Huge Run on Betting NFL Favorites Continued in Week 12
Las Vegas sportsbooks endured one of their worst NFL Sundays in history , as favored NFL teams went 9-2 against the spread in the afternoon games alone. The Buffalo Bills, who upset the Kansas City Chiefs 16-10, were the only team to beat the spread in the early afternoon slate. The Arizona Cardinals, who beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-24 in overtime, covered the spread in the late afternoon window. Arizona entered the game as 5.5-point underdogs.
The trend in betting heavily on favorites has been a theme in the month of November overall. Since the calendar flipped to November, favorites have gone 37-15-4 against the spread. ESPN Stats & Information says that it’s the best month for favorites against the spread in the Super Bowl era of the NFL.
Books came close to notching another victory in the New York Jets-Carolina Panthers game, only to see Panthers kicker Graham Gano hit a 45-yard field goal with about 20 seconds to go to extend Carolina’s lead to 35-27. Carolina came into the game as 5.5-point favorites, but that field goal pushed them over.
Sunday Night Help
The books did pick up a win in the Sunday night affair between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers. The Steelers entered the game as heavy favorites against a struggling Packers squad, but Pittsburgh was forced to squeak it out with a 31-28 win. The Steelers entered the game as 14-point favorites against a Packers team that had struggled to muster much offense without Aaron Rodgers.
The late game helped, but Vegas still wasn’t able to overcome the disastrous early Sunday slate. ESPN reported that a manager for Caesars Palace sportsbooks said, “We’re on path for one of the worst NFL regular season Sundays that I can remember.”
Thanksgiving Favorites Hit
Favorites also dominated in Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day 3-game slate. The Washington Redskins, L.A. Chargers and Minnesota Vikings all easily covered as betting favorites against the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions, respectively. The Thursday games also carried over into a number of parlays that wound up hitting on Sunday.
The vice president of risk for CG Technology, Jason Simbal, said, “We had a $500 six-teamer that hit for $24,000. Falcons, Panthers, Eagles and all three favorites from Thanksgiving.”
Betting trends are certainly easier to note with a larger sample size. Earlier in the NFL season, nobody could have known that teams like the Rams, Saints, Eagles and Vikings would be the best teams in the league. As a result, the betting public has been quick to jump on board.
Simbal added, “It’s like 10 weeks in, once you realize who’s horrible and who’s really good, that’s when the public really pounds these teams. These scores might have been the same scores that happened in Week 4, but then you didn’t know the Eagles were the best team or that the Vikings are really good, so you didn’t get as much action on them.”
The Baltimore Ravens enter Monday night’s tilt with the Houston Texans as 7.5-point favorites. Vegas will get a slight boost if the Texans are able to cover, but it surely won’t be enough to help offset what has been a disastrous week for books.
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