Bettors can’t help themselves when it comes to betting NFL favorites. Despite back-to-back weeks in which road favorites went just 6-9 SU and 5-10 ATS, including a Week 14 that left NFL bettors baffled with the Miami Miracle, more bets including huge wagers on the favorites came flooding in during Week 15.
As sports betting continues to expand in the U.S. and more states and casino’s cash in with a successful launch, the betting activity grows. So does the popularity of in-play betting, and the “event within the event,” as lines and odds change rapidly as bettors fire for more action and the chance to profit.
But betting on the teams of choice is still the most standard approach. And instead of laying the points on their favorites of choice, some bettors prefer to lay the bigger price on the moneyline feeling they have a better chance to cash in and profit.
If it was only that easy.
Bettor loses $569,000 on Seahawks moneyline
One of the bigger bets reported on Sunday was on the Seattle Seahawks to beat the San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks were a 4-point road favorite, but a better apparently thought this would be an easy Seahawks win, so he played Seattle on the moneyline. First, he bet $235,00 at -230 odds. MGM then raised the moneyline, and the same bettor bet $334,000 at -250 odds. The total wagers of $569,000 would have returned $804,774, or a profit of $235,774.
Final score in overtime: San Francisco 26, Seattle 23.
The 49ers’ upset win produced MGM Race & Sports’ largest win on a single NFL game this season.
The Seahawks had beaten the 49ers 10 straight times. Reminder: trends don’t pay the rent. Neither does wagering on NFL road favorites, especially greater than three points.
The Hawks weren’t the only road favorite that struggled and lost on Sunday. New England (-2.5) had 14 penalties in a 17-10 loss at Pittsburgh, and the Patriots took a week-high 73% of the consensus side bets according to SportsInsights, which monitors real-time betting activity at seven online sportsbooks. It was closer to 80% at one point, and New England did have 65% of the moneyline bets. The Seahawks were next highest bet team with 72% of the side bets.
Two games that flipped favorites from the Week 15 look-ahead lines were the Titans and Patriots, who were initially projected as underdogs. Tennessee, along with the LA Rams had the biggest market moves on game day, and the Titans delivered the cash in a 17-0 shutout win at New York against the Giants while Los Angeles got ‘rammed’ in a 30-23 defeat against the Eagles.
In Monday night’s game, the Saints took 63% of the side bets as game time approached in their division road game at Carolina against the Panthers.
More Week 15 moneyline losers
As the games concluded Sunday with only the Sunday night game remaining, the LA Rams (-13) were the biggest favorite of the week hosting the Philadelphia Eagles. Money poured in on the Rams with the news that Eagles QB Carson Wentz would not play due to injury.
Another bettor couldn’t resist the ‘easy’ money, betting $180,000 to win $20,000 on the Rams (-900). That didn’t work out too well.
In Thursday night’s Chiefs and Chargers showdown in Kansas City, a bettor placed a $200,000 moneyline bet on the Chiefs (-3.5) at odds of -200. The bet would have returned a $100,000 profit, but Kansas City couldn’t hold onto a 28-14 late 4th quarter lead as the Chargers rallied and won 29-28 on a two-point conversion with four seconds to play.
DraftKings Week 15 NFL Winners
Now to the winners. DraftKings Sportsbook reported some solid scores on big and small bets.
One player placed a $3,000 moneyline bet on the Eagles (+600), and returned $21,000 for a solid score when Philadelphia beat the Rams Sunday night as a 13-point underdog.
A bettor turned a $5 bet into $867 on a 9 leg NFL parlay (321-1). One game pushed (Texans). But the Browns, Falcons, Colts, Lions, Titans and three UNDER the total picks CHI/GB, BAL/TB and JAX/WSH secured the winning online wager.
Another online user at DraftKings cashed out a $6 bet after hitting 8-of-9 totals and spreads for $655. The final bet was on the Seahawks, but the bettor cashed out before kickoff and was correct as Seattle lost as a favorite at San Francisco.
Week 15 betting activity
Regional bias in U.S. sports betting was on display in Week 15.
At Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia, 91% of the moneyline bets were on the Eagles against the heavily favored Rams, according to ESPN Chalk.
At Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, 83% of the moneyline bets were on the Steelers.
Other major wagers in Week 15 included a $55,000 bet on the Titans (-1) to win $50,000 at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. Tennessee won 17-0.
Overall, the most bet teams in Week 15 by moneyline and point spread, according to DraftKings, were the Texans, Seahawks, Patriots, Rams, and Eagles. Houston (-7) was a fortunate win for early bettors, and the Eagles (+13) won outright as the biggest underdog of the week. Seattle (-4), New England (-2.5) and the LA Rams (-13) all lost.