The Autopsy: What Went Right, Wrong For Football Bettors Last Week

Written By Derek Helling on September 30, 2021
football betting wins

The past week of college football and NFL games once again produced a solid mix of football betting wins and losses for the public. In what was somewhat of an equalizer for bettors as previous weeks have produced more results in sportsbooks’ favor.

However, not everything went bettors’ way. As a matter of fact, things didn’t really start to go the way of the public until late Sunday. That’s when what had mostly been an even-keeled week tipped in the public’s favor.

Claim Your $1,050 Bonus at DraftKings Sportsbook

Biggest football betting wins for the public from NFL Week 3

A lot of the action that swung the weekend’s narrative one way or the other throughout the weekend involved the state of Georgia. That list starts with the University of Georgia, who bettors staked -36 against Vanderbilt to the tune of 97% of handle and 83% of tickets at Caesars Sportsbook.

The Bulldogs delivered, hammering the Commodores 62-0. Georgia State University nearly undid all that positive momentum for the public, however. Craig Mucklow, Caesars’ Sportsbook VP of Trading, explains.

“Georgia State holding on for the win would have been our biggest result of the year easily,” said Mucklow. “However the Auburn comeback and the late pick-six sent the total over and hurt us on all fronts.”

Although the moneyline and total went the public’s way, Auburn did fail to cover the 27-point spread. Just 4% of the tickets and 2% of the handle backed Georgia State to upset that spread.

Another significant win for bettors near the GA border that didn’t look so great early on in the game was the Arizona Cardinals‘ 31-19 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. After a 13-point second quarter gave Jacksonville a halftime lead, Arizona ended up covering and saving the 94% of tickets and 92% of handle that took the Cardinals laying 7.5 points.

Other events in the week held out their results that favored the books, however. Another GA team appears on the list of sportsbooks’ revenge games.

Where bettors went wrong last weekend

The Yellow Jackets helped sportsbooks pull even in the Peach State.

“Georgia Tech was an outcome that went our way,” Mucklow commented. “As with many of the heavy favorites in college [football], we see significant action where clients attempt to buy money on the short-priced favorites.”

What Mucklow is referring to is the Yellow Jackets’ 45-22 upset of North Carolina. On the spread, for example, Caesars bettors took the Tar Heels -13.5 on 88% of betting slips and with 98% of the money.

Mucklow said that Arizona vs. Oregon generated plenty of action being the last game to kickoff and that went in his company’s favor as well. Although the Ducks did win 41-19, the Wildcats upset the 29.5-point spread that 88% of tickets and 96% of handle backed.

At Caesars, the underdog facing a top-25 college team that generated the most lopsided action was Akron. Early Saturday, the Zips drew 91% of the money and 76% of wagers at +48.

“Akron was a very public and sharp play combined,” Mucklow explained. “There was no six-figure bet we laid, however, given Ohio State had not covered this year and lost one straight up as a two-touchdown favorite, it was no surprise everyone wanted a piece of the +48.5.”

Akron didn’t reward that faith, though, losing 59-7. Several NFL teams in the late afternoon games Sunday did give the public good results in exchange for believing in them.

NFL late Sunday games cash in for bettors

Like a fourth-quarter comeback, the NFL games that started at 4 p.m. ET or later on Sunday hit on all the right plays.

“Up to the kickoff of the afternoon games I would have said level outcomes,” Mucklow elaborated. “We had a great college Saturday and equivalent early Sunday NFL outcomes. However, once the afternoon games began the bias towards the public swung directly to the NFL. The only outcome that went our way was Seattle losing straight up to Minnesota where we took a $400,000 wager on the Seahawks. Once the afternoon games settled, clients had further ammunition on the Packers spread and over along with the Cowboys spread and over on primetime, giving the public the winning edge in Week 3 on the NFL.”

Early Sunday, Caesars bettors were on Green Bay +3 with 70% of wagers and 73% of the money. At the same time, the public backed Dallas -3.5 with 70% of tickets. In retrospect, this past week of games was a good lesson for bettors on how quickly things can turn in football betting.

Follow TheLines on Twitter

Derek Helling Avatar
Written by
Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

View all posts by Derek Helling