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NFL Week 12 betting roundup: Falcons' blowout over Raiders causes six-figure losses for bettors

Sam Cooper
·5 min read
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Sunday was a big day for underdogs in the NFL.

Underdogs covered the spread in eight of the day’s 12 games, including four outright wins. With the betting public overwhelmingly siding with favorites like usual, Sunday was another profitable day for sportsbooks.

“It’s been a rough stretch here for the bettors,” Jeff Stoneback, the director of trading for MGM Resorts, told Yahoo Sports.

One of the biggest games of the day, though, looked like it was going to go in the favor of the bettors. The Kansas City Chiefs have not been performing nearly as well against the spread as last year, but the public couldn’t resist the defending Super Bowl champions as 3.5-point favorites on the road against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.

And when the Chiefs jumped out to a quick 17-7 lead thanks to Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill, bettors were feeling good. But Brady wasn’t going to lie down even with the Chiefs leading 27-10 entering the fourth quarter.

Brady led the Bucs on two fourth-quarter scoring drives, including throwing a seven-yard touchdown pass to Mike Evans with 4:10 to play. That score cut Kansas City’s lead to 27-24, and that would prove to be the final score.

The Bucs couldn’t complete the comeback, but they did enough to cover the spread — much to the delight of the sportsbooks.

Tampa Bay’s late charge also continued the trend of the Chiefs struggling against the spread. The Chiefs are now 6-5 against the number in 2020 after going a sparkling 13-5-1 ATS in 2019. They have failed to cover in three straight games.

Falcons spoil six-figure bets on Raiders

While the Chiefs-Bucs games may have had more eyes, it wasn’t the biggest winner of the day at BetMGM. The honor actually went to the Las Vegas Raiders vs. Atlanta Falcons game.

The Raiders won their first three games in November and nearly upset the Chiefs last week. On Sunday in Atlanta, they were three-point road favorites, and two monstrous bets came in backing the Raiders at BetMGM.

MGM received one bet of $300,000 and another of $110,000 on the Raiders when the spread was -3.5. They did not even come close to cashing as the Falcons rolled to a surprising 43-6 blowout victory.

The Raiders turned it over five times in the loss, including a back-breaking pick-six thrown by Derek Carr early in the third quarter.

“Even without those two large bets that would have been the biggest winner of the day for us,” Stoneback told Yahoo Sports.

The Raiders were 7-3 ATS and had covered in their previous four games, so it’s understandable why they were such a popular play.

In addition to the Raiders and Bucs, Stoneback said other big winners of the day at BetMGM included the Cincinnati Bengals covering the six-point spread with the late touchdown in a 19-17 loss to the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins covering as seven-point road favorites against the New York Jets.

“Something that we usually don’t say — another big game for the book was the Dolphins. There was actually some money on the Jets,” Stoneback said.

Bills backers sweat out cover vs. Chargers

One of the few games that resulted in a positive outcome for the public was when the Buffalo Bills covered the 4.5-point spread at home against the Las Angeles Chargers.

The Bills held a 24-6 lead deep into the third quarter, but the Chargers made things interesting. They first cut the lead to 24-14 with a Joshua Kelley touchdown run and a two-point conversion. And after a Bills fumble, they tacked on a field goal at the 10:16 mark of the fourth quarter to make it 24-17.

All of a sudden, what looked like a comfortable cover for Bills backers had tightened up considerably. It only got wilder from there.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen fumbled on the next possession and then tossed an interception. The Chargers couldn’t capitalize either time and the Bills would tack on a 43-yard field goal with 3:26 remaining to increase their lead to 27-17.

The spread drama continued, though. The Chargers converted on two fourth-down plays, including a wild 55-yard gain on fourth-and-27 from near midfield. That put the Chargers at the 2-yard line with the clock ticking inside 30 seconds.

The Chargers would take four cracks at the end zone — one from the 2-yard line and another three tries from the 1-yard line. They all came up empty.

The final play was an attempted quarterback sneak from quarterback Justin Herbert with three seconds remaining. Herbert was originally in shotgun, but then came up under center. The rest of the offensive line appeared to be pass-blocking while Herbert tried to sneak in the end zone.

The play went nowhere, the clock ran out and those who had money on the Bills -4.5 were finally able to exhale. That includes one bettor at BetMGM who wagered $110,000 on the Bills and won $100,000.

Denver QB situation causes dramatic line movement

The New Orleans Saints opened up as 5.5-point favorites on the road against the Denver Broncos but ended up closing as whopping 16.5-point favorites.

The dramatic line movement was because all four of Denver’s quarterbacks were unable to play due to COVID-19 issues. Backup Jeff Driskel tested positive and the team’s three other QBs — Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles — were deemed high-risk contacts.

In that precarious situation, Denver had to turn to practice squad receiver Kendall Hinton as the emergency quarterback. Hinton played quarterback for part of his college career at Wake Forest, but eventually moved to receiver.

Predictably, he struggled mightily against the Saints in a 31-3 loss. Hinton completed just 1-of-13 pass attempts for 13 yards and two interceptions.

Money poured in on the Saints to cover the big number, including a $200,000 bet at BetMGM. That wager, which was placed when the Saints were favored by 14.5, yielded a return of $181,200.

It was one of the biggest winning bets of the weekend at MGM.

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