NFL Week 8 Upsets Bolster Sportsbooks

Posted on: November 2, 2020, 02:42h. 

Last updated on: November 2, 2020, 04:17h.

A week of NFL upsets didn’t upset anyone at the sportsbooks, which enjoyed one of the best days of the football season.

Aaron Rodgers
Vikings defensive end C.J. Wonnum jars the ball loose from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to clinch Minnesota’s upset victory on Sunday. (Dan Powers/USA TODAY Sports)

The upsets started on Thursday, with the Atlanta Falcons beating the Carolina Panthers. The streak continued through the first wave of games on Sunday, which included three big upsets of teams that were heavily favored and heavily bet. In the afternoon, the Denver Broncos upset the Los Angeles Chargers with a last-play touchdown.

In all, of the 13 games played on Thursday and Sunday, the underdog didn’t just cover. It won outright.

‘Really Good for the Book’

At FanDuel, the Green Bay Packers as 6-point favorites received 93 percent of the spread money against the Minnesota Vikings. The Los Angeles Rams as 3-point favorites received 78 percent of the spread money against the Miami Dolphins. The Tennessee Titans as 7-point favorites received 76 percent of the spread money against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The underdogs won relatively handily. Minnesota won 28-22, but led by two touchdowns deep into the fourth quarter. Cincinnati won 31-20. The Dolphins, in rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s debut, cruised 28-17.

Overall, it was a good day,” said Andrew Mannino, the senior sports content analyst at PointsBet, to “A lot of dogs winning, which puts us in a good position. Overall, the day was really good for the book. The Dolphins were good, the Bengals were good, the Vikings were good. We gave a bit back on the Chiefs and the Seahawks, but those three big upsets were really good for us.”

The Kansas City Chiefs, a rare 19.5-point favorite over the New York Jets, took care of business 35-9. A 41-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to Tyreek Hill with about 11 minutes left provided the necessary points.

The number was certainly big, but I think the Chiefs are very good and the Jets are very bad, and people were expecting the result,” Mannino said.

With the Chiefs -2,105 on the money line at PointsBet, a bettor’s $40,000 wager on Kansas City meant a reward of $1,900.

FanDuel’s Tennessee sportsbook opened. The first bet was a 10-cent wager on the Indianapolis Colts at -2.5 vs. the Detroit Lions. The payout was 18 cents.     

Monday Night Football

Tom Brady and Eli Manning hooked up in some classic battles while quarterbacks of the New England Patriots and New York Giants.

Monday night’s battle between the Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Daniel Jones-led Giants isn’t quite the same thing.

The Buccaneers are 12.5-point favorites almost universally at sportsbooks. It got up to as high as 13 on Monday at PointsBet before moving back a bit. About 84 percent of the spread bets were on the Bucs as of Monday morning, Mannino said.

It’s sort of a lesser version of the same thing,” Mannino said in comparing this game to Chiefs-Jets. “The Giants are bad and the Bucs are pretty good. The vast majority of the bets are coming in on the Bucs. It’s lopsided, with people trying to finish off their parlays with the Bucs.”

About 91 percent of the money is on the over of the 46-point total.

“The Giants haven’t shown anything. They can’t stop anybody. For whatever problems the Bucs might have, they look like a competent professional football team. I don’t think bettors are going to want any part of the Giants,” Mannino said.

Meanwhile, Week 9 is off to a bumpy start. Green Bay’s game at the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday is off the board at numerous sportsbooks, including Westgate SuperBook, because of an injury to Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and COVID-19 concerns for the Packers.