As we head to the finish of the NFL season, stakes and heart rates will increase with each passing week. As the calendar turns to December, these games mean so much more and the results have shown teams aren’t giving up until the final gun.
Wild finishes in regulation and overtime fueled a week that overall went the books’ way. Favorites underperformed mostly. Let’s take a look at the recap.
Divisional games bring out great performances and fierce passions. Usually, they make for intense contests and wild finishes. Unless, apparently, Cody Kessler is involved.
Fans took Tennessee giving five to Jacksonville 65% at William Hill entering Thursday night’s contest. The Titans were struggling to keep up in the AFC Wild Card race, while the Jags were just struggling, despite winning against Indy the prior week.
The Titans dominated the game with a powerful run game to cover easily. Bettors saw this as their biggest win of the weekend at PlaySugarHouse.
Surprisingly, while a third of the tickets at William Hill correctly predicted Derrick Henry would eclipse 37.5 yards on the ground, only 3% of the money cashed. He did well over that.
Late finishes dominate Sunday
It was not a good week to take a big favorite. Some wild endings hurt those taking shorter ML bets. Spreads were overall off, especially in the close finishes.
Of the five biggest point spread favorites at William Hill, four failed to cover and two lost outright. The Chargers needed to stop a late two-point conversion to hold off the Bengals but the 83% who gave 16 points didn’t cash.
The Chiefs won in OT but didn’t cover the 6.5 they gave to the Ravens, which drew 65% of public money. The Dolphins stole one from the Patriots with the multi-lateral play at the gun, although that couldn’t have helped the 60% laying 7.5 on New England.
A couple big numbers made winners of the public. The Saints clinched the NFC South with a late win over Tampa, covering the 10 for 80% of the bettors, the second biggest side bet over the weekend. The late Derek Carr TD throw that gave the Raiders an upset of the Steelers bolstered the 60% who took Oakland and 10 at home.
Late money helped and hurt a few teams with late wins. The NFC East showdown flipped from Philly to Dallas, who covered in OT. The Browns and Packers also made winners of late money that also moved some lines.
However, the late money that moved the Bills and Pats to betting favorites failed with the late TDs. The 79% on Buffalo was the most on a “bad beat” finish on Sunday.
Bettors didn’t fare much better on the Sunday night game. The Rams entered with 65% of the spread bets but lost in Chicago.
Late money flipped the Monday night game from the Vikings to the Seahawks, who won at home and covered three with 61% of the money bet on the spread. Fans also correctly backed the under at 46 with 59%.
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