The tide is turning in the NFL as it always does.
After seeing favorites going 35-56-1 against-the-spread through the first six weeks, the NFL’s Week 7 action saw favorites go 7-5-1 ATS through Sunday’s action ending with the Cowboys 37-10 win against the Eagles (+3). The end result was the public not getting crushed as much as they had the past two weeks, but Nevada sportsbooks still came away with a variety of small to decent wins on Sunday.
At the high end of the win columns in Week 7 was CG Technology and MGM Resorts books
“It was a pretty good day but we would give about half back, or maybe up to two-thirds of what we won on the day back if the Eagles cover,” said MGM Resorts sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback before kickoff of the Sunday night game. “We had a player bet two $100,000 bets on the Eagles (+3) with us so that had taken away our position we once had with early Cowboys action.”
That single bettor carried the day for MGM books in both win and handle.
“That same big bettor also played Seahawks and Rams twice and the Bengals and Giants once ($100,000 each),” Stoneback said. “Overall, in our four biggest decisions we went 2-2 on the day, but the win in those games far exceeded the losses. It was really kind of quiet on Sunday and handle was down overall from same Sunday last season.”
Imagine how light the MGM books’ handle would have been had they not got almost a million in handle from one bettor. Part of the reason for the low public handle is a product of diminished betting bankrolls from the past few weeks of getting pummeled by the underdogs.
The Ravens (+3) would win, 30-16, at Seattle and pay out +145 on the money line, one of three ‘dogs to win outright on Sunday.
“Good day, but not great,” Station Casinos’ sportsbook director Jason McCormick said of their Sunday. “The Cardinals and Redskins were the key wins for us, but the Rams, Vikings, Jaguars, Packers, Colts, Titans, Ravens, and Saints cashed a lot of tickets.”
The 49ers remain unbeaten at 6-0, but their 9-0 win at Washington failed to cover the spread — moved from -9.5 to -10 — aided by sheets of rain that poured non-stop, turning FedEx Field into a big puddle. Because of both teams trying to run most of the time due to conditions and churning the clock, it turned out being the shortest game (2:36) in a decade.
The Redskins, the second-worst rated team when making pointspreads, drop to 1-6 on the season, but jumped up to 2-5 ATS. The 49ers were tied with the Bills and Lions for the best cover teams at 4-1, but all three failed to cover Sunday.
“It was a good day,” said Westgate SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay. “But we’re not knocking down doors. Just a good day.”
Kornegay said the SuperBook did well with the Cardinals, Colts (-1.5 in 30-23 win vs. Texans), and Redskins which was their best game of the day. Their worst game was the Rams’ beatdown of the Falcons.
The Cardinals 27-21 win at the Giants (-3) was their third straight win bringing them to .500 (3-3-1) and they’re now 5-2 ATS tied with the Saints, Packers, and Rams (and maybe Patriots who play Monday) as the best cover teams in the NFL. New head coach Kliff Kingsbury and rookie QB Kyler Murray have finally established a rhythm offensively, albeit against the Bengals, Falcons, and Giants in their last three who have only three wins combined between them.
But the Cards are finally executing now, getting touchdowns instead of settling for field goals, and have opposing defenses respecting the QB which has also opened up an impressive run game.
“We didn’t have a lot of the large straight bet action on the Giants like other places did, but what the Cardinals win did for us was break up a lot of live parlays that had the Packers (-6 in 42-24 win vs. Raiders), Rams, and Vikings (-2.5 in 42-30 win at Detroit) on them,” said CG Technology sportsbook director Tony DiTommaso who actually needed the Packers because of sharp action early in the week on the Raiders.
CG books probably had one of the better Sundays in Nevada because of beating one bettor at the Venetian who made two wagers on the Bears money line at -230 and -240 totaling $540,000. It was the worst Bears money line in the state if that tells you something about the bettor. CG also had the best Saints money line at +210.
The Saints (+4.5) marched into Soldier Field with a dominant 36-25 win, a score that doesn’t do justice of the beatdown or poor play of QB Mitch Trubisky in his return. The Bears have now lost their last six games coming off a bye. Sharp action initially played the Bears from -3 to -4.5. By the way,
“We had some larger bets on the Bears,” said Kornegay. “A lot of people thought this was a tough spot for the Saints, including me.”
The Saints haven’t lost a game behind Teddy Bridgewater this season. He’s won all five since Drew Brees got hurt in a Week 2 loss at the Rams. Three of Bridgewater’s wins have come on the road. The Saints have the luxury now of not having to bring Drew Brees back quickly.
“We didn’t win a lot of games, but the games we did win were big decisions,” said DiTommaso.
The Dolphins are the worst-rated team in the NFL, but they proved +17 at Buffalo was too much in the Bills 31-21 win. The spread probably should have been Bills -14 and when +17 showed, the sharps sniffed out an inflated line and took the Dolphins down to +15.5. The Dolphins are still 0-6 on the season, but their first two covers of the season have come the past two weeks.
Also, the Bengals are fast catching up to the Redskins for No. 2 worst rated team. The Jaguars’ number ran as 3-point road favorites up to as high as -5 and their 27-17 win wasn’t as indicative of how bad QB Andy Dalton and the Bengals looked. “The Jungle” in Cincinnati was loaded with fans wearing brown paper bags on their heads for the shame of supporting an 0-7 team but not wanting to be identified.
The public put their faith back in the Rams (-3) at Atlanta despite three straight losses, but they hated the Falcons much more to throw the Rams on a bunch of their parlays and were rewarded with a 37-10 win, a score the public loves and remembers from their Rams of the past two seasons they could always trust. Meanwhile, the Falcons drop to 1-6 and their 1-6 ATS record is the worst mark in the NFL
Perhaps Week 7 is a small sign that the tide is turning for the favorites and Week 8 is the week of the favorites get together collectively and send the books to one of those Tsunami parlay loss days that usually happens twice a season. The public is still waiting for the first one and the books know one is coming soon.