Sunday’s NFL betting action in Week 15 saw early wins for bettors while the sportsbooks bounced pack in the afternoon with some key underdog wins.
What Happened With Week 15 NFL Betting
In the early part of the day, NFL favorites went 6-1-1 against the spread and the betting public was well on their way to a big win over the books in Week 15. Lucky for them, the afternoon underdogs went 4-1 ATS, and more importantly, straight up. This tale of two halves created a mixed bag of results on a whole with neither side coming out with a significant edge.
The big winners for the public ended up being the Patriots with the biggest losers being the Falcons and Cowboys. New England had not dropped three straight games since 2002 and was a very popular pick after they had dropped two in a row heading into Cincinnati. This was one that bettors on both sides were sweating out after the lowly Bengals were leading after the first quarter and the half ending in favor of the Patriots 13-10.
Lucky for many, the Pats stormed back in the second half and would end up ceding just three more points en route to a 34-13 victory and covering a spread that went high as 10.5. This game made up one of the legs of many a parlays and teasers this weekend as well, but the books would be bailed out down the road.
One of those helpful games was the Falcons and the 49ers showdown, which had the Niners as 10-point favorites. With the score just 13-10 after three quarters, San Francisco was up but just barely. The underdog was poised to cover and the total was trending way toward the under. The 49ers would manage to score with just 10 minutes left on the clock but Robbie Gould shanked the PAT.
That wound up being of little consequence after the Falcons scored on a goal-line TD to Julio Jones with just seconds left in the game. The under bettors took a huge loss here as the ensuing kickoff return saw the 49ers lose a fumble and the Falcons were able to add another six points on after time expired.
Another fluky play that ended a game this weekend was in the Washington vs Philadelphia game. The Redskins quarterback, Dwayne Haskins, fumbled as time expired and Nigel Brandham recovered for Philly and ran it back for a 49-yard touchdown. Twitter was awash of bettors watching this live and winning, or losing, on this last-second miscue with the Eagles spread at -6.5. That cover further added to a big morning for the public and was another popular game for parlays and Sunday teasers.
There were actually a number of games that went down to the wire this weekend.
The Ravens were 17-point favorites over the lowly Jets and led 35-7 after the first three-quarters of play. But after the Jets blocked a punt and scored a touchdown, NY had pulled with 21 after a 2-point conversion. The Jets regained possession with just under five minutes left but saw their drive fizzle out and the Ravens were able to run out the clock, securing the cover and win.
The Packers and Bears also played a nail-biter for anyone who had money on the 4.5-point spread. The scoring started slow but the Packers came out and put up two TD’s in the third quarter and took a substantial 21-3 lead. The Bears chipped away with a field goal to start the fourth and an eventual touchdown. They forced five straight punts by Green Bay down the stretch and appeared to be another underdog on the verge of an upset win. Unfortunately for them, they were stuffed on three late possessions which culminated last-second lateral play which saw the ball end up in the hands of Jesper Horsted. He managed to hoof it within the ten-yard line but chose to keep in instead of trying a lateral and possible 2-point conversion.
Yet another close call game for many was the Houston Texans vs Tennessee Titans (-3). The Texans came out early in this AFC North battle and led 14-0 with the Titans looking dead in the water. Tennessee fired back and scored a pair of touchdowns to even things up after Deshaun Watson was intercepted in the end zone. Houston came back swinging with another touchdown and following up with a field goal to hold a 10-point lead. The Titans would score late, just ahead for the two-minute warning to keep pace and give ‘over’ bettors hopes for some late heroics. Tennessee got the ball back with under 30 seconds left but Ryan Tannehill was sacked to end any threat the Titans might have had left and given up a huge division game to an underdog.
That’s it for our review of NFL betting for Week 15, but taking a look ahead, there are some trends with corresponding games to consider looking at early. First off, division home favorites have been phenomenal over the past three weeks, going 9-1 straight up and 7-3 against the spread. The New England Patriots get things started and will play host to the Buffalo Bills on Saturday with the Pats laying 6.5-points in Foxboro. With the AFC title race still red-hot, both teams will be highly motivated in this game, with the Bills looking to hand New England their third loss in four games. The Pats are going to be the better side of this coin and will look to win yet another AFC Championship.
Next up, the San Francisco 49ers host the Los Angeles Rams with the Niners opening line set at -6. LA has seen their hopes of making the playoffs all but snuffed out after Sunday’s brutal loss to Dallas. But playing spoiler is always a great motivator for underdog teams down the stretch. Chances are this spread will only rise to grab the 6 while you can and look for the 49ers to get the top spot in the NFC West in the NFL standings.
Other division home favorites this weekend include the Redskins (-2.5) vs the Giants, the Chargers (-5.5) against the Raiders, the Seahawks (-9.5) vs the Cardinals and the Vikings (-4.5) on Monday Night vs the Packers.