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On The Money | NFL Week 3 Betting Recap: Falcons Being Falcons

Bill Ordine for Bookies.com

Bill Ordine  | 7 mins

On The Money | NFL Week 3 Betting Recap: Falcons Being Falcons

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The Falcons may be breaking the hearts of their fans in Atlanta, but they’re busting the wallets of bettors everywhere.

The Falcons, playing at home against Chicago, were an NFL betting favorite bet by the public across the board for the NFL’s Week 3 even though they were coming off a stunning come-from-ahead loss to Dallas in Week 2. In their previous game, the Falcons, who had led by 19 points after three quarters, stood gawking while the Cowboys recovered their own onside kick thus setting up the ‘Pokes winning field goal. A silver lining for Atlanta backers was that the underdog Falcons did cover in that game with the points.

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Nevertheless, leading up to kickoff of Sunday’s game against the Bears, bettors were riding the Falcons who were 2.5- to- 3-point favorites. At PointsBet, bettors had Atlanta (-2.5) with 70% of the cash against the spread and 60% of the cash (65% of the tickets) on the money line. On FanDuel, where the Falcons were 3-point favorites, 80% of the point-spread money and 63% of the money-line money was on Atlanta. At William Hill, 86% of the point-spread money was on the Falcons (-3).

In one of the most jaw-dropping repeat fails in NFL history, the Falcons squandered another big lead against Chicago, 26-10 after three quarters, to lose 30-26. And since they were giving points, Falcons bettors saw money they were already counting snatched from their hands. As it turned out, the worst thing that happened to Atlanta was that it chased Bears starting QB Mitch Trubisky from the game and were scorched by famous backup Nick Foles.

As an aside regarding in-game wagering, the Bears were +3300 entering the fourth quarter, according to BetMGM.

Even with OT, No Over In Eagles-Bengals

Meanwhile, Foles’ former team, the Philadelphia Eagles, for whom he won a Super Bowl, also cost a lot of bettors money in tying winless Cincinnati, 23-23. Figuring the winless Eagles would bounce back in a Week 3 home game against the Bengals, bettors piled on the Eagles, moving them from 4-point favorites to 5.5-point favorites at some books. In point spread betting at PointsBet, 80% of the money was on the Eagles; the money line was heavier on Philly with 85% of the cash. At FanDuel, 70% of the point-spread handle and 69% of the money line cash was on the Eagles.

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However, the most aggravating outcome in the Eagles-Bengals game for many bettors was that it was the only game of eight early window contests that failed to make the Over, even though it went into overtime. The Over in that game was decidedly heavy with 92% of the handle at William Hill (47 points), 90% of the cash at PointsBet (46.5), 69% of the bets at FanDuel (47.5), and 65% of the cash on the Over at BetRivers (47).

Saving their fans and bettors from an Atlanta-like collapse, the Buffalo Bills dodged a bullet after blowing a 25-point lead and allowing the L.A. Rams to take a fourth-quarter four-point lead. On Buffalo’s late-game winning drive, the Bills were the beneficiaries of a pass interference call in the end zone on an incomplete pass that would have ended the game.

With new life, a QB Josh Allen-to-TE Tyler Kroft 3-yard pass allowed the Bills to escape with a 35-32 win and some of their backers to escape with the cash. The game started the week as a Bills -3 line but 1 to 1.5 points was trimmed from the early spread at many books.

“We had an OK morning. A couple of games bit us and that’s always going to be the case,” said John Avello, DraftKings director of sports book operations. “The Patriots (at home against Las Vegas) were one. The 49ers (vs. Giants) — there was some great action on that game, one of the best of the morning. … Overall, it was good handle; overall just good business.”

Giants Wagers

On The Money | NFL Week 3 Betting Recap: Falcons Being Falcons 1

DraftKings booked a couple of mega-wagers for the undefeated San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants game. One bet backed the winless Giants getting four points for $500,000 (at -117). The other wager was on New York QB Danny Jones on the over for passing yards with the mark at 244.5 yards, also for $500,000 (at -110). The 49ers crushed the Giants, 36-9, and Jones passed for just 179 yards.

“We also had big money on the other side, too, so that game actually worked out OK. It was great vig two-way action both sides,” Avello said referring to the vigorish (commission) the books collect on wagers.

Of the Jones passing yards wager, Avello said, “He didn’t come anywhere near it. Nope, he did not. So that result turned out well for us also.”

“In the afternoon, the Colts (as big favorites against the New York Jets) were bet pretty good so that wasn’t a good game for us but the Chargers (losing to underdog Carolina) was OK. The Cardinals lost (to underdog Detroit) so that was OK. Tampa, that was one of the worst games of the day (beating and covering against Denver) and the Seahawks game (where the Seahawks beat and covered against Dallas) wasn’t that good but it wasn’t that bad.”

Backing the Pack

At PointsBet and at other books, betting appetite for Green Bay was on display as the Packers remained a solid “public” team. The Packers, a 3-point underdog to New Orleans, won 37-30, giving the Joes (average bettors) a profitable nightcap.

“For the afternoon games, the book was rooting for the Broncos, Cowboys and Panthers. Cowboys took a good amount of in-play action, so that loss was mitigated,” said Patrick Eichner, a spokesman for PointsBet. “For (Sunday Night Football), the book surprisingly (was) rooting for the home favorite in the New Orleans Saints. We are seeing the Packers attract nearly 67% of the ML bets and some interest in-play.”

Tampa Bay QB Tom Brady raised his stock with bettors by coming through with a pile of money riding on him and his new team. At BetRivers, 90% of tickets were on the Bucs to cover against Denver; on the money line, 95% of the tickets was on Tampa Bay to win outright. The Bucs were favored by 7 points and covered easily, 28-10.

Brady’s former team also won and covered. New England (-7) beat visiting Las Vegas, 36-20.

Avello noted that the Sharps (professional bettors) were heavy on the Patriots. The Colts were not only a sharps game but the general public as well; the line started as Colts -9 and wound up at -11 as the Colts made it a no-sweat payday, 36-7. There was also Sharp money on the Texans and the Rams when L.A. was getting 3 points. Later, that Rams-Bills line slipped to 1.5.

Winners & Losers

William Hill announced a spate of larger wagers. One bettor cashed a $55,000 wager (at-110) on the Houston-Pittsburgh Over (45 points); the Steelers won, 28-21. On that same game, a Houston backer lost a $35,000 bet taking the Texans and 4 points. In the Indianapolis-New York Jets game with the Colts a massive favorite on the money line (-700), a bettor took Indianapolis for $52,000 (to win a little over $7,400 profit). And a bettor put $35,000 on Detroit getting 5.5 points against Arizona; the Lions won outright, 26-23.

Some small investments paid out tidy sums. Among individual props at DraftKings, Patriots RB Rex Burkhead turned somebody’s $14.54 investment into $1,468.54 with a three-TD day. Also on DraftKings, a $5 bet that TE Lee Smith would score the first TD in the Rams-Bills game paid $505.

About the Author

Bill Ordine for Bookies.com
Bill Ordine
Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years and was lead reporter on a team that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.