After seven weeks of netting positive gains in the NFL, sportsbooks finally got a taste of their own medicine in Week 8 as almost every public team on the board, sending the books to their first losing weekend of the NFL season.
Entering Sunday, the public seemed to have made up its mind that it would put money on their favorite teams. That meant the San Francisco 49ers, the Denver Broncos, the New Orleans Saints, the New England Patriots, and the Green Bay Packers. That faith was rewarded in kind, much to the chagrin of books, a lot of whom haplessly sat around to see one public team cover one after another in varying circumstances.
It didn’t matter that some lines were inflated to get some action on the other side, most notably Denver’s -13.5 line against the Washington Redskins. The public put its faith on all the division leaders and in doing so, rolled to the kind of positive week that it hadn’t since last December.
The afternoon games all went to the public with the Saints easily covering the -10.5 spread against the Buffalo Bills, followed by the Pats coming back to take the -6.5 spread against the Miami Dolphins after being on their heels for seemingly the entire game. It didn’t help that the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos covered their -16 and -13 spreads, too, both in convincing fashion.
To add insult to injury, the Sunday Night Football game between the Packers and the Minnesota Vikings proved to be the final liver shot that brought the books to their knees. It didn’t matter what the line was – it started at -10 and dropped to -7 before kick-off – the public was riding the arm of Aaron Rodgers and for the game to hit the 47.5 Over. Murphy’s Law proved to be in business over the weekend as the Packers not only covered easily but also handily took down the over, netting a lot of winning parlays that had books wondering whether this was a serious case of Trick or Treat gone horribly wrong.
At least the books can take comfort knowing that the St. Louis Rams running game saved them from an otherwise catastrophic beatdown when it took the heavily favored Seattle Seahawks to the last play of the game, covering the 13-point spread and dousing all those hanging parlays that only needed a Seattle cover to cash in on massive payouts.
At the end of the day, books can take solace knowing that it could’ve been worse. A lot worse.