Fans of the Green Bay Packers were on the edge of their seats when Mason Crosby lined up for a game-deciding 51-yard field goal in the final seconds of Sunday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.
But those who bet on the Packers to cover the spread were already thinking about cashing their tickets.
Throughout the week, the spread at BetMGM fluctuated between 3 and 3.5 with the 49ers as the favorites at home. One bettor went in heavy on the underdog Packers, putting down $109,339 on the Packers at +3.
The 49ers had a 28-27 lead when Crosby lined up for the game-winner, so Packers backers would have won their bets regardless of the outcome of the kick. That includes the big bettor at BetMGM, who won $104,132.
If you bet the Packers on the moneyline, though, there was plenty of drama.
The Packers jumped out to an early 17-0 lead, but the 49ers stormed back and took their first lead of the game, 28-27, on a Jimmy Garoppolo touchdown pass to Kyle Juszcyk with just 37 seconds remaining.
That set up the latest in the ever-lengthening list of Aaron Rodgers’ clutch moments. The Packers were out of timeouts, but the 37-year-old Rodgers needed just two completions to Davante Adams to get Crosby in range. Crosby then drilled his kick, giving the Packers a 30-28 win in walk-off fashion.
The Packers-49ers game was the most-bet game of Week 3 at BetMGM, and the Packers were actually the favored side of the public. The public ordinarily backs the favorite — especially at home. This time, the public was on the side of Rodgers and the Packers and they came through.
Public favorites win big
While it was another good Sunday on the whole for underdogs, it was a losing day for the sportsbook at BetMGM because of some of the big favorites that covered the spread.
Jeff Stoneback, the director of trading for BetMGM, told Yahoo Sports that the public “cleaned up” in the early games. He pointed to three favorites in particular as popular public sides that won — the Arizona Cardinals (-7.5) at the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Buffalo Bills (-9) vs. the Washington Football Team and the Tennessee Titans (-5.5) vs. the Indianapolis Colts.
All three of those teams covered the spread fairly easily. The Cardinals actually trailed into the second half but closed strong and won 31-19. The Titans had just a 14-13 lead for much of the second half, but ended up winning 25-16 thanks to a strong fourth quarter. And then the Bills jumped out to a big lead over Washington and never looked back, winning 43-21.
One bettor wagered $115,000 on the Bills when they were 7-point favorites earlier in the week, That bettor won $100,000.
“It was a losing day for the books,” Stoneback said.
Bad beat in Kansas City
While teams like the Bills, Titans and Cardinals came through for the public, the Kansas City Chiefs failed to do so yet again. The Chiefs were 7-point favorites at home against the Los Angeles Chargers and lost outright, 30-24, to drop to 1-2 on the season.
The Chiefs are now 0-3 against the spread this season and a miserable 1-12-1 in their last 14 games. Despite the Chiefs’ ATS woes, the public continues to bet on them.
“It seems like the Chiefs every week, that game is a winner for us because they fail to cover,” Stoneback said.
While there wasn’t much drama with the point spread in that one, there was plenty with the total. And it came down to an extra point.
The total ended up closing at 55.5 at BetMGM, but was at 54.5 or 55 for much of the week. The Chargers tied the score at 24-24 with 2:14 to play and then quickly got the ball back by intercepting Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes.
The Chargers took over at their own 41 with 1:42 to play and were able to move deep into Kansas City territory thanks to a pass interference penalty on a fourth-and-9. At that point, the Chargers had the ball at the KC 20 with 41 seconds remaining and the Chiefs had just one timeout remaining.
It looked like the Chargers would be able to run the clock and set up for a game-winning field goal try. Instead, they remained aggressive and scored a touchdown with 32 seconds remaining. The TD made it 30-24 and only an extra point was needed to put the game over the total for those who bet it at 54.5.
Instead, Tristan Vizcaino’s PAT sailed wide and the final tally was 54 points. Under bettors celebrated and over bettors were crushed.
Another winning week for underdogs and unders
Speaking of under bettors, Sunday was a big day if you like low-scoring football.
Including the Thursday night game (a Panthers 24-9 win over the Texans), 11 of the 15 games in Week 3 have gone under the total.
Entering the Monday Night Football showdown between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys, the under is 28-18 so far this season.
Week 3 will also be another winning week for underdogs. Entering MNF, underdogs have a 9-6 ATS record in Week 3. That means underdogs are guaranteed a third straight winning week.
Underdogs went 12-4 ATS in Week 1, 9-7 in Week 2 and are now 9-6 in Week 3. In all, underdogs are 30-17 ATS so far this NFL season. That includes a 21-26 record straight up.