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Bill Speros for Bookies.com

By Bill Speros | | 10 mins

NFL Week 11 Betting Recap: Close Calls Keep Sportsbooks, Public On Edge

NFL Week 11 Betting Recap: Close Calls Keep Sportsbooks, Public On Edge
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The NFL betting season has seen an historic number of games decided on the final play or in the final two minutes. Spread, moneyline and game total bettors have sore thumbs and wrists writhing in agony on Mondays after constantly updating in-game NFL odds and checking their online balances.

The Minnesota Vikings had fortune on their side – for a chance – and beat the Packers 34-31 with a game-winning field goal as time expired. This season, there have been 23 games decided with a winning score on the final play. This the most since the 1970 NFL merger, according to the NFL.

The kick delivered a win (+105) and cover (+1.5) for the underdog Vikings. The total of 47.5 points had long since been decided.

The outcome was a win for most betting sites and sportsbooks, where the public liability rested with the favored Packers. Green Bay has a sort-of fully healthy Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. At DraftKings Sportsbook, for example, 78% of the spread handle and 68% of the moneyline handle supported the Packers.


CHECK OUT: NFL Week 12 Odds & Analysis For Every Game


Sunday Night Thriller At SoFi

NFL Week 11 Betting Recap: Close Calls Keep Sportsbooks, Public On Edge 4

A total of 38 games have been decided in the finals two minutes of regulation or in overtime this season. The most recent such contest took place Sunday night at SoFI Stadium in Los Angeles. The Steelers (+6.5, +200) trailed by 17 points entering the fourth quarter. But Pittsburgh went on a 27-7 run to crush the over (47) and take the outright lead with at 37-34 3:24 to play.

However, that was too much time for Justin Herbert against Pittsburgh’s gassed defense. The Chargers needed just 1:15 to punch in the game-winning touchdown. Steelers backers scored the cover but lost out on a potential moneyline windfall.

In contrast, there were just two double-digit spreads on the board Sunday and both underdogs easily covered. The Houston Texans (+10, +340) beat the first-place Tennessee Titans outright 22-13. The score fell well under of the 45-point total. The Lions (+14, +450) nearly beat the Cleveland Browns outright on the road but fell short – again – 13-10. The total there was 43.5.

The Lions continue to amaze oddsmakers and bettors. Detroit is 0-9-1 and has not won a game in 351 days. But they are 6-4 ATS this season. Sunday marked the fourth time this season the Lions have lost by three points or less or tied. Two of those losses came on the final play of the game. If you had simply backed the Lions and the under in each of their games in 2021, you’d be up 13-7 after 20 wagers.

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The betting public has continued to catch on to this trend. On Sunday, 46% of the spread handle and 40% on the total handle was on the under, according to our consensus analysis of the action at BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, bet365, Resorts, PointsBet, SugarHouse, 888, FOX Bet and DraftKings.

Baby steps.


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Week 11 NFL Betting Trends

NFL Week 11 Betting Recap: Close Calls Keep Sportsbooks, Public On Edge 3

Underdogs Hold Firm

After 163 games in 2021, the underdogs remain unchained. Week 11 saw a 7-7 split between underdogs and favorites in its first 14 games. Overall, the dogs are 93-69-1 (58.9%) ATS ahead of the Monday night game between the host Buccaneers (-10.5) and New York Giants.

The Vikings, Texans and Colts all scored outright wins as underdogs against favored divisional leaders after entering the week at .500-or-below. Here’s a look at those games with the consensus public sentiment on the handle and moneyline:

Game Result Spread SentimentMoneyline Sentiment
HOU at TEN HOU, 22-13 HOU +10 39% HOU +375 35%
IND at BUF IND, 41-15 IND +10 57% IND +250 45%
GB at MIN MIN, 34-31 MIN +2.5 34% MIN +108 35%
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Split Decision For Sportsbooks, Bettors In Week 11

NFL Week 11 delivered mixed results for the sportsbooks and betting public. At WynnBET, the sportsbook’s largest liabilities all saw wins for the public. They included the Dolphins (-3.5), the Bears (+5) and the Eagles (Pick). The Dolphins beat the Jets 24-17, the Eagles ran over the Saints 40-29 and the Bears lost the game but held on for the cover as Chicago scored a touchdown with 22 seconds to play for a 16-13 victory.

“For the most part, we had a good week. The Bengals and Bears were not a good result for us. However, the Vikings, Texans and Cowboys played a key role in shaping out what was mostly a successful week," said WynnBET senior trader Motoi Pearson.

At Caesars, the most-bet games of the week saw sportsbooks get a significant win on the Packers failing to win and cover, but losses on the Chiefs moneyline win, the Colts win and cover and Washington (+3.5) scoring a win and cover at Carolina.

Several two-way plays turned out to be profitable for sportsbooks, as well.

”It was another decent week in the NFL for us. We didn’t have any big decisions in the early games, which was a little unusual but most of the games had very balanced action on them. In the later games, we needed the Cardinals and the Chiefs, and obviously both came through and covered. Once the Kyler Murray news was confirmed we were taking a lot of Seattle money and there was also a lot of late Dallas money that showed up. The night game was also a good result for us as we needed Pittsburgh to cover, so that 4th quarter was big,” said Borgata AC Race and Sports Book Director Thomas Gable.

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Old Names Rise To Top

NFL Week 11 Betting Recap: Close Calls Keep Sportsbooks, Public On Edge 2

It may be finally be safe for spread bettors to back the Chiefs (7-4/4-7). The Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5) lassoed the Cowboys 19-9 at Arrowhead Stadium. The Kansas City defense is legit, even though Dak Prescott and the Cowboys were without Amari Cooper, and Cee Dee Lamb left the game with a concussion early.

The outcome marked just the sixth time in 22 games – including the postseason – in which the favored Chiefs covered. Kansas City is in first place in the AFC West. Sunday was second straight week in which the Chiefs covered. That’s the first time all season they’ve managed to do so.

This game was a two-way play for the public. The public consensus on the spread was split 50-50, while the Chiefs held a 51-49 edge on the moneyline handle.

Don’t look now, but the New England Patriots (7-4/7-4) are in first place in the AFC East. And they didn’t even play on Sunday. New England moved back into sole possession of first place for the first time since Tom Brady left for Florida after the Bills were routed at home.

The Patriots have won five straight and face the battered and bruised Titans this week in Foxboro. The Patriots – with a rookie quarterback in Mac Jones – have the largest positive point differential in the NFL at +123.

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Week 11 Rookie Report

Three rookies started in Week 11. Trevor Lawrence, Mac Jones and Justin Fields got the call with mixed results. Here’s our Week 11 rookie breakdown:

TeamQB C/AttYPass TD INT Spread Final
JAXLawrence16/2515800JAX +6.530-10, SF
NEMac Jones22/2620711NE -625-0, NE
CHIJustin Fields4/117900CHI +516-13, BAL

Fields suffered a rib injury early in the third quarter and was sidelined for the rest of the game. His status to Thursday against the Lions on Thanksgiving is uncertain.


Major Week 11 Wagers

There were Big Bets aplenty in Week 10. Here are some notable net wins and losses:

  • Win $250,000: Vikings +1.5 (-110) Over Packers at DraftKings
  • Win $200,000: Bengals -1 (-110) Over Raiders at Caesars
  • Lose $220,000: Browns -12 (-110) Over Lions at Caesars
  • Win $200,000: Colts +7 (+100) Over Bills at Caesars


Plays Of The Day

Jonathan Taylor delivered for Fantasy League owners, Colts backers and lots of parlay bettors Sunday with 5 TDs.

Austin Ekeler scored 4 TDs for the Chargers in their win over the Steelers. But you wouldn’t know it here.

Or here.


Monday Night Preview: Giants at Buccaneers

Trouble is brewing aboard the Pirate Ship in Tampa. The Bucs have not won a game since Week 7, losing to the Saints and Washington around the bye. Tom Brady has not lost three straight games since 2002. Bruce Arians appears to be on the verge of losing control of it all. Tampa Bay is still in first place in the NFC South. The Bucs are 6-3 overall but 3-6 ATS. Tampa Bay’s lone covers have come against double-digit spreads.

Brady’s history against the Giants is well-documented. At least Eli Manning will be on ESPN with his brother Peyton and not quarterbacking Big Blue. The Giants (3-6/3-6) have won 2 of their last 3. They’ll look to run the ball and eat clock to keep Brady off the field. A close game will spell trouble for the Super Bowl champs. But if Brady & Friends get out to an early lead, send the kids to bed.

The line has hovered between 10 and 12 points in the past week and appears headed for 10.5 points at kickoff. The game is a two-way play, with the Giants holding 52% of the spread handle. The Bucs have grabbed nearly 80% of the moneyline handle, according to our consensus analysis. The total has ebbed from 50.5 to 49.5.

Check out Giants vs Buccaneers odds, injury report, betting lines and more.

About the Author

Bill Speros for Bookies.com
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.