Week 7 NFL betting report: 'Horrible' weekend for sportsbooks

By Ben Fawkes and Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com) 

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It was another big weekend of wagering in the NFL, even without some of the larger wagers we've seen recently. 

Here is a look at how the books did, along with an ATS recap of every NFL game.

Sportsbook report

It was a winning weekend for bettors, as sportsbooks suffered one of their worst NFL Sundays of the season. Sunday was somewhat a tale of the early and late slate, as books had mixed results during the early games but got battered in the late ones.

The worst result of the day at multiple sportsbooks was the Green Bay Packers beating the Houston Texans 35-20 as 3-point favorites. Over 87% of the bets and money were on Green Bay at multiple books, and BetRivers sportsbooks reported its worst loss of the early games off of the Packers win. Books were helped a bit by the game staying a hair under the closing total of 55.5.

“Green Bay was the most popular bet this week by some way,” FanDuel sportsbook director John Sheeran said in an email. “The game staying under was the only respite there.”

The Pittsburgh Steelers (+ 1) beating the Tennessee Titans 27-24 also was a big loss for multiple books in the early window. Over 70% of the bets at BetRivers and SugarHouse sportsbooks were on the Steelers.

There were two wild finishes in the early games, with Todd Gurley accidently scoring a TD to put the Atlanta Falcons (-1.5) up six points (after a successful two-point conversion) on the Detroit Lions, only for Matthew Stafford to throw a TD pass as time expired and the Lions to win 23-22. The scene was reminiscent of Gurley sliding short of the end zone in 2018 as a member of the Los Angeles Rams to win a game against the Green Bay Packers by 2 (Rams were 7.5-point favorites). One BetMGM bettor won a $110,000 bet on the Lions + 1 and a $110,000 bet on the Lions PK.

The other crazy finish involved a Baker Mayfield TD pass with 11 seconds to put the Cleveland Browns (-3.5) up 37-34 over the Cincinnati Bengals. Cody Parkey then missed the extra point, which was a mixed result for books. PointsBet ended up refunding all Browns -3.5 or -4 tickets, while it helped stem William Hill losses “a little.”

“We ended up on the wrong end, as we needed the Browns in that one,” Borgata sportsbook director Thomas Gable said. “That last missed extra point was costly for us.”

The New York Jets (+ 10) getting their first cover of the season in an 18-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills was the best result of the morning for multiple sportsbooks. Over 90% of the bets at BetRivers books and 89% at PointsBet were on the Bills. It was the third-highest bet game of the day at PointsBet sportsbooks.

“It’s the first week all season that I can say we made money on a Jets game,” Gable said. “We won the first half, second half and full game.”

“The biggest morning decisions were the Texans and Titians, and we lost them both,” Stations sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “Having the Jets cover (although sharps were on that side) and the missed extra point by the Browns kind of saved the morning.”

The Dallas Cowboys losing 25-3 to the Washington Football Team as 1-point underdogs was another good result for sportsbooks. It was the second-biggest win of the day for PointsBet sportsbooks. Nearly 80% of bets at FanDuel and William Hill sportsbooks were on Dallas. The Cowboys are now 0-7 ATS, the first team since the 2006 Miami Dolphins to achieve that distinction.

The San Francisco 49ers dismantled the New England Patriots 33-6 as 3-point underdogs, in the best game of the afternoon for sportsbooks. One bettor at the Borgata in New Jersey won a $200,000 wager on the 49ers 3.5 in the second half, and $105,000 bet on the second half under.

Other than that, the afternoon games were a bettor’s paradise.

The Los Angeles Chargers (-7.5), Kansas City Chiefs (-7) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4) all covered the spread, and all three games went over the total. Teasers, straight bets and moneyline parlays all cashed, along with anything tied to those overs.

“In the afternoon games, we needed all four 'dogs with the Raiders and 49ers being the two biggest,” Esposito said. “We split the two biggest decisions but went 1-3 overall in the afternoon and three of the games went over which the players all cashed.”

When asked how the day was going, William Hill US director of trading Nick Bogdanovich replied, “Horrible. The missed kick [in Cleveland] helped a little, but KC, Tampa Bay and Green Bay all equally a problem.”

In the late game, the Arizona Cardinals (+ 3.5) beating the Seattle Seahawks 37-34 helped sportsbooks avoid catastrophe, although the game flew over the total of 55.5. Over 75% of the bets and 61% of the money at PointsBet sportsbooks was on the Seahawks before the game.

Two notable bets both lost at PointsBet sportsbooks involving the Seahawks:

  • A $200,000 wager at -144 odds on Seahawks -7.5 (up 27-17 at halftime) and Los Angeles Dodgers ML in Game 5 of the World Series (Dodgers up 4-2, bottom 5th).
  • A $300,000 at -232 odds on Seattle ML (up 27-17 mid third quarter) and the Dodgers ML (up 4-2, bottom 6).

ATS recaps

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-5, 44.5)

The Eagles led 10-7 at halftime, but after the Giants were pinned back on their own 8-yard line, Daniel Jones broke free and looked like he was going to have an 88-yard TD run but tripped himself up. It looked like they might squander the opportunity, but a defensive pass interference call on third down set up Wayne Gallman’s 1-yard TD run to put the Giants up 14-10 with 6:45 left in the third quarter. After more than 15 minutes of gametime without scoring, Jones’ 2-yard TD pass to Sterling Shepard put the Giants ahead 21-10 with just 6:17 to play.

However, that’s when Carson Wentz (359 yards) went to work and led TD drives of 78 and 71 yards capped off by TD passes to WR Greg Ward and then RB Boston Scott with the game-winner with :40 to play. The Giants still covered despite losing 22-21, but the Over/Under was in the balance on the two-point conversion as most bettors had between 43.5 and 44.5. Philadelphia rookie QB Jalen Hurts’ pass fell incomplete to keep the game Under as Jones fumbled to end any chance of the Giants driving downfield in the final minute.

Final score: Eagles 22, Giants 21

ATS winner: Giants

Total: Under 44.5

Cleveland Browns (-4, 50) at Cincinnati Bengals

Baker Mayfield (297 yards passing, 5 TD passes) and Joe Burrow (4-6 yards, 3 TD passes, 1 TD rushing) put on another show in their second NFL meeting. Defense was optional. The Browns didn’t take their first lead until Mayfield’s 16-yard TD pass to David Njouku with 13:13 remaining in the fourth quarter put them ahead 24-20 (pushing against the closing number, though the line was on 3 and 3.5 most of the week). From there, the two QBs alternated TD passes back and forth on the next four drives. Burrow put the Bengals up 34-31 with 1:06 left on a 3-yard TD pass to Giovani Bernard, but Mayfield marched the Browns down the field and (instead of settling for a FG to send the game to OT) hit Donovan Peoples-Jones on a 24-yard TD pass down the right sideline for the game-winner with :11 to play.

Cody Parkey (whose infamous double-doink in the Bears’ playoff loss to the Eagles two years ago was moved to a footnote in history by the quadruple-doink by Rice kicker Collin Riccitelli on Saturday) could have put the final margin back on the closing spread but missed the PAT to preserve the cover for Bengals + 3.5 backers and Push for all those on -3.

Final score: Browns 37, Bengals 34

ATS winner: Bengals

Total: Over 50

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team (PK, 44.5)

Washington QB Kyle Allen hit WR Terry McLaurin with a 2-yard TD pass on the opening drive of the game, but it was overturned on replay. Washington was stopped on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line, but it ultimately led to a strip-sack of Dallas QB Andy Dalton that resulted in a safety and a 2-0 Washington lead when TE Dalton Schultz recovered the fumble and was tackled in the end zone. RB Antonio Gibson (128 yards) added a TD and then Allen hit McLaurin with a no-doubt 52-yard TD pass in the second quarter and the rout was on. The Washington defense was the real star of the game as it held the Cowboys to 142 yards of total offense and just one FG. Dalton was also knocked from the game with a concussion.

Final score: Football Team 25, Cowboys 3

ATS winner: Washington

Total: Under 44.5

Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons (-1, 55)

Todd Gurley II scored two TD runs for the Falcons, but he wished he hadn’t scored the second one with 1:04 to play as it allowed the Lions to rally and win the game as 1-point road underdogs and + 100 on the money line. The Lions took a 16-14 lead on Matt Prater’s 49-yard FG with 3:16 to play, but the Falcons had plenty of time and Matt Ryan led them on a 76-yard TD drive. However, they were well within winning FG range at the Detroit 10-yard line with just over a minute left when Gurley busted through the line and tried to stop himself from scoring a TD but fell right on the goal line for the go-ahead TD (drawing immediate comparisons to the Penn State RB on Saturday that scored a TD that allowed Indiana to come back and win; which is ironic as Gurley has famously twice gone down intentionally instead of scoring a TD to secure a SU win).

The Falcons led (and were covering) 22-16, but Matthew Stafford led the Lions on an 8-play, 75-yard drive capped by an 11-yard TD pass to TE T.J. Hockenson as time expired. Prater added the untimed PAT to win the game. 

Final score: Lions 23, Falcons 22

ATS winner: Lions

Total: Under 55

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-7, 50)

The Saints jumped out to a 14-3 lead early in the second quarter on Drew Brees’ 1-yard QB sneak as he jumped up and thrust the ball over the goal-line before pulling it back. Former Saint Teddy Bridgewater responded with a 74-yard TD pass to DJ Moore and and another 7-yarder to Moore to put the Panthers ahead 17-14 just before halftime, but then Breese responded with a 4-yard TD pass to Deonte Harris with :02 left before halftime to put the Saints back ahead 21-17. Scoring really slowed down in the second half as the NFC South rivals (both chasing the Buccaneers) battled it out with the Panthers tying the game 24-24 on WR Curtis Samuel’s 5-yard TD run with :08 left in the third quarter. New Orleans K Will Lutz booted a 43-yard FG with 7:55 to play to put the Saints ahead 27-24 (and put the game Over 50 points) and it proved to be the game-winner, though the Panthers covered as 7-point road dogs.  

Final score: Saints 27, Panthers 24

ATS winner: Panthers

Total: Over 50

Buffalo Bills (-9.5, 46.5) at New York Jets

The Over was never in play, but the same can’t be said for the winless Jets, who were the biggest underdog of NFL Week 7. The Bills were as high as 13-point road favorites earlier in the week, though the line was bet down to a consensus -9.5 by kickoff. The Jets went up 3-0 on Sergio Castillo’s 29-yard FG after a 11-play, 67-yard opening drive. They made it 10-0 midway through the second quarter on RB La’Mical Perine’s 5-yard TD run. The Bills chipped away as Tyler Bass kicked two FGs apiece in the second, third and fourth quarter to go up 18-10 with 1:56 to play. The Jets were covering the whole way as Buffalo backers needed a fluke TD to get the cover -- and they almost got it when LB Jerry Hughes intercepted Jets QB Sam Darnold on a deflected pass with just over a minute to play, but the Bills took two knees to run out the clock.

Final score: Bills 18, Jets 10

ATS winner: Jets

Total: Under 46.5

Green Bay Packers (-3, 55.5) at Houston Texans

There were a lot of close games Sunday, but this wasn’t one of them. Aaron Rodgers (283 yards, 4 TD passes) threw three first-half TD passes as the Packers jumped out to a 21-0 lead. The Texans cut it to 21-7 early in the third quarter, but Rodgers hit Davante Adams with a 45-yard TD pass to put the Pack back up 28-7. Ka'imi Fairbairn kicked two FGs to make it artificially close at 28-13 (though it did move the Texans within a TD of covering teasers at 8.5 or 9) but Green Bay RB Jamal Williams added a 1-yard TD run with 3:40 left to squash those chances before the Texans added a late TD that brought the score just Under the closing total.

Final score: Packers 35, Texans 20

ATS winner: Packers

Total: Under 55.5

Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans (-1, 51)

The Steelers, who opened as short road favorites and closed as short road underdogs in this battle of unbeatens, jumped out to a 24-7 halftime lead and extended it to 27-7 on Chris Boswell’s 30-yard FG with 10:26 left in the third quarter. However, the Titans roared back, starting with Ryan Tannehill’s 73-yard TD pass to A.J. Brown on their ensuing drive and pulled within 27-24 on Derrick Henry’s 1-yard TD run with 10:13 remaining. The Titans actually had a chance to tie the game with :14 left in regulation, but Stephen Gostkowski missed a 45-yarder as the Steelers held on for the slightest of upsets as 1-point dogs and + 100 on the money line. The missed FG also kept the game from going Over as the game Pushed on the closing total of 51.

Final score: Steelers 27, Titans 24

ATS winner: Steelers

Total: Push on 51

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4, 51.5) at Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders forced a three-and-out on the Buccaneers’ first possession and then Derek Carr hit Nelson Algholor with a 20-yard TD pass on Raiders’ first possession to go ahead 7-0. Tom Brady (369 passing yards, 4 TD passes) opened the Bucs’ scoring on a 1-yard QB sneak and then threw TD passes to Rob Gronkowski and Scotty Miller to put them up 21-10 at halftime. The Raiders rallied to get within 24-20 on Daniel Carlson’s 36-yard FG with 12:43 left, but Brady hit Chris Godwin with a 4-yard TD pass, Ronald Jones II had a 1-yard TD run (putting the game Over 51.5) and Brady added a 1-yard TD pass to Tyler Johnson to complete the rout. 

Final score: Buccaneers 45, Raiders 20

ATS winner: Buccaneers

Total: Over 51.5

San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots (-3, 45)

The Patriots were popular favorites (only Top 5 consensus play to lose in both Circa Sports Million and SuperContest) but this was a rout from start to finish. The 49ers drove 75 yards in nine plays to go up 7-0 on Jeff Wilson’s 3-yard TD run. The Patriots pulled within 7-3 on the opening play of the second quarter but that was as close as they got as the 49ers pulled away to lead 23-3 at halftime and 30-6 after three quarters as they outgained the Patriots 467-241. Cam Newton was benched when the game got out of hand.

Final score: 49ers 33, Patriots 6

ATS winner: 49ers

Total: Under 45

Kansas City Chiefs (-7, 46) at Denver Broncos

Patrick Mahomes was held to 200 passing yards and just 1 TD, but it wasn’t really due to dominance by the Broncos’ defense or the snowy conditions. His low stat totals had just as much to do with the fact that he barely saw the field in the second quarter as Daniel Sorenson scored a Kansas City TD on a 50-yard INT return and then, after Denver pulled within 17-9, Byron Pringle returned the ensuing kickoff 102 yards for another TD to take a commanding 24-9 halftime time. The Chiefs pretty much coasted from there, though Mahomes did connect with Tyreek Hill for a 10-yard TD pass with 11:15 to play to put it at the Over/Under of 46 and then it went Over on a Melvin Gordon’s 3-yard TD run for Denver.

Final score: Chiefs 43, Broncos 16

ATS winner: Chiefs

Total: Over 46

Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Chargers (-8, 48.5)

The Chargers jumped out to a 16-0 lead early in the second quarter only to have the Jaguars score three unanswered TDs to take a 21-16 lead early in the third quarter on Daniel Thomas’ 16-yard return of a blocked punt. Justin Herbert (347 yards, 3 TDs) then threw two TD passes sandwiched around one by Gardner Minshew to make it 29-29 with 1:56 left in the third quarter. Herbert kept it himself on a 5-yard TD run to put the Chargers ahead 36-29 with :05 left in the third quarter and then Michael Badgley made a 35-yard FG with 6:26 left to cover the spread.

Final score: Chargers 39, Jaguars 29

ATS winner: Chargers

Total: Over 48.5

Seattle Seahawks (-3.5, 55.5) at Arizona Cardinals

There was so much that happened in this Sunday night thriller (including a near 98-yard pick-six by Arizona’s Bubba Baker in the second quarter, but he was run down by Seattle WR DK Metcalf and the Cardinals failed to score after 1st-and-goal from the Seahawks’ 8-yard line as they still trailed 13-7.). We pick up the gambling implications with the Seahawks leading by a non-covering 27-24 midway through the fourth quarter but went up by 10 on a 3-yard TD pass from Russell Wilson (388 passing yards, also led team with 84 rushing yards) to Tyler Lockett (he caught all three of Wilson TD’s passes). The Cardinals got back within the spread at 34-31 on an 8-yard TD pass from Kyler Murray (360 passing yards, also led his team with 67 rushing yards) to Christian Kirk.

Already covering, Arizona point-spread backers were most likely cheering for Zane Gonzalez to miss the tying 44-yard FG with :02 remaining in regulation (to secure the cover), but Gonzalez snuck his kick just inside the left upright to tie the game 34-34.

The Seahawks won the coin-toss for overtime, but had to punt. The Cardinals moved within Gonzalez’s range, but he pulled the potential 41-yard game-winner wide left. The Seahawks then looked like they were just trying to get into FG range when Metcalf took a short pass from Wilson and went for what appeared to be a 48-yard TD that would have also covered the spread, but it was called back for holding. On the very next play, Wilson was intercepted by Arizona’s Isiah Simmons and that led to Gonzalez finally converting the game-winning, 48-yard FG for the Cardinals to win outright as 165 home underdogs.

Final score: Cardinals 37, Seahawks 34 (OT)

ATS winner: Cardinals

Total: Over 55.5

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