The Autopsy: Last Week’s Biggest Sports Betting Wins In NFL And College Football

Posted By Derek Helling on September 15, 2021

There’s no use in sugarcoating it; the past week in college football and the NFL Week 1 went very well for regulated sportsbooks in the United States. Many of the football bets that US bettors loved went awry and thus, the books had a stellar start to the 2021 NFL regular season. In this sports betting autopsy, we’ll highlight the best football bets too.

It’s a reminder for bettors that no amount or quality of handicapping can completely obliterate all risk. More importantly, it’s further data for bettors to use to adjust their strategies in the coming week. We’ll start off with the good news for bettors.

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Biggest Sports Betting Wins For The Public Last Week

Two of the top-three results for bettors at BetMGM Sportsbook from Sept. 9-13 came in NFL games. BetMGM says that its biggest disparity in NFL tickets came down on the Los Angeles Rams at -7.5. 70% of bettors in at that number against the Chicago Bears backed LA. The Rams cooperated, beating Chicago 34-14 on Sunday night.

“The Rams have Super Bowl aspirations and upgraded at quarterback in the offseason, while the Bears look like a team that will miss the playoffs,” explained Darren Darby, Sports Trader for BetMGM.

The next good result for bettors came from the collegiate ranks and involved bettors staking a team that had lost one of its most talented offensive players.

The Michigan Wolverines will face the rest of this season without leading receiver Ronnie Bell. Regardless, bettors loved Michigan -6.5 against a Washington Huskies team that lost to an FCS school in their first game. 76% of the money and 63% of the bets went down on the Wolverines to defend their home field against the Huskies. Michigan did just that at 31-10.

“Michigan is a public team,” Darby stated. “The Wolverines were always going to get public support.”

Buckle up for the rest of the data from this past week because it only gets worse, or better, if you work for a sportsbook. In fact, unless you want to see what you can glean from the results as a bettor, it might be better to look away. It got ugly.

Biggest Sports Betting Wins For The Books Last Week

Picking out the places where sportsbooks did well was like picking highlights from the game film of Michigan’s running game against Washington on Saturday. It was a wildly successful outing and there were solid plays all over the place.

The wins for the sportsbooks continued in the Big Ten conference. 64% of bettors took the Ohio State Buckeyes -14.5 at home against the Oregon Ducks. 70% of the money on that contest backed Ohio State outright at -650 as well. So when Oregon left with a 35-28 win, there were many disappointed.

Back in the NFL, the biggest win for sportsbooks came in the Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans contest. BetMGM says that its highest percentage of handle for an NFL game this past week was on Tennessee -3. When Arizona left with a 38-13 win, it was all smiling in the trading rooms.

According to Darby, the best surprise of the weekend for BetMGM was the New Orleans Saints‘ 38-3 home shellacking of the Green Bay Packers. 72% of the money and 71% of the bets took Green Bay outright.

Honorable Mentions

Honorable mentions for the week go to the 48% of bettors who took the Cleveland Browns +5.5 at the Kansas City Chiefs and the 44% of dollars laid on the Las Vegas Raiders‘ moneyline over the visiting Baltimore Ravens. That’s about as good as it got for bettors this past week.

If this level of performance in football bets endure for the season, 2021 could be a record-breaking year for win for sportsbooks.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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