Sports betting winners and losers: Cowboys continue to let down bettors, haven't covered all season

Frank Schwab
·6 min read

The sportsbooks had their biggest day of the NFL season on Sunday. The Dallas Cowboys helped them out on Monday, too.

If you’ve been backing the Cowboys all season, condolences. Dallas and the New York Jets, who are the NFL’s version of an automatic bye week, are 0-6 against the spread. They are the only two NFL teams that haven’t covered a spread yet.

The worst part was that bettors fell for the Cowboys yet again on Monday night. The Cowboys lost quarterback Dak Prescott in Week 5. They had lost all five games against the spread before taking on the Cardinals. And yet, the money poured in on the Cowboys, flipping them from underdogs to favorites.

“The Cowboys will be without Dak Prescott but that hasn’t stopped bettors from loading up on Dallas, MGM sportsbook manager Matt Cosgriff said before the game. “Heavy action has moved the Cowboys from underdogs to 1-point favorites.”

If you had a Cowboys ticket, you know how Monday night went. You knew long before halftime you were on the wrong side.

The Cardinals cruised to an easy 38-10 win. That was bad news for bettors, considering 70.4% of the money on the game at BetMGM as of Monday afternoon was on Dallas. There were some big Cowboys bets at BetMGM: $25,000 to win $42,207.80 on a two-team parlay of Cowboys -1 and Chiefs moneyline at -245, $110,000 to win $100,000 on Cowboys pick’em in the first half and $115,000 to win $100,000 on Cowboys -115 moneyline. Those losses were never in doubt.

The Cowboys have an awful defense and now the offense looks broken too, with Andy Dalton replacing Prescott. Not that it was Dalton’s fault on Monday, but Dallas was stuck on 3 points until late in the fourth quarter against a mediocre Cardinals defense. And yet, the Cowboys are about 3.5-point road favorites on the early lines for next week’s game against the Washington Football Team.

Good luck to you if you want to back the Cowboys again.

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) and linebacker Jordan Hicks, rear, combine to tackle Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, right front, after a short gain in the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) and linebacker Jordan Hicks, rear, combine to tackle Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, right front, after a short gain in the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Here are the winners and losers from the past week in sports betting:

WINNERS

Tampa Bay Buccaneers futures bettors: The biggest liability BetMGM has in a robust Super Bowl futures market is the Buccaneers. People loved Tom Brady and Co. getting about 11-to-1 odds before the season to win it all.

That might be a problem for BetMGM.

After a 38-10 win over the Green Bay Packers, the Buccaneers look like they could be the NFC’s most complete team. The defense is very good and the offense has multiple ways to win. The NFC is not great. The NFC East is a debacle, teams like the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints don’t look as strong as expected and the Buccaneers are a real contender. That could end up being very profitable for bettors.

Kansas City Chiefs: Most of the money came in on the Chiefs for their Monday game against the Buffalo Bills. Why go against them now?

The Chiefs covered, and that’s a habit by now. Kansas City is 13-2 against the spread in their last 15 games, which is astonishing. Bettors are going to keep backing them too. For the game against the Bills, 81.1% of tickets and 83.8% of the money at BetMGM was on Kansas City. That pushed the line from Chiefs -3.5 to -5.5. It didn’t matter as Kansas City dominated the game and covered.

The Chiefs are opening as 9.5-point favorites at the Denver Broncos for Week 7. It’s probably safe to assume which side bettors will be on.

Sunday night dogs: An interesting trend is developing through six weeks in the NFL. Underdogs on “Sunday Night Football” are covering at a nice rate.

The San Francisco 49ers paid off on Sunday night, winning straight up as 2.5-point underdogs against the Los Angeles Rams and doing so rather easily. That means five of six underdogs have covered with Cris and Al watching.

Hopefully you have cashed on that trend already. Because as we know, winning NFL trends usually don’t last long ...

LOSERS

Those reliable NFL trends: Through five NFL weeks, some trends seemed to be the new normal.

Overs couldn’t lose. Favorites were doing just fine. The Green Bay Packers were undefeated against the spread. And bettors were having a great season, beating the books most weeks.

Winning trends don’t last long in the NFL. With two unders on Monday night, over bets went 4-10. That followed five straight weeks of the overs finishing above .500. The Packers lost 38-10, their first time not covering the spread this season. That was a huge win for the house, especially on teasers and parlays that had the Packers.

The books had their best week of the season.

“We had our best day of the season. The bettors took it on the chin. It was a tough day for the bettors,” Jeff Stoneback, director of trading for MGM Resorts, told Yahoo Sports.

Sportsbooks hoping for a Dodgers loss: If you grabbed the Los Angeles Dodgers at about +500 to win the World Series when they were down 3-1 to the Atlanta Falcons in the NLCS, consider yourself lucky. That might be the last and only time you see a line like that on the 2020 Dodgers.

The Dodgers were expected to be the best team in baseball before the season, played up to that level all season and the World Series odds reflected that. But plenty of bettors bet the Dodgers when they were down to the Braves.

The NLCS bets have cashed after the Dodgers had a remarkable comeback to take the pennant. Now BetMGM will sweat a lot of Dodgers World Series bets.

Los Angeles is a fairly overwhelming -200 to win the World Series ahead of Game 1, against a very good Tampa Bay Rays team. BetMGM might be hoping for some Rays action to even out their liability on the Dodgers.

Anyone taking the heavily favored Vasiliy Lomachenko: There was a huge upset in a big boxing match Saturday, Teófimo López when unanimous decision win over Vasiliy Lomachenko to become the undisputed lightweight champion.

Anyone who was brave enough to take the long odds on López got a nice payout at +330.

The octagon gets the combat sports spotlight back this weekend as UFC 254 is scheduled for Saturday.