Is nothing sacred?
Gamblers greet an NFL world turned upside down.
Tom Brady’s and Aaron Rodgers’ teams have lost five straight combined games, stunning everyone but the contrarian betting market.
The setbacks by their respective Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers squads, along with losses by the favored Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Chargers, sparked moneyline magic for sports bettors in Week 7.
Although the spread-betting favorites hold a 7-6 lead before Monday’s battle between the New England Patriots and Chicago Bears, moneyline dogs produced big cash.
Tampa Bay’s 21-3 setback to the Carolina Panthers, coupled with Green Bay’ 23-21 loss to the Washington Commanders, reveals trouble for these perennial NFL powers.
Bucs Busting Bankrolls
Brady‘s Bucs lost as double-digit favorites for the second straight week. The Week 7 betting line had drifted up to Tampa Bay -13 by Sunday morning. And the Bucs didn’t even score a touchdown.
Carolina bettors thus obtained a whopping +510 at DraftKings, which was backed by a mere 12% of the betting handle.
That marks the biggest moneyline loss by a favorite this year. It eclipsed what the Bucs suffered one week earlier. That’s when they were toppled 20-18 by the Pittsburgh Steelers at -10.5, and Pittsburgh moneyline bettors racked up on a +350 payout.
For Tampa Bay’s last two games, it’s David 2, Goliath 0.
And the Bucs haven’t covered the spread since Week 2, when they toppled the New Orleans Saints, 20-10. Some bettors have been all over that, feasting upon the heavy points Tampa Bay has been laying as a popular favorite.
Tampa Bay is 2-5 against the spread on the season.
The Bucs opened -2 at the Westgate SuperBook for their Week 8 Thursday night home game against the Ravens, but by Monday morning, the line had flipped to Baltimore -1. Tampa Bay, in fact, is available for +1.5 at BetMGM and FanDuel.
Packers Also Burning Bettors
Green Bay’s loss at -4.5 lost to the Commanders, marks their third straight. The Packers were also recently dumped by the New York Giants and New York Jets.
This was another big win for the dog bettors, as only 16% of the DraftKings moneyline handle backed Washington at +180. Green Bay also had 76% of the spread handle, the second highest in popularity at the book. (The Kansas City Chiefs had 81% handle in toppling the San Francisco 49ers, 44-23).
As for Green Bay’s last three games, it’s David 3, Goliath 0.
And the Packers have not covered the spread since Week 3, when they beat Tampa Bay, 14-12. They are also 2-5 ATS.
That’s the last thing they want before visiting the red-hot Buffalo Bills in the Week 8 Sunday Night game. Green Bay is a 10.5-point underdog in that spot, an unheard or number for Packer backers. An Aaron Rodgers-led Green Bay team has never been spotted double digits.
New York Market Recharged
The changing of the guard extends beyond the Bucs and Packers.
The New York betting market is electrified with the success of the Jets and Giants.
The Jets own their first four-game win streak since 2015 after putting away the Broncos, 16-9. And the Giants are 6-1 after toppling the Jaguars, 23-17.
Not only were the Jets (85% handle) and Giants (79% handle) heavily supported in moneyline percentage in Week 7, they also were the two most highly-bet teams on the DraftKings moneyline, in terms of volume.
While DraftKings paid out the Giants at +130 and the Jets at -120, it pocketed Tampa Bay at -720 and Green Bay-215.
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Giants Part of NFC East Sweep
Giants bettors sweated until the final play but were rewarded at +130 at DraftKings. The GMen preserved their 23-17 triumph over the Jacksonville Jaguars with a gang-tackle at their 1 on the final play.
And as Washington was beating Green Bay, the Dallas Cowboys overcame a sluggish start and a 6-3 halftime deficit to defeat the Detroit Lions 24-6 in Dak Prescott’s return.
Gamblers who took Detroit to win the first half and Dallas to win the game pocketed a nice bet.
The NFC East was the weakest division in the NFL two years ago. Now it is perhaps the strongest, with the 6-0 Philadelphia Eagles, 5-1 Giants, and 5-2 Cowboys.
Even the last-place Commanders are 3-4 and have won two straight.
Running the Table? Eagles’ odds to go undefeated
One Last Underdog Bark
The Seahawks (+6.5) returned +245 to DraftKings bettors upon Seattle’s 37-23 thumping of the Los Angeles Chargers, who remain a weak home favorite.
The Chargers are 1-3 against the spread and 2-2 at home on the moneyline this year.
Caesars Sportsbook Report
The Giants were 3-point underdogs in Jacksonville this week despite boasting a 5-1 record while the Jaguars were 2-4.
It is the first time that a 5-1 club has been an underdog to a team with a losing record since Week 8 of 2008, when Buffalo (5-1) was a 1-point dog at Miami (2-4), per Caesars Sportsbook. The Dolphins won that game, 25-16.
The Jets opened as 3.5-point underdogs against the Broncos, but moved to 1.5-point favorites after the Broncos announced Brett Rypien would make his second career start in place of the injured Russell Wilson.
This is the first time the Jets were road favorites since Week 4 of 2020, when they lost 37-28 at Denver as 1-point chalk. Rypien made his only other NFL start in that contest.
New York seized 71% of the spread tickets, while Denver secured 57% of the handle for this game. The Jets have won and covered four straight games. They haven’t turned the trick in more than three straight contests since 2010 (five).
PointsBet dodged its biggest liability, which was Tampa Bay to cover the spread.
The sportsbook also avoided its biggest exposure on the prop market, which was Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans to score.
Not only was he kept out of the end zone, but the Titans offense did not tally a touchdown at all. Yet a defensive score helped propel the Titans’ 19-10 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
The book did pay out on its second-biggest liability, which was Kansas City -115 on the moneyline.
Unique wagering type explained: What is PointsBetting?
The Bad Things That Happen to Bad Teams
A montage of low moments by the one-win Houston Texans illustrates what often separates strong and weak teams.
They led the Las Vegas Raiders 20-17 in the fourth quarter.
And they had 4th-and-1 from their own 33. The defense had given up three straight touchdowns and the offense hoped to keep the ball.
But the Texans got fancy with their formations and were called for a false start. They had to punt.
On the next possession, the Raiders had 3rd-and-11 from the Houston 30. They picked up 10 to make it 4th-and-1 and went for it. The Texans could have kept it a one-score game by making a stop. But they jumped offside, allowing the first down.
Las Vegas scored a rushing touchdown on the next play. And after that came a Pick 6.
When weak teams hit a pothole, they sink quickly.
Big Turning Point
The Packers coaxed a fumble and a recovery from Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke with the score 14-10. But a penalty wiped it out and kept Washington in the game long enough to grab it.
Bettors who took Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans to score and to tally first got a bad break early in the game. He was open by a full zip code but dropped a pass from Brady that would have produced a 64-yard walk-in touchdown.
Mike Evans drops a WIDE OPEN 75-yard touchdown.pic.twitter.com/pVG31k0YlH
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 23, 2022
It happens, even to elite receivers.
The Jets are about to get a stiff test.
Star running back Breece Hall, who scored the Jets’ only touchdown in their win over the Broncos, likely suffered an ACL injury, according to post-game reports. He could be gone for the rest of the season.
Hall, who notched a highlight-reel 62-yard scoring run early in the game, was ruled out after being helped off the field late in the second quarter with a knee injury.
The Jets won this game without him, but what about going forward?
Amon-Ra St. Brown, a sparkplug of the Detroit Lions offense, was sorely missed after suffering a first-quarter concussion against the Cowboys.
The Lions were outscored 21-0 in the second half, and their offense is sputtering.
Three weeks ago, the Lions were the NFL’s top-scoring team. In their last two games, they have not reached the end zone.
The Cowboys and Lions also reached bizarre milestones on the same play.
Dallas had scored on every red-zone possession until a late first-half fumble turned the ball over to Detroit. The Lions, conversely, had not stopped a team from scoring on a single red-zone possession until that play.
Initial X-rays were negative for Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf, who nonetheless missed the second half of Seattle’s victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Falcons’ ATS Perfection Ends, Bengals Keep Cashing
The Atlanta Falcons (+6.5) suffered their first loss against the spread in the 35-17 setback against the Bengals. Atlanta had been the only perfect team against the number.
Cincinnati, meanwhile, has quietly covered in five straight weeks and is over .500 at 4-3 for the first time this year. The team has begun to find its downfield explosiveness. Joe Burrow’s 481-yard passing game Sunday has been long awaited.
The Bengals are starting to look like the team that won the AFC last season.
The Miami Dolphins led the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-10 early in the third quarter. They had an easy field goal lined up. They passed it up to go for it at the Pittsburgh 14.
Rather than make it a two-score game, the Dolphins went for it and failed.
It nearly burned them in what became a nail-biting 16-10 squeaker Sunday night.
Returnees Report Card
Grading three high-profile quarterbacks who either came back from injury or gained a starting role:
Tua Tagovailoa B+
He threw the ball well, especially to the left side. Could have gotten an ‘A’ if he hadn’t thrown four passes that could have been picked off. Would have gotten a ‘D’ if they all had been.
Nonetheless, Miami snapped a three-game losing streak with him in.
Taylor Heinicke B
Had a solid second half in leading the Commanders over the Packers. Put too much air under the ball for the Pick 6 that put the Packers up 14-3 in the second quarter. Heinicke was later stripped and lost a fumble, but was bailed out by a penalty.
Rebounded in the second half. Showed mobility to avoid a sack before throwing a go-ahead score. Showed leadership with a clutch late conversion to Terry McLaurin.
Dak Prescott B-
He was rusty early, overshooting targets. But he was allowed to manage the game and conducted three touchdown drives in the second half. Prescott threw his first TD to put the game away. Good enough.
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NFL Week 8 Betting Lines
Here are current point spreads, totals, and moneylines for Week 8 of the 2022 NFL season,