The NFL spread its wealth across several betting sectors on Sunday of Week 9.
Varied components marked the underdogs’ 7-3-2 advantage at DraftKings before the Baltimore Ravens invade the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.
Dogs that howled the loudest belonged to moneyline backers of the New York Jets. They pocketed a sizable payout, at +420 odds, after the Jets delivered a 20-17 triumph over the Buffalo Bills, the Super Bowl favorite. Only 13% of the moneyline handle was on New York.
Spread bettors were also rewarded for their conviction, first wagering enough to move the line from Buffalo -12.5 to -10.5 on Sunday morning and then collecting on the wager.
The public at large cashed in on their best bets on totals at DraftKings. They nailed the Bills-Jets as their favorite Under (45.5), and they romped with the Miami Dolphins-Chicago Bears as their top Over (46). The Dolphins prevailed 35-32, and bettors had pocketed this wager in the third quarter.
Sunday night spread bettors were divided into two camps.
Smaller wagers backed the Tennessee Titans’ historic odds, with 62% of the Caesars tickets riding them at +12.5 before a 20-17 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Larger bets came in on the Chiefs, as 56% of the spread-betting handle was on the home team.
The odds were historic, Caesars reported, because no team coming off a five-game winning streak in the Super Bowl era ever received odds this high.
Elsewhere in NFL Week 9, it was a mixed bag for backers of fading superstars Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.
Aaron Rodgers’ Tosses Three Picks
Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers (-3.5) suffered a bizarre 15-9 loss to the Detroit Lions. It was bizarre because Rodgers had thrown for 40 touchdowns and one interception in his last three years against NFC North opponents.
He threw two end-zone interceptions in the first half on Sunday. Rodgers tossed a third pick near the goal line in the third quarter, all against the worst defense in the NFL (more than 29 points per game allowed).
The Rodgers interceptions cost Green Bay at least three field goal attempts, but probably more.
The Pack had first-and-goal from the 5-yard-line and the 1-yard line in two of those possessions. They should have notched at least one touchdown, thus the picks most likely cost them double-digit points in a game they lost by six.
The Packers, the No. 1 NFC seed in the 2021 post-season, have lost an astonishing five straight. They are 3-6.
Tom Brady Pulls Out Victory After Tough Day
Tom Brady’s milestone party was nearly spoiled.
Yes, the GOAT reached an iconic record, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to surpass 100,000 career passing yards (including playoffs). It translates into more than 56 miles of completion yardage.
But he looked like a shell of himself all day, scuffling as dropped passes, numerous holding penalties, and the lack of a running game bogged down his offense.
Brady saved some magic for the final drive of what became the Tampa Bay Bucs‘ 16-13 triumph over the Los Angeles Rams.
He directed a brilliant last-minute drive and hit Cade Otton for the winning touchdown with nine seconds left. It capped a Brady flashback, a vintage march of 60 yards on six plays in just 35 seconds with no timeouts.
Bettors on both sides then sweated out the extra point. It went through and the gamblers had a push.
The Rams had owned the Bucs in recent years, going 6-1 straight up and 7-0 versus the spread against them. Gamblers expected that to change, backing Tampa Bay with 58% of the spread-bet tickets and 73% of the spread-bet handle at Caesars.
Falcons Can’t Get Out of Their Own Way
The Atlanta Falcons did it again.
You remember the 62-yard touchdown pass they allowed to the Carolina Panthers with 12 seconds on the clock last week. And then how they were bailed out by a penalty and two missed kicks.
Well, the opposing kicker did not rescue them this time.
The Falcons killed themselves with three colossal blunders in a 20-17 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
First, receiver Drake London had a ball stripped away from him at the Chargers 5, denying Atlanta a first-and-goal when it trailed 14-10 in the third quarter.
When the Falcons led 20-17 in the fourth quarter, Younghoe Koo failed to connect on the 50-yard field goal that would have expanded the lead.
And then came the capper.
With the score tied 17-17 in the final minute, Austin Ekeler of the Chargers fumbled deep in Atlanta territory. The Falcons scooped it up. But defensive lineman Ta’Quon Graham rumbled upfield, perhaps trying to set up a game-winning field goal. He fumbled the ball back moments after recovering the back. Nobody touched Graham. He simply dropped the ball.
You can’t make this stuff up about a team that finds the most unique ways possible to lose.
The Chargers recovered, completed a pass and buried the Falcons with a game-winning field goal on the final play.
Falcons bettors fumed and Chargers backers rejoiced at the swing in fortune. Los Angeles closes -2.5 and its backers cashed in on the final play.
The Payout that Wasn’t
DraftKings’ most highly-played individual prop was Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals to throw more than 1.5 touchdowns against the Carolina Panthers. It was priced at -205.
Well, the Bengals got a season-high 42 points, crushing the Panthers, 42-21. They notched 464 yards.
But the prop didn’t pay. That’s because running back Joe Mixon scored five touchdowns, and Burrow ran for one. He only had one touchdown pass, accounting for one of Mixon’s scores.
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FanDuel Rewards Bengals Bettors
But there was a place in which the Bengals bettors are likely to ring the bell.
FanDuel listed them as the seventh choice at +1300 to be the highest-scoring team of the week.
Bettors have to wait out the Monday night game in order to cash the ticket. But they are looking at a great price for a team that scored only 13 points against the Cleveland Browns in a 32-13 loss six days earlier.
The book also offered a prop paying +300 if every team in the NFL scored at least one touchdown in all of the Sunday afternoon games. There is usually one team that blows the prop up on bettors, and this week it was the Indianapolis Colts. They were the only team not to get into the end zone Sunday.
Ironically, there were nearly two.
Brady’s Bucs got their only TD with nine seconds left in the game.
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PointBet — The Secret Sauce
Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner had a big day for the Jets and for PointsBet gamblers.
Gardner’s interception led to the go-ahead touchdown in the Jets’ shocker over the Bills.
The pick continued a string of good play, prompting PointsBet to make an early payout on Gardner for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Gamblers have thus been rewarded at various stages of their investment.
Gardner was +200 to start the day.
Officials told Gaming Today that Gardner opened at +800 in April and that his longest price of the season was +1500. His shortest was +150 a couple of weeks ago.
“Sauce has been locking down #1 receivers all season, with Jets fans now surely having flashbacks to Darrelle Revis,” said Sam Garriock, the trading manager for PointsBet.
“The former Revis Island has now become Sauce Island. With today’s performance, including the interception that may have derailed Josh Allen’s MVP campaign along with the game-winning pass defense, he’s locked up Defensive Rookie of the Year in PointsBet’s eyes.”
In other games, the book reported that it went 1-0-1 with its top two liabilities.
PointsBet did not have to pay out the Packers -4. They pushed on the Bucs -3.
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Additional Week 9 Takeaways
Andy Reid Wins Biggest Dice Roll of the Week
Many fourth-down conversions are calculated. But some are a dice roll that throws caution to the wind.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid left everything to chance Sunday night.
Reid is already in a league of his own coming off the bye week. He entered this game 20-3 straight up out of the off week and 15-8 against the spread, according to Caesars.
Well, the spread was long gone when the Chiefs faced fourth-and-1 from the Tennessee Titans’ 13-yard line halfway through overtime. But the moneyline was still in play. Reid went for a conversion rather than kick an overtime field goal.
Harrison Butker had already missed an extra point and a field goal for Kansas City, and Reid wasn’t going to let him try a kick from extra-point range. He also hoped to punch in a touchdown that would have prevented Tennessee from touching the ball in overtime.
On the risky call, Patrick Mahomes completed a short pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster, who caught it short of the first down and muscled his way past the marker.
Kansas City got a fresh set of downs, went nowhere, and Butker kicked the go-ahead field goal. The defense preserved the win.
The bettors who sweated this one included survivor pool players. Many of those pools consider a tie a loss. Had Reid’s call backfired, a tie was quite possible.
What also emerged from this game is the trust Mahomes is forming with Juju Smith-Schuster. He’s becoming the team’s clutch wide receiver. Bettors may start backing Smith-Schuster with more yardage props going forward.
It’s also clear that Mahomes badly misses the deep speed of Tyreek Hill, the former chief now playing for the Miami Dolphins.
The New Juggernauts
Miami with Tua Tagovailoa was established as a strong connection for Over bettors early in the year.
Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears are stepping up now. Fields has become a magnificent runner and the heart and soul of the Chicago offense. The Bears have put up 94 points in their last three games primarily because of his scrambling.
On Sunday, he ran for 178 yards including a 61-yard touchdown. He also threw for three scores.
Bettors will look to him more for scoring props and rushing-yardage totals.
This is the most exciting Bears offense in several years and prop bettors can’t wait for their Week 10 game against the Lions.
Updated prices: Odds to win Super Bowl 57