The Fat Lady gave a virtuoso performance for NFL moneyline underdog bettors Sunday.
Miracle victories by the Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets, and Miami Dolphins — who turned fourth-quarter deficits into improbable last-second triumphs — underscored the adage of “It Ain’t Over Until the Fat Lady Sings.”
Moneyline players hit the bank on these games, and underdog spread bettors prevailed 8-5-1 prior to the Philadelphia Eagles-Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans-Buffalo Bills MFN matchups.
Although the New England Patriots’ 17-14 triumph over the Pittsburgh Steelers was a push on the closing line at DraftKings, many New England backers got wagers down at -1 and -2 throughout the week before the line landed on the key number ahead of kickoff.
In terms of Week 2 totals, Unders are 8-6 heading into Monday night.
DraftKings backers supported Eagles -2.5 with 76% of handle and Bills -10 with 79% of handle for the Week 2 finales as of Sunday.
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Here’s a look at how money changed hands at DraftKings in a wild, electrifying finish to the Sunday games.
The Cardinals, down 23-7 to the Las Vegas Raiders in the fourth quarter, notched a TD on the final play of regulation, a two-point conversion, and a game-winning overtime scoop-and-score.
The triumph was worth +185 to DraftKings moneyline players, as the Cardinals ranged from +5 to +6.5 across the sports betting landscape all week.
The overtime touchdown, creating a 29-23 final, also provided a gift for bettors who took Over 51 at 75%. Fourteen points came on the last play of regulation, the two-point conversion, and the overtime TD. That’s a bailout few gamblers expect or ever receive.
Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray became the wild card, showing vintage scrambling form at key moments. This was missing from his game down the stretch last year and to start this year. But he re-discovered the intangible just in time to pull off the upset in Las Vegas.
Murray outraced defenders to the corner of the end zone on the final play of regulation to bring the Cardinals within 23-21. He then threaded the needle to A.J. Green for the two-point, game-tying conversion.
Byron Murphy completed the comeback trifecta, taking a fumble 59 yards to the house in overtime.
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Browns Crumble in Last Two Minutes
According to ESPN Stats, teams had won 2,229 consecutive games when leading by at least 13 points in the final two minutes.
Well, this was number 2,230.
The Jets ultimately returned +210 to DraftKings moneyline bettors, surging from 13 points down with 1:55 to play and toppling the Cleveland Browns, 31-30. They needed a touchdown, a successful onside kick, and a follow up-score, completing an unlikely task. The winning touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to Garrett Wilson came with 22 seconds left.
There was irony here. Cade York, who drilled the game-winning 58-yard field goal for the Browns in their 24-23 triumph last week against the Carolina Panthers, missed a PAT with 1:55 to go. That made Cleveland’s lead 30-17 instead of 31-17.
That made Cleveland -6.5 backers vulnerable to a back-door cover, which they suffered when Flacco hit Corey Davis for a 66-yard score. But the Browns still looked primed to win the game.
The Jets then went all the way, burning the moneyline parlays that involved the heavily-favored Browns anchoring tickets.
How improbable was this? The Jets scored only one touchdown last week, losing to the Baltimore Ravens, 24-9. They tallied two in 58:05 Sunday. And they got two more in less than two minutes.
For the Browns, it went from no cover to no moneyline victory, and now finger-pointing about their defensive focus before Thursday’s matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Dolphins stormed back from a 35-14 fourth-quarter hole, stunning the Baltimore Ravens 42-38 to the tune of +145 for bettors. In a performance that projects him to be one of the league’s elite quarterbacks, Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa threw four of his six touchdowns in the final quarter.
The game-winning seven-yard toss went to Jaylen Waddle with 14 seconds remaining. Tagovailoa finished with 469 yards.
These were the three come-from-behind Moneyline Magic tickets for dog bettors.
Cowboys Upset Bengals
Another underdog moneyline score involved the Dallas Cowboys, who wired the Cincinnati Bengals. Dallas topped Cincinnati 20-17 on a last-play, 50-yard field goal from Brett Maher.
The ‘Boys paid +230 to their backers, the largest moneyline hit of the week. On the point spread, they closed +7.5 on Sunday.
The books loved this result, too, as more than 90% of the gamblers at major books backed the Bengals as heavy spread-betting chalk.
Cha-Ching Corner on Touchdown Scorers
Mark Andrews took the most DraftKings money as an anytime scorer, at +135. He delivered one for the Ravens.
Davante Adams gets play, even when he’s not in a Packers uniform anymore. He was the highest-ranked first-time TD scorer on the DraftKings board at +425. Adams notched the first score in the Raiders-Cardinals contest.
PointsBet listed Aaron Jones at +115 as its top revenue source for the Packers-Bears games, and he rewarded bettors.
Nick Chubb (-115) and Tyreek Hill (+165) were among the book’s earlier anytime scorers to hit financial paydirt.
Also read: MNF player props and TD scorer bets
How the Late Money Did
The Weekend Warriors weighed in and significantly changed some of the betting lines on Sunday.
The Carolina Panthers went from +2.5 to +1 Sunday morning. But they could not reward the bettors who moved the line in the 19-16 setback to the New York Giants.
New England money drove the line against the Pittsburgh Steelers to -3. Late-money bets became a push, but earlier wagers at New England -1 and -2 became winning tickets.
The gamblers were all over the Jags. The line moved from Jacksonville +4.5 to +3 on Sunday, as Jags money poured in. Jacksonville made it look easy with a 24-0 throttling of the Indianapolis Colts.
The overwhelming majority of bettors were correct on the Detroit Lions and Washington Commanders going Over 48.5, as Detroit prevailed 36-27. They were also right about Pittsburgh-New England going Under 40.5.
The biggest over-under surprise was the Los Angeles Rams-Atlanta Falcons total. More than three-quarters of the bettors took that Under 46.5, but it went Over as Los Angeles triumphed, 31-27.
Dice Rolls Significant 4th Down Gambles That Impacted the Games
On their first possession, the Jags converted 4th and 3 from the Indianapolis 47. Trevor Lawrence completed an eight-yard pass to Zay Jones. The Jags later turned that into a TD.
The Jets faked a punt when trailing 7-0. On 4th and 2 from their own 46, Jets punter Braden Mann tossed a 17-yard pass to Jeff Smith to move the chains. The Jets converted that drive into a TD.
The Cowboys had 4th and 2 in their own territory on the first possession of the game. Cooper Rush threw to Noah Brown for 17 yards. And that led to a TD.
The Ravens had 4th and a foot after an 18-play drive with the score tied 7-7. A bad snap and quick reactions by the Miami defense denied the Ravens from going ahead.
In overtime, the Cardinals defied logic on 4th and short, throwing a bomb to Marquise Brown. He almost hauled in it, but he didn’t, giving the Raiders good field position in overtime. The Cardinals overcame that, however, by winning the game later.
Pay This Prop: The Safety Dance
The Lions had a 3-0 lead and 4th and goal on the Commanders’ 3. They missed a scoring chance when Jared Goff threw an incompletion. But the Commanders were pinned back so far that they yielded a safety a couple of plays later.
That prop pays more than +1500 at a number of books.
Brady Backers Finally Cash Against Saints
According to Caesars Sportsbook, Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady’s team had failed to cover in seven straight regular-season games against the New Orleans Saints.
Bettors nonetheless placed 63% of the handle on the Bucs at -2.5 before their 20-10 win. The Bucs are now 6-0 straight up and against the spread one week after they fail to score 20 points. Tampa Bay beat the Cowboys last week, 19-3.
No sportsbook, however, had the line on who would instigate the melee between the teams with 12:49 left to play. It began with a frustrated Brady complaining, as he often does, about perceived infractions against his team.
Marshon Lattimore of the Saints gave some smack back to Brady and then Mike Evans jumped in. The benches emptied. To that point, it was the most exciting thing that had happened in the 3-3 game.
Evans really doesn't like Lattimore.pic.twitter.com/eLzOwIKuMC
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 18, 2022
Evans may obtain a suspension (his intervention was blatant). In any case, the brawl woke up the Bucs. They tallied 17 fourth-quarter points, including a Pick 6.
Still Owns ‘Em
Rodgers improved to 20-3 straight-up and 17-6 against the spread in his last 23 games against the Bears, including wins and covers in each of the last seven meetings.
He tied a career-high with 14 straight completions to close out Sunday’s 27-10 victory.
Prior to the game, since 1985, the only other quarterback to go 16-6 ATS or better versus one opponent in a 22-start span was Ben Roethlisberger over the Bengals (17-5 ATS from 2006 to 2017).
Despite all of that, spread action at Caesars was split, with Chicago taking in 63% of spread bets and Green Bay securing 62% of the handle.
It’s Getting Late Early Out There
No team has made the NFL playoffs with an 0-2 start since 2018.
The urgency could be somewhat cushioned because of the 17th game added last year, but some teams nonetheless face scary predicaments.
The team that could spread the most alarm is the Bengals. The defending AFC champs are 0-2 and don’t look good. The kicking game cost them a Week 1 victory against the Steelers.
Against the Cowboys, Joe Burrow did not look confident throwing a deep ball, and his line can’t protect him.
The Bengals allowed six sacks in the loss to the Cowboys, atop seven last week.
They are sleepwalking. The team has no urgency.
NFL Injury News
Trey Lance could be gone for the season, as the San Francisco 49ers quarterback suffered a broken ankle that required surgery.
The Niners are happy they did not trade Jimmy Garoppolo before the season, as was rumored. The quarterback who nearly took them to the Super Bowl and then lost his job to Lance is back. He did enough in helping San Francisco notch a 27-7 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.