By Bill Speros | | 8 mins
Most Bet On Week 6 NFL Games: All My Rowdy Friends Edition
Once upon a time, when “gambling” was a four-letter word across the NFL and Hank Williams asked if you were ready for some football on ABC, the Monday night game was must-see TV each week.
Sportsbooks and bettors get a bit of throw-back feel this week when the Monday game – AFC divisional leaders Buffalo and Tennessee – tops the Week 6 marquee. The Bills (4-1 overall/4-1 ATS) are now the betting favorites to win the AFC after beating Kansas City on the road last week. Buffalo QB Josh Allen tops the MVP odds market. The Bills have recovered from the momentous Derrick Henry stiff arm that ejected Buffalo’s Josh Norman from the club last season. (Norman is now playing in San Francisco.)
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The AFC East Bills and AFC South Titans (3-2 overall/2-3 ATS) sit atop their respective divisions. Henry leads the NFL in rushing yards (640), rushing TDs (7) and yards from scrimmage (755). The Bills counter with an offense that leads the NFL with 34.4 PPG and a defense that has allowed just 12.8 PPG. Both are tops in the league. Buffalo also leads the NFL with 15 takeaways and an overall turnover margin of plus-11.
In-game bettors should take note of this interesting streak: Buffalo has 14 straight game when leading at halftime.
Early bettors back the Bills by substantial margins. DraftKings is carrying 95% of its spread handle and 86% of its moneyline handle on the 5.5-point favorites.
A run of spectacular Sunday night games in 2021 hits a steel wall as Seattle visits Pittsburgh, but without the injured Russell Wilson at quarterback. Wilson will miss several weeks after finger surgery. Journeyman Geno Smith takes his place.
The NFL betting public has been left deep in the red after NBC’s games this season. Tampa Bay (Opening Night and in Week 4), Kansas City (Weeks 2 & 5) and San Francisco (Week 3) all failed to cover as betting and public favorites during the Peacock Network’s showcase telecasts. The Chiefs are 0-2 outright in their Sunday night games thus far in 2021, losing to the Ravens on Sept. 20 and to the Bills last weekend.
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Underdogs, Close Calls Dominate
This is amazing. On the player prior to this, Austin Ekeler took a knee and made sure not to score so the #Chargers can continue to milk the clock.— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 10, 2021
On the next play, the #Browns literally carried Ekeler into the endzone.
Cleveland will get the ball back.pic.twitter.com/Zkg5jNJdjn
Overall, betting sites dominated the first four weeks of the 2021 season, enjoying a very profitable first month, before a sizable giveback in Week 5.
NFL betting underdogs hold a 45-35 (53.6%) edge ATS over favorites after 80 games, but that gap has been closing of late. The real stressor has been a run of crazy-close games, spiking blood pressure and stomach acid levels for spread and moneyline bettors across the regulated betting nation.
Of the 80 NFL regular-season games played thus far, 19 have been decided in the final minute of regulation or in overtime. That’s a post-1970-merger record after five weeks of play. Eight of those games went to overtime. In all, 21 games have decided by three points or less.
Week 5 was particularly angst-ridden. Of its 16 games, 13 (or 81.3%) were within one score in the fourth quarter. And four teams (Chargers, Patriots, Eagles, Ravens) wiped out deficits of at least 12 points to win, crushing the hearts of some while offering deliverance to others.
Another reminder not to cash out mentally until the final gun.
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Don’t Forget About Us – America’s Team Edition
The Dallas Cowboys are the lone unbeaten team ATS this season. The Cowboys bring their newly balanced offensive machine to Foxboro and offer the latest challenge for Bill Belichick’s defensive wizardry. It will be a monumental chore. Dak Prescott is averaging 273.6 yards per game passing and 13 TD passes, tied for third in the NFL. The Cowboys are also second in the NFL with 439.5 yards per game of total offense.
Rookie QB Mac Jones should be getting some part of his depleted offensive line back this week. The Patriots were able to run the ball and score a 25-22 comeback victory against Texas’ other NFL team – the Texans – last week.
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Dallas has not beaten New England since 1987. But pubic is riding with America’s Team in 2021. Overall, 79% of the spread handle on this game is backing the favorites, according to our analysis of the action at Caesars, BetMGM, bet365, Resorts, PointsBet, SugarHouse, 888, FOX Bet and DraftKings.
The Cowboys are -165 on the moneyline at DraftKings, absorbing 64% of the handle, while the Patriots are +165 at bet365. The total is 50.5, with both sides getting -105 odds BetMGM. This the closest two-way play on the board, with the over taking in 48% of the bet thus far.
Public Plays – Week 6
Biggest Spread Liabilities
Several games carry significant exposure for sportsbooks. Here are the Week 6 games at DraftKings with more than 80% of the spread handle on the favorite:
|KC at WAS||KC||-6.5||98%|
|LAC at BAL||LAC||+3||95%|
|TB at PHI||TB||-6.5||94%|
|BUF at TEN||BUF||-5.5||91%|
|GB at CHI||GB||-4.5||88%|
|LAR at NYG||LAR||-9.5||86%|
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Major Line Movements
Rams at Giants
Opening Line: Rams -6.5
Current Line: Rams -9.5
The Buzz: The Giants took a beating last week at the hands of the Cowboys and were powerless to slow Prescott or Dallas’ running game. RB Saquon Barkley and QB Daniel Jones were both hurt in the loss. Jones suffered a concussion but is expected to play. Barkley will be out due to a sprained ankle. The Rams are healthy. They drew an early East Coast game after winning at Seattle last week. But they had the extra time off after playing on Thursday.
Cowboys at Patriots
Opening Line: Cowboys -1.5
Current Line: Cowboys -3.5
The Buzz: Dallas is 5-0 ATS. The Cowboys have been sneaky good this season from a betting perspective and consistently undervalued. Even with this movement, the line still appears too generous on Dallas’ side. The Patriots needed to rally from 16 points down in the fourth quarter beat the lowly Texans last week. As best, New England is treating water. The Cowboys are surging.
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Bills at Titans
Opening Line: Bills -3.5
Current Line: Bills -5.5
The Buzz: Before the season, this was projected as a potential AFC title game matchup. The Titans stumbled out of the gate but have slowly turned a corner. Tennessee should win the AFC South by default. Anything can happen after that. But the Bills got 2.5 points and still looked scary good against the Chiefs last week. They should be favored each week for the rest of the season, save for a possible pick’em at Tampa Bay on Dec. 12.
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