NFL underdogs produced painful Sunday for chalk bettors


It was a bad weekend for public chalk bettors as multiple sportsbooks told VSiN they had winning Sundays. That will happen when eight underdogs cover, including six outright victories.

The biggest early win at multiple sportsbooks was the Cincinnati Bengals (+7) beating the Tennessee Titans outright, 31-20. More than 80 percent of the handle at BetRivers sportsbooks was on the Titans, including 91 percent of the moneyline handle. One bettor at The Borgata in Atlantic City had the Titans moneyline as part of a $105,000, four-leg parlay (with Bills, Packers and Chiefs moneylines) that didn’t come home.

“The Titans [losing] was the biggest result for us,” South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews told VSiN. “We had money on the Vikings, but moneyline and teasers on the Packers helped.”

The Vikings-Packers game was another one of the worst results for bettors as the public was all over Green Bay giving less than a touchdown at home against a 1-5 Minnesota team. At William Hill sportsbooks, an astronomical 91 percent of the total money wagered was on the Packers. The game had the highest handle of any early game at BetRivers and SugarHouse sportsbooks. The Vikings (+6.5) won, 28-22.

One of the biggest early wins for bettors was the public underdog Pittsburgh Steelers (+4) winning, 28-24, over the Baltimore Ravens. The majority of spread money at multiple sportsbooks, including 60 percent at PointsBet, was on Pittsburgh. One bettor at BetMGM wagered $105,000 on the Ravens -4.5. Baltimore outgained Pittsburgh 457 yards to 221, but committed four turnovers, including a pick-six.

Joe Burrow
Bengals quarterback Joe BurrowGetty Images

“We did extremely well on the [early] games,” Station Casinos sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “There were five outright ’dog winners and six out of eight ’dogs covered. The two largest we needed were the Vikings and Bengals, but we also did well on the Pats and Dolphins.”

One of the worst beats of the day happened on the total in the Miami Dolphins-Los Angeles Rams game. The total closed at 46.5, and the Dolphins were enjoying a comfortable 28-10 lead at halftime. Miami would go on to run 26 plays for 76 total yards and zero second-half points, but the Rams managed just a touchdown in the second half. The 28-17 final stayed Under the total of 46.5.

The Kansas City Chiefs (-20) covered in a 35-9 win over the New York Jets in one of the more interesting games from a gambling perspective of the season. More than 73 percent of bets and 68 percent of the money at PointsBet sportsbooks was on the Chiefs. Several large moneyline wagers came though on Kansas City, including a $60,000 wager at a William Hill book in Iowa at -2800 odds. The bet won $2,142.85.

Bettors enjoyed a victory in the Seattle Seahawks’ 37-27 win over the San Francisco 49ers. The line opened Seattle -3.5 or -3 at most books, but was bet down to pick ’em at one point Sunday before settling at Seahawks -1. More than 73 percent of the bets at multiple sportsbooks were on the Seahawks. One bettor at Borgata lost a $115,000 wager on the 49ers +3.

One of the most interesting bets came on “Sunday Night Football,” as a bettor at PointsBet wagered $270,000 at -270 odds on the Eagles first-quarter moneyline. The Eagles scored a touchdown with two seconds left in the first quarter for the bettor to cash. At the Borgata, 83 percent of the tickets and 85 percent of the money was on the Eagles. Philadelphia won — and covered — 23-9 as a 10-point favorite.

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