Jacobs added another TD run. Mahomes did hit Travis Kelce with a 7-yard TD pass and added the 2-point conversion to pull within 40-32 with 3:57 left, but the Raiders picked up two first downs to secure the + 400 upset on the money line (closed as high as + 475 at William Hill).
Final score: Raiders 40, Chiefs 32
ATS winner: Raiders
Total: Over 54.5
Los Angeles Rams (-7, 45) at Washington Football Team
The Rams dominated this game, outgaining Washington 429-108 (that’s right, just 108 net yards gained by the Football Team). Kyle Allen, starting in place of Dwayne Haskins, scored on a 7-yard TD run in the first quarter, but Jared Goff’s 56-yard TD to Robert Woods on the first play of the second quarter put the Rams ahead for good. Allen was knocked out of the game and was replaced by Alex Smith, a feel-good story as Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury in 2018 and had a long rehab to just get back to the field. However, Smith was only able to go 9-for-17 for 37 yards and was sacked six times by the Rams’ pass rush as the Rams coasted to the easy win and cover.
Final score: Rams 30, Washington 10
ATS winner: Rams
Total: Under 45
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-6.5, 54.5)
The Texans earned their first victory of the season behind interim coach Romeo Crennel, but it wasn’t as easy as the final score indicates. The Texans led 10-7 at halftime and 13-7 after three quarters but didn’t exceed the spread until Deshaun Watson’s 19-yard TD pass to Will Fuller early in the fourth quarter. However, Gardner Minshew’s 4-yard TD pass to Collin Johnson put the Jaguars back within the spread at 20-14, but then Ka’imi Fairbarin’s 46-yard FG and Watson’s 28-yard TD pass to Brandin Cooks put the game out of reach (though still 10.5 points short of the total).
Final score: Texans 30, Jaguars 14
ATS winner: Texans
Total: Under 54.5
Arizona Cardinals (-7, 48.5) at New York Jets
Cardinals RB Chase Edmonds scored on a 29-yard TD run midway through the first quarter, QB Kyler Murray scored on a 2-yard TD run in the second quarter and RB Kenyan Drake added a 1-yard TD run in the third as the Cardinals were mostly in control throughout the game. Murray threw for 380 yards, but the cover wasn’t secured until his 37-yard TD pass to DeAndre Hopkins (6 catches, 131 yards) with 8:35 left. But again, as the theme of the early games, it stayed more than a TD Under the total.
Final score: Cardinals 30, Jets 10
ATS winner: Cardinals
Total: Under 48.5
Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7.5, 44)
Pittsburgh’s rookie WR Chase Claypool (10 receptions, 152 yards receiving) was the star of the game and started the scoring with a 2-yard TD run. Philadelphia RB Miles Sanders had two first-quarter TD runs (including a 74-yarder) to keep the Eagles in the game in the first half, but the Steelers scored two TDs within 1:59 early in the third quarter aided by a Carson Wentz INT to pull ahead 31-14. Still, the Eagles battled back on Wentz TD passes to Greg Ward and Travis Fulgham to pull within 31-29 and within the spread. The Eagles actually had a chance to take the lead, but Jake Elliott missed a 57-yard FG attempt with just over three minutes to play. Philly backers were hoping the Steelers might just run out the clock, but Claypool scored his fourth TD of the game on a 35-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to get over the spread. The Eagles still could have picked up the back-door cover, but Wentz’s second INT ended that threat before it started.
Final score: Steelers 38, Eagles 29
ATS winner: Steelers
Total: Over 44
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-12.5, 49)
The Ravens jumped out to leads of 10-0 after the first quarter and 17-0 at halftime, but with the spread so large, the Bengals were still within a TD of covering. Ravens kicker Justin Tucker’s 39-yard FG with 2:36 left in the third quarter made it 20-0 to make most Baltimore backers feel safer, though the early line on this game was Ravens -13 and even -13.5. Patrick Queen’s 53-yard scoop-and-score after a Cincy fumble removed all doubt. All the Bengals managed was a 38-yard FG by Randy Bullock with :32 to play after being shut out for nearly the whole game.
Final score: Ravens 27, Bengals 3
ATS winner: Ravens
Total: Under 49
Miami Dolphins at San Francisco 49ers (-8, 50.5)
This wasn’t the biggest upset of NFL Week 5 (that was the Raiders earlier against the Chiefs as 10.5-point underdog), but this was probably more shocking. In addition to the 49ers getting blown out 43-17 to lose for straight/money-line/parlay/teaser bettors, there were also a week-high 169 players eliminated from the Circa Survivor contest with the 49ers’ loss. The Dolphins jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. The 49ers looked like they might mount a rally as Kyle Juszcyzk cut it to 14-7 on a 7-yard TD run, but then Ryan Fitzpatrick (22-for-28, 350 yards, 3 TDs) hit Davante Parker with a 22-yard TD pass and Jason Sanders added three field goals to put the Dolphins ahead 30-7 at halftime. Jimmy Garoppolo started for the 49ers, but was benched in the third quarter for C.J. Beathard. His lone TD to Kendrick Bourne was answered by Fitzpatrick’s last TD pass to Preston Williams to put the Dolphins back ahead 37-14 (and Over the betting total) and keep San Fran at bay.
Final score: Dolphins 43, 49ers 17
ATS winner: Dolphins
Total: Over 50.5
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-7.5, 52.5)
The Cowboys beat the Giants 37-34 on Greg Zuerlein’s 34-yard FG as time expired to take over first place in the NFC East at 2-3, but the big news was they lost QB Dak Prescott to a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle. As for the game, the Giants went ahead 17-3 on a 3-yard TD run by TE Evan Engram, a 46-yard INT return and Graham Gano’s first of four FGs (and first of three at 50 yards or more), but the Cowboys took a 24-20 by halftime on an Ezekiel Elliott’s first of two rushing TDs, a fumble return for a TD and an 11-yard TD pass from Prescott to Cedrick Wilson. The Giants took a 34-31 lead on Devonta Freeman’s 4-yard TD run with 8:46 to play, but former Bengals QB Andy Dalton brought the Cowboys back to tie the game 34-34 with 1:56 left and then set up Zuerlein’s game-winner.
Final score: Cowboys 37, Giants 34
ATS winner: Giants
Total: Over 52.5
Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns (-1, 49.5)
A lot of people will consider the Browns’ 32-23 win an upset as the Colts were short favorites most of the week (and in handicapping contests, including the SuperContest and Circa Sports Million), but the Browns closed as 1-point home favorites and covered. After the game was tied 10-10, the Browns ran off 17 unanswered points to take control at 27-10 after Ronnie Harrison’s 47-yard INT return with 12:15 left in the third quarter. Isaiah Rodgers ran back the ensuing kickoff 101 yards to start the Colts’ rally, but a safety put the Browns back up 29-20 with 14:39 to play. The Colts still might have had a chance at a Hail Mary, but Browns K Cody Parkey single-doinked a 46-yard FG through the uprights for the nine-point final margin.
Final score: Browns 32, Colts 23
ATS winner: Browns
Total: Over 49.5
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (-6.5, 54)
The Vikings led 13-0 at halftime as they executed the perfect game plan vs. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, keeping the ball from them and having clock-eating drives of their own (Vikings had time of possession of a whopping 39:28 for the game). But the Seahawks went on a 21-0 run coming out of the locker room to take a 21-13 lead on two Wilson TD passes and a 29-yard TD run by Chris Carson. The Vikings re-rallied to pull within 21-19 (but missed a two-point conversion) and then took a 26-21 lead on two Kirk Cousins-to-Adam Thielen TD passes. Minnesota tried to ice the game at the two-minute warning by going on fourth-and-1 at the Seattle 6-yard line but was stopped. Wilson drove the Seahawks 94 yards and threw the winning 6-yard TD pass to D.K. Metcalf on fourth-and-goal with 15 seconds to play to go ahead 27-26. The Vikings still covered, but the Over/Under 54 hung in the balance on the 2-point conversion, which fell incomplete to stay Under.
Final score: Seahawks 27, Vikings 26
ATS winner: Vikings
Total: Under 54
-- Dave Tuley