Last week Las Vegas bookmakers and sharp bettors got absolutely pummelled.
According to ESPN’s David Purdum, the sportsbooks in Nevada lost $US7-$US10 million on Sunday thanks to a string of favourites covering and getting killed on a few games with lopsided action.
But while every other bettor in Vegas was rolling in dough, it was another losing week here. My bad on that.
Still, we can use last week to our advantage. Assuming lightning doesn’t strike twice, this should be a good week for the underdogs – public bettors with a bit of extra cash on hand will want to back the teams that brought them so much money last weekend, opening the door for some solid value on the ugly underdogs.
Take a look below as we try to turn things around with our predictions for who covers this weekend (* indicates home team).
LAST WEEK: 5-8
Byes: Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans
Pittsburgh Steelers* (-3.5) over Carolina Panthers
The Steelers have won four straight games and come into this Thursday night matchup red hot. Both their losses this season so far have been at home, and it’s tough to imagine them dropping a third in front of the Terrible Towels.
Detroit Lions (+6.5) over Chicago Bears*
This is too many points for the Bears to lay. They have won two straight games, but they came against the Bills and the Jets, two of the worst teams in football right now. Take the Lions and hope Matthew Stafford can keep things close.
Cincinnati Bengals* (+5.5) over New Orleans Saints
The loss of A.J. Green is huge for the Bengals’ offence, but this is a classic let-down spot for the Saints after their huge win over the Rams last week. If we’re trusting the underdogs to bark back this weekend, Cincinnati is the only side to play in this one.
Atlanta Falcons (-4) over Cleveland Browns*
Despite a poor start, the Falcons are now one of the hottest teams in football, and can’t afford to lose another game in the race for a playoff spot in the NFC. The Browns are still a team that fired its head coach and offensive coordinator two weeks ago.
New England Patriots (-6.5) over Tennessee Titans*
If I’m going to bounce back from a few bad weeks of bets, I have to stop going against the Patriots. It’s been true for years, but I’ve finally accepted it.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+3) over Indianapolis Colts*
Just a month ago, I would have guessed the Jaguars would be favoured by at least a field goal in this game. Jacksonville is an absolute mess, but they’re coming off a bye, and the idea that the Colts could be favoured in any game still feels like a stretch.
Arizona Cardinals (+16.5) over Kansas City Chiefs*
Strictly on principle, when there is a line this long in an NFL game, you take the underdog. If you don’t want the underdog, take your money elsewhere. It’s just too many points.
New York Jets* (-6) over Buffalo Bills
As much as the Jets should not be favoured by six over any team, I can’t pass up another opportunity to bet against Nathan Peterman. We only have so many chances to do it left.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers* (-3) over Washington Redskins
Washington is trending downward after their surprise jump to the top of the NFC East, and the Buccaneers keep proving that they can score points in large chunks quickly. If Tampa Bay can jump out to an early lead, this one could get ugly.
Oakland Raiders* (+9.5) over Los Angeles Chargers
Too many points.
Miami Dolphins (+9.5) over Green Bay Packers*
Also, too many points.
Los Angeles Rams* (-9.5) over Seattle Seahawks
OK, this one should be too many points as well, but the Rams are coming off their first loss of the season and almost got caught by the Seahawks the first time they met this season. Look for Sean McVay to pour it on in this one.
Philadelphia Eagles* (-7) over Dallas Cowboys
The Eagles are at home, coming off a bye, playing their most hated rival in primetime. It’s a statement game for the defending champions – the first time since they have won their rings that they get to face the opponent that mocked their franchise’s lack of titles for so long. Eagles in a rout.
San Francisco 49ers* (-3) over New York Giants
The 49ers really seemed to rally around Nick Mullens after his standout debut last week, and against a struggling Giants team, it feels like they could do it again.