Most of the time, when a wildly popular favorite loses in the NFL, many bettors also commiserate.
But the public also likes gambling a little to win a lot. Or at least a lot more than you might win betting on the point spread.
Such was the case with the Bills–Jets moneyline in the NFL Week 9 odds market. Quite a few people took fliers on the double-digit underdog Jets to win outright. So while the bookies generally had a big Sunday, some bettors got a profitable W in that matchup.
Gang Green Upset Machine
The Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills are widely considered the best team in the NFL, but they didn’t look like it in Week 9.
Buffalo’s explosive offense mustered just two TDs and a field goal, losing to the New York Jets 20-17. From a betting perspective, the Bills closed as consensus 10.5-point road favorites. Most public/recreational bettors have been riding high on Buffalo, practically betting them blindly all season long. And no doubt, the Bills were in loads of moneyline parlays Sunday.
But in standard straight moneyline bets, the Jets at +575 or so – meaning a $100 bet wins $575 – were plenty attractive. And at those odds, liability can quickly add up.
“Our biggest loser of the day was Jets moneyline,” WynnBet senior trader Chris Youn said. “But I’m positive that we weren’t the only book that lost there.”
Chris Andrews, sportsbook director at the South Point in Las Vegas, would’ve taken a bath on that outcome, as well. But fortuitously, one of his better-bankrolled customers placed a $50,000 moneyline parlay bet on Chiefs -600/Eagles -800/Bills -600.
And the Bills failed to get there.
“On the Bills game, we got flooded with Jets money on the point spread and the moneyline,” Andrews said. “But that $50,000 parlay cut into that pretty good. That one parlay saved us a bunch.”
On a side note, the Jets surpassed their preseason win total of 5.5 at most sportsbooks. A good start for coach Robert Saleh & Co.
Another Big Day for the Books
Jets moneyline beneficiaries notwithstanding, it was, unfortunately, another rough NFL Sunday for most bettors. Andrews’ South Point was having a solid day and, to preserve it, just needed the Tennessee Titans to cover against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.
With rookie Malik Willis at QB, the shorthanded Titans closed as 14-point underdogs. But Tennessee actually led more than half the game. The Titans lost 20-17 in overtime but easily covered in an exclamation-point game for several sportsbooks.
BetMGM vice president of trading Jason Scott was also satisfied with that outcome, but he dared to think how overtime might’ve gone if Tennessee had Ryan Tannehill under center. A Titans outright upset would’ve been a massive windfall for his book and others.
“I never thought I would go to bed dreaming of what if and what Ryan Tannehill could do in OT,” Scott said.
Still, BetMGM had no complaints overall.
WynnBet’s Youn concurred on both of those outcomes: The Patriots (-4.5) trucked the Colts 26-3, and the Lions won 15-9 as 4-point home underdogs against the flailing Packers. Further, the Seahawks (+1.5) topping host Arizona 31-21 was another winner for WynnBet.
“Out of all the Sunday games, we got the most handle on the Seahawks-Cardinals, which was interesting,” Youn said.
What the Bucs?
The SuperBook was an outlier in the NFL Week 9 odds market, with what senior risk supervisor Casey Degnon termed a “small losing Sunday.”
“The Bucs coming back to win and having the game land on 3 was a bad result for us,” Degnon said.
Indeed, Tampa Bay got a final-seconds TD to beat the L.A. Rams 16-13. The Bucs opened as 2-point favorites a week ago and closed at -3. With Tampa winning by 3, The SuperBook had to pay out on all the Bucs bets at -2/-2.5, and had to refund all the Bucs -3/Rams +3 bets.
Back to School
Tennessee–Georgia was just a monster game in terms of total money wagered at sportsbooks across the country. The public continued its Vols love affair, on both the spread and on the moneyline to pull the outright upset. So Georgia’s 27-13 victory as a 10-point favorite was another big winner for the books.
“Phenomenal result,” BetMGM’s Magee said. “It looks like our biggest single-game [win] of the year in college football.”
Added The SuperBook’s Degnon: “Georgia covering was one of our best results of the day. We were definitely rooting for the Dawgs in the risk room.”
At WynnBet, Youn said Wisconsin’s 23-10 win as a 4.5-point home favorite against Maryland was key. So too was Virginia covering as a 7.5-point underdog in a 31-28 home loss to North Carolina. But the day was all about Tennessee-Georgia.
“Georgia winning and covering was a great outcome, as we had lopsided action on Tennessee moneyline bets. The Bulldogs covering was just icing on the cake,” Youn said.
“We were a small loser on LSU moneyline, but overall a small winner on the game, because we needed LSU to cover,” Degnon said.
The Tigers were hefty 13.5-point home underdogs against the Crimson Tide.
I Like Big Bets and I Cannot Lie
Big bets were flying all over the place in both college football and the NFL this past week. Most notable was a flurry of major wagers that came in Friday afternoon on Georgia:
- $362,000 on Georgia -8 at Caesars Sports
- $110,000 on Georgia -7.5 at Caesars
- $200,000 on Georgia -8 at BetMGM
- $160,000 on Georgia moneyline -300
All those bets got there as the Bulldogs rolled over Tennessee.
Also, ahead of the college football weekend, one Nevada customer made $560,000 worth of bets:
- $120,000 on New Mexico +17 (-120) at Utah State (push; New Mexico loses 27-10)
- $110,000 on Navy +19.5 at Cincinnati (win; Navy loses 20-10)
- $110,000 on Baylor +3.5 at Oklahoma (win; Baylor wins outright 38-35)
- $110,000 Baylor-Oklahoma Over 61 (win; 73 total points)
- $110,000 on Duke–Boston College Over 47 (win; 69 total points)
So that bettor went 4-0-1 to cash out $400,000 ahead. Nice work if you can bankroll it, for sure!
Sportsbooks reported some noteworthy big plays in the NFL, too. One bettor at Caesars fired big three times:
- $300,000 on Vikings -3 (-120) at Commanders (push)
- $275,000 on Jets +12 vs. Bills (win)
- $325,000 on Saints +3 (-130) vs. Ravens (TBD; Monday Night Football)
So far, that customer is 1-0-1 and is up $250,000, with a chance to add another $250,000 if the Saints cover Monday night.
BetMGM reported a trio of moneyline wagers from different bettors:
- $180,000 on Colts +185 at Patriots (loss)
- $100,000 on Falcons +140 vs. Chargers (loss)
- $100,000 on Vikings -165 at Commanders (win)
As for me, I had a far-more modest #ChilisMoney in-game play on Georgia. After the Bulldogs fumbled on their opening drive, and Tennessee turned it into a 3-0 lead, I took Georgia -6.5, a line that was 3.5 points better than the pre-game number of Georgia -10.
So Saturday night, we dined on the finest meats and cheeses Chili’s had to offer. Here’s hoping your bets this week lead you to the promised land of chicken bacon ranch quesadillas and bottomless chips and salsa.
Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and senior reporter for VegasInsider.com. He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He’s based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golfing in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas.
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