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NFL Week 9: Home teams prevail, but sportsbooks still enjoy Sunday

Minnesota Vikings v Kansas City Chiefs
Anthony Sherman (42), Harrison Smith (22), Dustin Colquitt (2) and Harrison Butker (7) watch as Butker’s 54-yard field goal attempt sails through the uprights to give the Kansas City Chiefs a win over the Minnesota Vikings.
(Peter Aiken / Getty Images)

Over the years, I’ve seen tons of people who go through their NFL pools picking all the home teams, figuring they’re more likely to win.

Well, those players finally had their day, as home teams went 11-0 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) Sunday (not counting the neutral-site game in London). If you include Arizona’s spread-covering 28-25 loss to San Francisco on Thursday night, home teams are 12-0 against the spread in Week 9 heading into the Monday night game, in which Dallas is a 6.5-point road favorite over the New York Giants.

So betting the NFL is easy, right?

Wrong!

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Sportsbooks from Las Vegas to New Jersey had another winning day Sunday, as bettors continually landed on the wrong side of the most-bet games.

It started with the London game, as Jacksonville was bet to a one-point favorite but Houston rolled to a 26-3 victory.

Minnesota closed as a five-point road favorite at Kansas City without Patrick Mahomes, and the whole world jumped on the Vikings. But the Chiefs won 26-23 on Harrison Butker’s 54-yard field goal as time expired to kill a lot of parlays and teasers.

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three touchdown passes, two of them to rookie Preston Williams, and Miami got its first win of the season, 26-18 over the Jets.

“Just like last week, the Jets not winning (Miami won 26-18 as a 3.5-point home dog for its first victory of the season) was a great start to the day,” said Patrick Eichner, director of communications for PointsBet in New Jersey. “Steelers, Raiders and Broncos victories were good for us as well. On the flip side, bettors liked the Eagles, Seahawks, Bills and Panthers, so tough results from those matchups.”

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As Eichner alluded, the books really cleaned up in the games kicking off in the afternoon . This was led by the Chargers upsetting Green Bay — also a popular team, especially at 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS entering the game — 26-11 as 4.5-point underdogs despite not having a real home-field advantage.

“That was the No. 1 game for us, for sure,” John Murray, sportsbook director at the Westgate SuperBook, said Sunday night on VSiN’s “Opening Lines” show. “We also had people jumping on the Packers’ second-half line.”

Murray said Denver’s 24-19 upset of Cleveland as a four-point home underdog was also big. This was because it killed so much parlay and teaser liability that the New England-Baltimore game on Sunday night wasn’t much of a decision, even though it was one of the biggest-bet games of the season.

The Ravens upset the Patriots 37-20 as three-point home dogs to end New England’s hope for an unbeaten season.

The Cleveland Browns waived safety Jermaine Whitehead on Monday in the wake of him posting threatening and profanity-laced comments to people critical of his play.

“The public took a beating in the three most lopsided games of the day,” said my VSiN colleague, Josh Appelbaum. “The Packers, Browns and Patriots were all favorites receiving more than 70% of bets, and all three lost straight up and failed to cover, handing contrarian bettors and sportsbooks massive wins.”

I’ve always maintained that the consensus plays from the SuperContest are a great barometer for how well bettors do against the books each week, and it echoed what the sportsbooks were saying Sunday night. The top five most-selected teams in the SuperContest went 0-4-1 on Sunday (losses by the Browns, Packers, Patriots and Vikings, with the push on the Buccaneers +6). The Colts and Jaguars also lost as the Nos. 6 and 7 selections. In addition, the first-year Circa Sports Million Top 5 went 0-5, with the Colts and Jaguars replacing the Patriots and Buccaneers on its list.

We’ll see if the Giants can complete the home sweep on “Monday Night Football” as 6.5-point home underdogs to the Cowboys, who opened as high as 7.5-point favorites but have been bet down through the key betting number of seven. While the public is all over the Cowboys — Eichner reports 75% of the tickets and 60% of the PointsBet handle is on Dallas — sharp money has come in on the “MNF” home dogs.


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