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NFL Week 14 betting roundup: Favorites dominate in 'worst weekend of the year' for sportsbook

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On the whole, the betting public loves NFL favorites. And that works in the favor of the sportsbooks more often than not.

That has not been the case in Week 14.

Entering "Monday Night Football," favorites are 12-1 straight up and 11-2 against the spread in Week 14. As a result, bettors have cleaned up in what was a horrendous weekend for the sportsbook at BetMGM.

“Christmas came early for sports bettors on Sunday in the NFL with the favorites covering. It was the worst weekend of the year for the sportsbook,” said Jason Scott, VP of trading for BetMGM.

Jeff Stoneback, the director of trading for BetMGM, told Yahoo Sports that there was just one game that resulted in a positive outcome for the sportsbook. That was when the Kansas City Chiefs blew out the Las Vegas Raiders 48-9 as 9.5-point favorites.

“It’s not too often that we’re a winner when the Chiefs cover, but that was it for the day,” Stoneback said.

Bucs save $390K bet with OT touchdown

There were a few close games that could have swung the day in a more positive direction for the sportsbook, including the Buffalo Bills vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers matchup. Tom Brady and the Bucs were 3.5-point favorites at BetMGM and held the lead for much of the day.

That lead was 24-3 at halftime and 27-10 early in the fourth quarter, but the Bills rallied with 17 consecutive points in the final nine minutes to force overtime.

What looked like an easy cover for Bucs bettors had quickly turned into a nailbiter. That was especially the case for one BetMGM customer who bet $390,000 on the Bucs to cover. And when the Bills opened overtime by punting, all the Bucs needed was a field goal to win the game.

But that wouldn’t have been enough to cover the 3.5-point spread. The game would not come down to a field goal, however, Instead, on a third-down play, Brady hit Breshad Perriman in stride and he broke loose for the game-winning 58-yard touchdown.

The Bucs won 33-27 and covered the spread, and that one bettor took home a profit of $325,000.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Breshad Perriman (16) celebrates after he scores the game winning touchdown in overtime during a NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Dec.12, 2021 in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Menendez)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Breshad Perriman (16) celebrates after he scores the game winning touchdown in overtime during a NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Dec.12, 2021 in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Menendez)

Huge bet on 49ers cashes

There was another game that featured a fourth-quarter comeback, overtime and an eventual victory by the favorite.

The San Francisco 49ers were 2-point road favorites against the Cincinnati Bengals and took a 20-6 lead into the fourth quarter. One BetMGM customer wagered $357,500 on the 49ers when they were favored by 2.5 points. For most of the game, things looked good for that bettor.

But in the fourth quarter, Joe Burrow hit his college teammate Ja’Marr Chase for two touchdowns, including a game-tying 32-yarder with 1:19 to go, to send the game to overtime. The Bengals then opened overtime with a field goal to take a 23-20 lead and that bettor needed a 49ers touchdown in order to win $325,000.

The 49ers came through. They marched the length of the field and won the game with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo to Brandon Aiyuk. Aiyuk, who jumped through traffic toward the pylon, was originally ruled out at the 1-yard line. It was overturned after a review and the 49ers emerged with a 26-23 win — a win that covered the spread.

Blocked PAT swings Cowboys-Washington outcome

To say the Cowboys were the right side in their game against the Washington Football Team on Sunday would be an understatement.

The Cowboys were favored by 4.5 points throughout the week, but that jumped to 6.5 in the hours ahead of kickoff. Dallas led the entire way, but whether or not Cowboys -6.5 backers would cash their tickets came down to an extra point.

The Cowboys led 24-0 at halftime and 27-8 entering the fourth quarter, but had a bit of a meltdown in the final minutes. After Washington scored (but failed on the two-point conversion) to make it 27-14 with 5:09 to go, Dak Prescott threw an ugly interception on the second play of the ensuing possession. That interception was returned 31 yards for a touchdown by Washington’s Cole Holcomb to make it 27-20.

If you bet the Cowboys at -6.5, that bet was in serious jeopardy. However, the ensuing extra point was blocked, keeping the margin at seven points with 4:13 to play.

Washington would get one final opportunity on offense, but a Randy Gregory strip sack of Kyle Allen put an end to the game and allowed the Cowboys to cover the spread by the slimmest of margins — just half a point.

Ravens sink Browns bettors with backdoor cover

One of the two underdogs to cover the spread on Sunday was the Baltimore Ravens, and they did so without Lamar Jackson. The Ravens, who were 3-point underdogs against the Cleveland Browns, lost Jackson to an ankle sprain in the first half.

The Browns jumped out to a big lead but had to hold on for dear life in the second half. That lead was 24-3 late in the first half, but the Ravens waged a comeback with Tyler Huntley at quarterback.

As the Cleveland offense sputtered, the Ravens scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns. The second was a Mark Andrews TD catch that capped off a 14-play, 90-yard drive and made the score 24-22 with 1:17 to play.

The Ravens then recovered an onside kick, but the Browns got the fourth-down stop they needed to preserve the victory. Nonetheless, the Ravens did enough to pull off a brutal backdoor cover for Browns bettors.

It was another tough outcome for the sportsbook. According to BetMGM, 68% of the bets and 67% of the money was on the Ravens at +3.

Packers are best ATS team in NFL

With so many favorites covering, the sportsbook was rooting hard for the Chicago Bears to cover the spread against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. The Packers closed as 11.5-point favorites but trailed 27-21 at halftime.

The second half, though, was dominated by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The Packers flipped that six-point deficit into a 45-30 victory. The Bears’ last-ditch effort to cut into that lead — and cover the spread — fell short when Justin Fields threw an interception deep in Green Bay territory.

With the win, the Packers improved to 11-2 against the spread so far this season. That’s the best ATS mark in the NFL. Next in line are the Cowboys at 10-3, the Arizona Cardinals at 9-3 and the New England Patriots at 9-4.

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 12: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts as he walks off the field following the 45-30 victory over the Chicago Bears in the NFL game at Lambeau Field on December 12, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 12: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts as he walks off the field following the 45-30 victory over the Chicago Bears in the NFL game at Lambeau Field on December 12, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)