By Bill Speros | | 12 mins
NFL Week 2 Betting Recap: Ravens Deliver Big For Books
The betting public struck back in Week 2.
Then Patrick Mahomes II struck out.
After a week in which the underdogs roared, going 13-3 against the spread, betting favorites and those who backed them began to erase an enormous financial deficit in Week 2 of the NFL betting season.
Still, the underdogs are 9-6 in Week 2 ATS heading into the Monday night game between the Packers and Lions. The betting public remained underwater in Week 2, but avoided the tsunami of Week 1.
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Most legal US sportsbooks and betting sites held significant liability on the Bills (-3.5), Broncos (-6) and the over on the Vikings/Cardinals game. All of which fell on the side of the wagering masses.
The Bills' 35-0 rout of the host Dolphins was the biggest win for the public at PointsBet. The book slept with the fishes as Bills Mafia drew 85% of the spread handle and 88% of the moneyline. At FanDuel , 86% of the spread handle and 72% of the moneyline cash backed the Bills. DraftKings held a similar liability.
Here are the most-bet games by handle at DK:
|Rank||Game||Outcome ATS||Outcome ML|
|No. 1||KC at BAL||BAL +3.5||BAL -210|
|No. 2||NYG at WAS||NYG +3.5||NYG +160|
|No. 3||DAL at LAC||DAL +3||DAL +155|
|No. 4||MIN at ARI||MIN +4||ARI -210|
|No. 5||LAR at IND||IND +3.5||LAR -195|
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Chiefs Loss Delivers Big For Books
Thomas Gable of the Borgata in Atlantic City said Sunday was "a decent day", but "not nearly as good as Week 1".
That was before a thrilling Ravens 36-35 win over the Chiefs Sunday night in Baltimore. That game went down to the final minute and a fourth-down conversion by Ravens QB Lamar Jackson. The outcome outright and against the spread pushed several books significantly into the Purple and Black on the NFL weekend.
Mahomes suffered his first career loss in September and threw his first career pick in September as Jackson lit up the home crowd.
At WynnBET, 93.91% of the overall betting handle and 72.57% of the moneyline backed Kansas City. DraftKings showed similar numbers, with the Chiefs drawing 92% of the spread and 82% of the moneyline handles on the sports betting app.
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PointsBet enjoyed its biggest win of the day games when the Colts grabbed a backdoor hook at +3.5 against the Rams. Indy lost outright 27-24 at home. Other big wins for the book included the Steelers (-6) losing 26-17 at home to the 2-0/2-0 Las Vegas Raiders.
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Pittsburgh absorbed 78% of the spread handle and 83% of the moneyline action; the Cardinals (86% of the spread handle) failing to cover at -3.5 in a 34-33 nail-biter over Minnesota; and the Bears/Bengals keeping it under 44.5 in a 20-17 snoozer won by the Bears. There, 90% of the total handle was on the over.
Mac Jones Breaks The Ice
Of the five rookies taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, Mac Jones became the first one to win a game as a starter and cover. The Patriots (-6) and Bill Belichick toyed with the Jets in a 25-6 slumbering affair played amid the swamplands of Northern New Jersey. No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson out of BYU threw 4 interceptions for Gang Green and completed just 58.4% of his attempts. Belichick raised his record to 22-6 against rookie passers.
By the way, it took all of last season for Panthers QB Sam Darnold to win two games with the Jets. Clearly, of all the QBs who changed teams this offseason, he and Matthew Stafford of the Rams have been the greatest beneficiaries thus far.
Here’s a breakdown of how each rookie starter fared in Week 1:
|JAX||T. Lawrence||14/33||118||1||2||JAX +6||23-13, DEN|
|NE||Mac Jones||22/30||186||0||0||NE -6||25-6, NE|
|NYJ||Zach Wilson||19/33||210||0||4||NYJ +6||25-6, NE|
Lawrence, the No. 1 pick, was along for the ride as the Jaguars extended their overall losing streak to 17 straight in a 23-13 loss to the Broncos. In that game, Teddy Bridgewater extended his all-NFL-QB best record against the spread to 36-13-1 ATS. Lawrence is 0-2.
No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance sat the entire game for San Francisco as Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers (-3) subdued the Eagles 17-11.
Justin Fields was pressed into service for the Bears after Andy Dalton suffered a knee injury. The Bears moved up in the draft to take Fields at No. 11 out of Ohio State. He did as well as expected, but played better than his numbers (6-for-13, 60 yards, 1 INT) indicated in Chicago’s 20-17 push/win. It’s clear his time has arrived at Soldier Field.
In Cleveland, Davis Mills became the sixth rookie QB to play in 2021 after Texans QB Tyrod Taylor was hurt in a 31-21 Browns win. Mills, taken in the second round out of Stanford, went 8 for 18 for 102 yards with a TD and INT. In case you weren’t paying attention, the Texans are 2-0 ATS this season after hanging on for the cover at +13.5. But Houston has fallen from +4 to +7.5 in their Week 3 matchup against the 2-0/2-0 Panthers on Thursday.
Tale of Two Field Goals
Oh no...— NFL UK (@NFLUK) September 20, 2021
This Vikings radio call from the missed field goal is...well...
Oh no. pic.twitter.com/VlsroCuBb1
There were several games Sunday that reminded us why RedZone may be the single greatest technological breakthrough since electricity.
Near simultaneous endings in Los Angeles and Arizona offered a tale of two field goals, that delivered joy/despair to moneyline bettors depending on where they stood.
For the billionth time, it seems, the Vikings (+3) lost outright on what appeared to be a chip shot. An offensive orgy against the Cardinals drew down to the final possession. Greg Joseph missed a 37-yard attempt at Arizona as time expired and the home team held on for the 34-33 win. Cardinals bettors cashed on the -200 ML.
Seconds earlier, or so it seemed, Greg Zuerlein delivered victory and self-redemption for himself and the Cowboys (+3). He planted a 56-yarder through the uprights in a 20-17 victory as time and the Chargers expired at SoFi Stadium. The Cowboys closed at +150 to +160 depending on the book after opening at +135.
Major Week 2 Wagers
There were Big Bets aplenty in Week 2. The Borgata in Atlantic City cleared $400,000 on a single over-the-counter bet when the Rams outscored the Colts 10-6 in the first half. The Colts were +3 on the slip. Here are some notable winners and losers listed by wager and payout (if applicable) :
- $440K: Colts +3 over Rams (1st Half) Borgata AC
- $220K: Vikings/Cardinals Over 27.5 (2nd Half) Borgata AC
- $105K (Payout $205K): Colts +3.5 over Rams DraftKings
- $60K: Steelers -6 in 2nd Half (Loss) PointsBet
- $60K (Payout $235K): Mike Evans and Zeke Elliott (Anytime TDs) +290 DraftKings
- $73.8K (Payout $111.83K): Bills ML -190 DraftKings
- $25K (Payout $51.250K): Cowboys (+3) DraftKings
Parlays & Props
Check this out!— BetMGM 🦁 (@BetMGM) September 20, 2021
One player is a WIN away from turning $25 to $736,959 on a 16 leg parlay 🤯
All he needs? The Detroit Lions to win at Lambeau Field tonight… pic.twitter.com/NOQblFCUu3
A bettor at FanDuel wagered $400 on Derrick Henry to score 3 TDs. The ticket returned $9,200 and the Titans (+6.5) won outright in overtime 33-30 at Seattle. Another ticket had $100 on Buffalo running back Zack Moss to score 2 TDs at +7000. Moss had 8 carries for 26 yards and 2 scores.
Monday Night Preview
|Team||Spread||Handle %||ML||Handle %|
The Packers opened as 10.5-point favorites and jumped to -11 last week and then again to -12 over the weekend at DraftKings .
The total opened at 49.5, fell to 48 during the week, but has rebounded. Bettors like the over, with 81% of the handle looking for lots of points.