Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were coming off a bye and ready to get back to their winning ways after a disappointing loss to the New Orleans Saints two weeks ago.
Instead, the Bucs became the latest big favorite to lose outright. Brady was intercepted on two of the Bucs’ first three possessions, setting the tone for another lackluster outing — a 29-19 road loss to the Washington Football Team.
The Bucs closed as 9.5-point favorites and -450 on the moneyline at BetMGM over a Washington team that was riding a four-game losing streak. But it wouldn’t matter as Washington jumped out to an early 13-0 advantage and never relinquished that lead.
The Bucs would cut the score to 23-19 with 10:55 to play, but Washington closed out the game with an epic 19-play, 80-yard scoring drive that took 10:26 off the clock. Along the way, Washington converted on four third-down plays and capped off the drive with an Antonio Gibson touchdown run on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line.
It was a big result for the sportsbook at BetMGM as NFL underdogs turned in another excellent weekend. As of Sunday morning, BetMGM reported receiving 66% of the bets and 84% of the money on the Bucs covering the spread.
Jeff Stoneback, the director of trading for BetMGM, said it was a “significant” result in another winning Sunday for the book, its third straight.
Including Thursday night’s result — the Miami Dolphins upsetting the Baltimore Ravens as 8.5-point underdogs — underdogs enter Monday Night Football with a 9-4 record against the spread in Week 10. That includes four outright winners — the Dolphins, the Carolina Panthers (+7) over the Arizona Cardinals, the Minnesota Vikings (+3.5) over the Los Angeles Chargers and the Philadelphia Eagles (+1) over the Denver Broncos.
With Washington and the Panthers winning on Sunday, six underdogs of at least a touchdown have won outright over the last three weeks.
Tough beat for Titans bettors
Another big result for the books on Sunday came in the Tennessee Titans vs. New Orleans Saints game. The Titans, on the heels of a big upset over the Los Angeles Rams last weekend, were 3-point favorites over the Saints and held a comfortable lead for most of the game.
That lead was 20-6 early in the third quarter and 23-12 early in the fourth, but the Saints battled all the way to the end. They made it 23-15 with a field goal at the 5:33 mark and then quickly forced a Titans punt.
All of a sudden, the Titans covering the spread was in serious doubt. The Saints drove 71 yards in the span of 2:18 and scored on a Trevor Siemian touchdown pass to Marquez Callaway with 1:16 to play.
That touchdown made it 23-21, putting the Saints inside the number. At this point, Titans backers were actually hoping the Saints would convert on the tying 2-point conversion to either force overtime or to give the Titans enough time to win the game by a field goal. That was especially true if you got the Titans at -2.5.
Instead, the Titans defense got the stop, recovered the ensuing onside kick and won the game, 23-21. It was a great outcome for BetMGM as 58% of the bets and 71% of the money came in on the Titans side.
The Titans are now 7-3 against the spread this season, including a perfect 5-0 as an underdog. They are 2-3 ATS as a favorite and 1-2 as a home favorite.
Packers, Seahawks turn in dud in Rodgers-Wilson matchup
One of the most-anticipated games of the day was the matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The game marked the return of both Russell Wilson from a finger injury and Aaron Rodgers from COVID-19.
The game — a 17-0 victory for the Packers — did not live up to the hype. Wilson and the Seahawks struggled mightily on offense, mustering just 208 total yards. Wilson completed just 20 of 40 throws for 161 yards and two interceptions.
The Packers were 3-point favorites in the game and covered easily, continuing their trend of being the most reliable ATS teams in the NFL. With the win, the Packers are now 9-1 against the spread. The Packers have covered in nine straight since dropping their opener to the Saints.
Another reliable trend has been Seahawks unders. With Sunday’s result, the under is now 7-1-1 in Seattle’s nine games. In Packers games, the under is 8-2 this season.
Despite those trends, 75% of the money in Sunday’s game was on the over. Bettors were likely expecting some fireworks with Wilson and Rodgers back on the field. Instead, they watched a defensive struggle.
Cowboys return to winning ways
Other than the Packers, the best team against the spread this season has been the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys surprisingly lost to the Denver Broncos last weekend as a 10-point favorite. It was the team’s first ATS loss of the year. A week later, the Cowboys bounced back in a big way by blowing out the Atlanta Falcons 43-3 as 7.5-point favorites.
The Cowboys are now 8-1 against the spread this season.
The Packers, Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs were all very public plays on Sunday. The Packers and Cowboys have been consistent winners, but the Chiefs have been terrible against the spread over the past two seasons.
Nonetheless, the Chiefs took care of business on Sunday Night Football, blowing out the Las Vegas Raiders 41-14 as 2.5-point favorites.
With the win, the Chiefs improved to 3-7 against the spread this season.