The NFL regular season is winding down but with the playoffs on the horizon, the betting season is just getting started. Let’s check in on how the books did this weekend in NFL Week 14 against the betting public.
Betting Rewind – NFL Week 14
It was a mixed bag in NFL week 14 with neither the bookies or the players taking any significant betting losses. The public took a slight win with favorites went 8-5-1 against the spread in what has been a great season so far for the bookmakers.
The largest favorites in the NFL betting to cover in Week 14 were the Vikings (-12) versus the Lions, the Browns (-6.5) vs Bengals and the Ravens (-6) vs the Bills.
Kirk Cousins led the Vikings over the lowly Lions, covering their double-digit spread just barely with a 20-7 win. This was due in large part to head coach Mike Zimmer choosing to just sit on the ball in the 2nd half, calling just 10 passing plays despite Cousins first-half performance. He finished the day 24-30 with 242 yards and a TD in what should have been a much bigger day for the QB. Another player who should have seen more action was Dalvin Cook but was given just five carries in the second half to ease his workload down the stretch. Fantasy owners had to feel a little let down by each of those two performances but it was enough to secure the in and cover.
As for the Browns, despite being just about eliminated from the playoffs, they did not go easy on the Bengals and improved to 6-7 with a 27-19 win. The big takeaway from this game was the Browns defense, which despite limited the score to 19, gave up 451 net yards and a number of long drives to the Bengals. Frankly, Browns bettors got pretty lucky that they kept the Bengals under 20 points and especially that a late pick by Mayfield was overturned due to a penalty.
Rounding out the big favorites to cover is the Ravens who were again led by their young phenom, Lamar Jackson. An early strip-sack of Josh Allen set the tone for this game, and Baltimore a quick double-digit lead. The Ravens defense limited Allen to a scant 146 yards on 17 of 39 completions. To be fair, neither QB had a particularly great afternoon with Jackson struggling to move the chains and throwing for just 145 yards on 16 completions.
Taking a look at the totals, the NFL over under betting results were 7-9 on the week with three games that saw totals over 48 points. The Kansas City Chiefs vs New England Patriots was the highest at 49 followed by both the Carolina Panthers vs Atlanta Falcons and the Seattle Seahawks vs Los Angeles Rams games at 48 points. Sadly for those betting the OVER in those games, only one managed to eclipse their closing number.
The Falcons beat up on the Panthers, winning 40 to 20 and looking more like the team many expected heading into the season. Things were looking great for the UNDER crowd as the Falcons were up just 3-0 after the first quarter, but they turned it on and scored in double digits in each of the following three periods.
The Chiefs and Patriots were heading for a high scoring affair early on, combining for 27 points in the opening half, but things slowed up and only 12 points were scored after halftime. It was the same story in the Seahawks and Rams game with 24 points totaled in the first 30 minutes and just 16 scored after that.
On the other side of things, there were three games that had totals lower than 42.5 points, Denver Broncos vs Houston Texans (42.5), Los Angeles Chargers vs Jacksonville Jaguars (42) and the Washington Redskins vs Green Bay Packers (42). A pair of those games managed to surpass their low totals on Sunday.
The Chargers did all the work themselves and smoked the Jaguars 45-10 in what was to be the betting blowout of the NFL in week 14. Despite the 35 point difference, this game was even more lopsided than the final score would suggest. LA was up 31-3 and really just took their foot off of the Jags throat, Rivers was even taken off the field before the day was over. He had a phenomenal game up until that point, throwing for 314 yards on 16 of 22 passes with a trio of touchdowns. He would have had four had Jalen Guyton not dropped a very catchable deep pass.
The Packers and Redskins game was the only of the three to fall under the total, with the game ending 20-15 in favor of Green Bay. Despite coming out to an early 14-0 lead, the Packers offense stalled and were honestly lucky to have come away with a win in this game A dropped touchdown pass from Jace Sternberger didn’t help matters, neither did a late strip-sack. These factors kept this score to 35 and doused any hopes of cashing for OVER bettors.
Looking ahead, there is a big division showdown between the Eagles and Redskins in D.C. Philly took the first game of the year in their season opener with a 32-27 final, failing to cover a 10-point spread and hitting the OVER 44 mark easily. The Titans and Texans have an AFC South shootout with a lot of pressure on Houston to win after their disastrous loss to the Broncos. Houston now stands at just 2-5 ATS in their last seven games and has covered just three of their last twelve games against teams with a winning record. The Broncos and Chiefs face off at Arrowhead and it will be interesting to see if Denver can keep up their momentum on offense with Lock under center. Despite their big win, Denver is just 4-10 ATS in their last 14 division games with the UNDER at 8-1-1. Finally, the Bears and Packers go at it at Lambeau, a rematch of their opening week game which saw Green Bay eke out a 10-3 win. The Bears have covered just a pair of their last nine games, including last week’s affair vs Dallas.