It was another big weekend of wagering in the NFL. Overs continued to hit at a historic clip, as they were 29-19 entering Week 4 and went 7-4-2 for the week. Favorites are 6-6-1 against the spread heading into Monday Night Football.
Here is a look at how the books did, along with an ATS recap of every NFL game.
The biggest bet of the NFL season so far came in before the early games on Sunday, as one DraftKings Sportsbook bettor put $1.4 million on an adjusted total in the Jacksonville Jaguars-Cincinnati Bengals game. The bettor took Over 42 points at -263 odds; the actual total closed 49.5.
The wager cashed early in the fourth quarter, as the Jaguars kicked a field goal to cut their deficit to 27-16. The game ended up finished over the original total of 49.5, as Cincinnati won 33-25.
The bettor won $532,319.29.
This wager comes on the heels of another giant bet at DraftKings on last Thursday night’s game between the Dolphins and Jaguars. One bettor wagered $795,200 on an alternate total of Over 41.5 (-270) in that game, and also cashed when Miami won 31-13. That wager won $294,224.
The biggest decision of the early games for several books was the Baltimore Ravens comfortably beating the Washington Football Team 31-17 as consensus 14-point favorites (the line opened -12.5 and was 13 or 13.5 most of the week). It was the biggest line of the NFL season thus far.
The game was the most-bet of any Sunday contest at the Borgata Sportsbook in New Jersey and their worst result of the day. It had the second-biggest handle at PointsBet, where over 95% of the moneyline bets and handle were on the Ravens, along with 80% of the spread bets (although just 50% of the spread handle). One bettor at a BetMGM book also cashed a $100,000 wager on Baltimore -12.5.
The Seattle Seahawks (-5.5) winning 31-23 and covering on the road the Miami Dolphins was a terrible result for sportsbooks as well, as Seattle moved to 4-0 straight up and ATS. The biggest pointspread wager of the day was $550,000 on Seahawks -6.5 at BetMGM, which cashed. The game had the highest handle at PointsBet and over 90% of the moneyline and spread handle at BetRivers and SugarHouse sportsbooks was on the visiting Seahawks.
Two other poor results for the sportsbooks:
New Orleans Saints (-4) beating the Detroit Lions 35-29
-85% of the ML handle and 81% of spread handle at BetRivers and SugarHouse books was on the Saints.
Buffalo Bills (-3) winning 30-23 over the Las Vegas Raiders
-70% of bets and money at multiple books were on the Raiders
“Our four biggest decisions were the Panthers, Bengals, Chargers, Dolphins and Washington Football Team,” Station Casinos sportsbook director Chuck Esposito told VSiN in an email. “We went 3-2 ATS on those games.”
The Dallas Cowboys losing 49-38 to the Cleveland Browns as 3.5-point home favorites produced the biggest win of the day at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. At the Borgata in New Jersey, 96% of the tickets written and 96% of the money was on Dallas. The in-game total at one point in the game was 79.5 at Westgate.
The Cowboys are now 0-4 ATS for first time since 1992, according to VSiN’s database.
The Carolina Panthers upsetting the Arizona Cardinals 31-21 as 3.5-point underdogs produced Westgate’s second-biggest win. BetMGM had a $300,000 wager on the Cardinals -3.5 and a $230,000 wager on the Cardinals -3. Both bets lost. Teddy Bridgewater improved to 18-4 ATS as an underdog in his career.
In the late games, 89% of the handle at BetRivers and SugarHouse was on the Los Angeles Rams (-13.5) against the New York Giants. Books across the country were thrilled when the Giants hung around, losing 17-9.
The Buffalo Bills (-3) beating the Las Vegas Raiders was a poor result for books as well, as over 70% of the bets and handle at multiple sportsbooks were on the visiting Bills.
“We needed the Giants and Raiders, along with the Bills-Raiders and Rams-Giants game under,” Esposito said. “Having two of the three late games go under definitely helped.”
Overall, sportsbooks continued to be hurt by totals, with overs cashing at a historic rate. Overs were 6-1-1 in the early games, and the only game to go Under was Seattle-Miami — which did so by a point. Overs finished 6-4-2 on the day, and 7-4-2 for the week so far (including Denver’s 37-28 win over the New York Jets on Thursday). “We did not do well on totals,” Esposito said. “Depending on when you bet them, overs were 7-1 and 8-0 on our parlay cards [in the early games].”
So far this season, Overs are 36-22-2, cashing at a 62% clip.
“Overall day was a small winner heading into the night game,” Esposito said. “We are clearly Eagles and under fans.”
The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the San Francisco 49ers 25-20 on Sunday Night Football, and the game did indeed stay under the closing total of 46.5.
“It was an ahhh day,” SuperBook vice president of risk Ed Salmons told VSiN in a text message. “Up some, but never got the huge underdog to win outright. Chargers or Giants [winning] would’ve made it a huge day.”
— Ben Fawkes
THURSDAY: Denver Broncos at New York Jets (-1, 41)
The Broncos pulled the upset on Thursday Night Football. Denver opened as a smaller road favorite, but after coach Vic Fangio announced second-year, third-string QB Brett Rypien would get the start, the line dropped and the winless Jets were bet to favoritism. New York did jump out to a 7-0 lead on Sam Darnold’s 46-yard rumbling, stumbling TD run before the Broncos seemed to take control of the game and led 27-16 early in the fourth quarter.
However, a pick-six by Jets CB Pierre Desir and two FGs by Sam Ficken actually put the Jets ahead 28-27 and sitting right on the closing spread. But then a 53-yard FG by Brandon McManus gave the Broncos a 30-28 lead with 3:08 remaining and Melvin Gordon’s 43-yard TD run gave Denver backers the cover at all numbers and doomed the vast majority of Jets teasers as well.
Final score: Broncos 37, Dolphins 28
ATS winner: Broncos
Total: Over 41
New Orleans Saints (-3, 52) at Detroit Lions
The Lions were a popular underdog this week — and that was before the late Saturday night news that the Saints had a positive COVID-19 test, which was later determined to be a false positive. The Lions closed as 3-point home dogs and jumped out to a 14-0 lead on two TD passes by Matthew Stafford. The Lions had already blown double-digit leads in losses to the Bears and Packers, so the fast start wasn’t unexpected, but the Saints then rattled off 35 unanswered points. Drew Brees hit Tre’Quan Smith with two TD passes, Latavius Murray ran for 2 TDs and Alvin Kamara added one to lead 35-14 midway through the third quarter. New Orleans coasted from there and, while the Lions scored two TDs to make the final respectable, the Saints still won and covered.
Final score: Saints 35, Lions 29
ATS winner: Saints
Total: Over 52
Arizona Cardinals (-3, 52) at Carolina Panthers
The Panthers jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but unlike the Lions, they never let the Cardinals get within one score. Carolina QB Teddy Bridgewater (26-for-37, 276 yards, 2 TDs) outdueled Arizona’s Kyler Murray (just 133 yards but 3 TDs), who was held in check until the Panthers’ lead was too big to overcome as Carolina won as a 145 home dog on the money line. The total pushed on the consensus closing total of 52 as four of 10 Vegas books closed on 52. As always, it pays to shop around to get the best number on the side of the best you like.
Final score: Panthers 31, Cardinals 21
ATS winner: Panthers
Total: Push 52
Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5, 48)
These also-rans traded scored throughout the first half with the Jaguars leading 13-10 at halftime, but then the Bengals exploded for a 17-0 third quarter. Joe Mixon (151 rushing yards) had TD runs of 34 and 23 yards to give him three total TDs on the day and Randy Bullock added a FG to put the Bengals ahead 27-13. Gardner Minshew (351 passing yards, 2 TDs) did pull the Jaguars within eight at 30-22, but Bullock booted his fourth FG of the day and the Jaguars could only manage a FG with :08 to play before an unsuccessful onside kick.
Final score: Bengals 33, Jaguars 25
ATS winner: Bengals
Total: Over 48
Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5, 56.5)
The Over went 6-1-1 in the early games and this was the highest-scoring one with 87 total points. The Browns started the scoring with a Jarvis Landry-to-Odell Beckham Jr. 37-yard TD pass on their opening drive. Dak Prescott (41-for-58, 502 yards and 4 TDs) responded with two first-quarter TD passes, but then the Browns scored 34 unanswered points to lead 41-14 by the end of the third quarter. But, similar to their rally against the Falcons, the Cowboys scored three TDs (and three 2-point conversions) to actually pull within 41-38 with 3:42 to play. However, OBJ put the game away with a 50-yard TD run on a reverse as the Browns also cashed at 160 on the money line.
Final score: Browns 49, Cowboys 38
ATS winner: Browns
Total: Over 56.5
Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans (-3.5, 53)
The Vikings earned their first win of the season over the winless Texans. Dalvin Cook (130 rushing yards) scored two first-half TDs as Minnesota built a 17-6 halftime lead. The Vikings seemed in control (36:31 time of possession) and led 31-16 with 10:50 to play, but the game went Over the 53-point total on Kenny Stills’ 24-yard TD pass from Deshaun Watson that cut the lead to 31-23 with 5:52 to play and then it appeared the Texans had pulled within a 2-point conversion attempt of forcing overtime on a fourth-and-goal TD pass to Will Fuller, but the score was overturned on replay and the Vikings were able to go into victory formation.
Final score: Vikings 31, Texans 23
ATS winner: Vikings
Total: Over 53
Seattle Seahawks (-4.5, 55) at Miami Dolphins
The Seahawks improved to 4-0 SU and ATS with a workman-like victory behind MVP candidate Russell Wilson (360 passing yards and only 2 TDs after averaging 4.67 in the first three games) and Chris Carson (80 rushing yards and 2 TDs). They never trailed, but were only ahead 17-15 midway through the fourth quarter before Wilson hit David Moore with a 17-yard TD pass and Carson added his second TD to pull away at 31-15. The Dolphins scored late on a Ryan Fitzpatrick 10-yard TD run and a 2-point conversion, but the 31-23 final was the only early Sunday game to stay Under the closing betting total.
Final score: Seahawks 31, Dolphins 23
ATS winner: Seahawks
Total: Under 55
Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7.5, 42)
We should know by now that no lead is safe in NFL 2020, but the Chargers seemed in control with a 24-7 lead and the ball with under a minute left in the first half. But then Ndamukong Suh stripped Los Angeles RB Joshua Kelley and the Bucs recovered to set up a 6-yard Tom Brady-to-Mike Evans TD pass to make it 24-14 at halftime.
Brady, who threw 5 TD passes on the day, methodically picked apart the Chargers’ defense from there, taking a 28-24 lead late in the third quarter. And although rookie QB Justin Herbert hit Jalen Guyton with a 72-yard TD pass to put the Chargers ahead 31-28, Brady threw his 5th TD pass to regain a 35-31 lead with 11:05 left. Ryan Succop added a 26-yard FG with 2:40 left to make the final score 38-31; Charger backers at 7.5 still got their cover, though the late FG made winners of those Tampa Bay backers who were able to get -6.5 (including Circa Sports Million players) and gave everyone at /7 settle for a Push (including Westgate SuperContest players).
Final score: Buccaneers 38, Chargers 31
ATS winner: Chargers
Total: Over 42
Baltimore Ravens (-14, 45) at Washington Football Team
The Ravens ran over the Washington defense early as Mark Ingram scored on a 1-yard TD run and then reigning MVP Lamar Jackson dazzled on a 50-yard TD run to give Baltimore an early 14-0 lead. The Ravens remained in control the whole game as Jackson also threw 2 TD passes to TE Mark Andrews, but Washington stayed around long enough to make the point-spread result interesting. Dwayne Haskins’ 1-yard TD run with 2:05 left not only put the game Over the betting total of 45 points but pulled Washington within 14 points at 31-17 to Push against the closing spread. Baltimore backers (and contest players) laying between 12.5 and 13.5 during the week still covered.
Final score: Ravens 31, Washington 17
ATS winner: Push
Total: Over 45
Indianapolis Colts (-3.5, 43) at Chicago Bears
Philip Rivers hit TE Mo Alie-Cox with a 13-yard TD pass on the Colts’ opening drive, but that was it as far as any duel with new Bears starting QB Nick Foles was concerned. The Colts’ No. 1-ranked defense (aided by playing the Jaguars, Vikings, Jets and Bears so far) held Chicago to 269 yards as Foles looked as lost as, well, Mitchell Trubisky. The Colts led 13-3 at halftime and 19-3 before the Bears scored their lone TD with 1:35 to play. An unsuccessful onside kick removed any thoughts of another miracle comeback as the Bears suffered their first loss. The game never threatened the total of 43 points.
Final score: Colts 19, Bears 11
ATS winner: Colts
Total: Under 43
New York Giants at Los Angeles Rams (-13.5, 49)
The Rams jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a 2-yard TD run by Gerald Everrett on their opening possession, but they never led by more than the 13.5-point spread. In fact, three Graham Gano FGs had the Rams leading only 10-9 in the fourth quarter as 464 of the 675 Circa Survivor contestants were sweating a Rams’ straight-up win. Jared Goff connected with Cooper Kupp on a 55-yard TD pass with 6:56 to play, though Samuel Sloman missed the PAT to keep it a one-possession game. The Giants did get to the Rams’ 18-yard line in the final minute of regulation, but Daniel Jones was intercepted by Darious Williams to secure the non-covering victory.
Final score: Rams 17, Giants 9
ATS winner: Giants
Total: Under 49
Buffalo Bills (-3, 53) at Las Vegas Raiders
The Bills and Raiders traded scores back and forth in the first half — with the difference being the Bills had two TDs and one FG and the Raiders had two FGs and one TD — as the Bills led 17-13. Daniel Carlson’s third FG for the Raiders cut the Bills’ lead to 17-16 in the third quarter, but then Buffalo QB Josh Allen (who also threw two TD passes) and RB Devin Singletary had short TD runs in the fourth quarter to help the Bills pull away to a 30-16 lead. Derek Carr hit Nelson Agholor on a 7-yard TD pass with 1:29 to play and Carlson added the PAT to put the game on the closing total of 53 points.
Final score: Bills 30, Raiders 23
ATS winner: Bills
Total: Push 53
Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers (-6.5, 45)
After four scoreless possessions to start the game, the Eagles went up 8-0 on Carson Wentz’s 11-yard TD run and a 2-point conversion pass to Zach Ertz. The 49ers grabbed a 14-8 lead in the third quarter, but the Eagles rallied to take a 18-14 lead on Wentz’s 42-yard TD pass to Travis Fulgham with 5:50 left. Thenm the Eagles’ Alex Singleton intercepted Jeff Mullens and took it back for a TD to put the Eagles ahead 25-14 with 5:42 left. But the game still wasn’t over as C.J. Beathard replaced Mullens and left a 12-play, 75-yard TD drive to make it 25-20, though TE George Kittle was unable to catch the 2-point conversion pass that would have put it Over the closing total of 45.5 points.
After a three-and-out, the 49ers had one more shot to pull out the victory but Beathard’s Hail Mary went unanswered and the Eagles held on for the 300 money-line upset. The Over/Under opened at 43 points, so earlier Over bettors cashed and some got a Push on 45.
Final score: Eagles 25, 49ers 20
ATS winner: Eagles
Total: Under 45.5
— Dave Tuley