On the day after Christmas, NFL double-digit favorites delivered gifts to bettors by going 4-1 against the spread.
But bettors lost big on the Chargers, the heaviest favorite on the board at -13 and the one double-digit favorite that didn’t cover Sunday, as they were defeated 41-29 by the Texans.
Houston’s upset helped Las Vegas sportsbooks to a small winning day despite the fact that the other double-digit favorites cruised to covers and favorites went 7-4 ATS overall.
The Chiefs (-10) beat the Steelers 36-10, the Buccaneers (-10½) whipped the Panthers 32-6, the Eagles (-11) beat the Giants 34-10 and the Cowboys (-10) annihilated the Washington Football Team 56-14.
“The game that kind of saved the day with a lot of favorites coming in was having the Texans beat the Chargers outright,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “As far as teasers, parlays, money lines, everything in the morning.
“It was the same thing in the afternoon having the Bears upset the Seahawks.”
Seattle squandered a 24-14 fourth-quarter lead in a 25-24 loss to Chicago as a 7-point home favorite.
In the final minutes, third-string Bears quarterback Nick Foles directed an 80-yard scoring drive in the snow, capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jimmy Graham to make the score 24-23.
Chicago then went for 2 and the win and got it when Damiere Byrd made a one-handed catch in the back of the end zone to crush bettors with teasers on Seattle.
Raiders mixed bag for books
The Raiders’ 17-13 comeback win over the Broncos at Allegiant Stadium was a mixed bag for the books. The game, which closed at pick, was one of the worst results at Station Casinos and BetMGM, where there’s always a disproportionate amount of money and tickets on the Raiders when they play at home.
But the Raiders produced one of the best results at the Westgate SuperBook.
“We had a lot of money on Denver. A big house player bet the Broncos at pick’em (Sunday) morning and was betting the Broncos in-game,” SuperBook director John Murray said. “The Raiders really carried the day for us.”
A Caesars bettor lost a $330,000 wager on Denver +1.
First-half Raiders bettors — the line was pick — suffered a bad beat. With 25 seconds left in the half, Broncos linebacker Bradley Chubb intercepted a pass by Derek Carr at the Raiders’ 22 and returned the ball to the 1 to set up a TD run by Javonte Williams that gave Denver a 13-7 halftime lead.
The best games for bettors were the Bills (+1, beat Patriots 33-21), Bengals (-7½, beat Ravens 41-21) and Rams (-3, beat Vikings 30-23).
Buffalo never trailed in avenging its Dec. 6 loss to New England in the wind and took over first place in the AFC East with two games left.
“It was a great win for Buffalo. That’s a team that seems to get up for big games,” Murray said. “You can throw that Monday night game out the window because of that weather. We had a lot of house players bet Buffalo on the money line.”
Joe Burrow threw for a franchise-record 525 yards and four TDs, as Cincinnati dealt Baltimore its fourth straight loss and took over first place in the AFC North. Bettors were all over the Bengals, as the line soared from -2½ to -7½ after Ravens quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Tyler Huntley were ruled out for the game.
“The Bengals hurt us,” Caesars Sportsbook vice president of trading Craig Mucklow said.
Caesars won on the Chiefs, as bettors loaded up on the Steelers. Kansas City cruised to its eighth consecutive win and sixth straight cover and clinched its sixth consecutive AFC West title.
The Chiefs are 5-point road favorites over the Bengals in Week 17. Cincinnati can clinch the division with a victory, and Kansas City needs to win to keep the No. 1 seed.
“At this point, it’s hard to say anyone is better than Kansas City,” Murray said. “They look super right now.”