Sportsbooks dodged a bullet in Week 4 of the NFL, narrowly coming out of the winning side despite seeing the favorites covering in seven of the 11 games on Sunday.
The trend throughout Sunday had the public winning a lot of single games but all four games that had the most action saw books come out on the winning side, including losses by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Carolina Panthers, and Atlanta Falcons. Those three results were more than enough for the public to groan their way to another losing week in the NFL.
Pittsburgh’s last-second 27-24 home loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stopped any momentum the public would’ve had with a lot of their teasers and parlays, especially those that were tied into the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts, two big public winners on Sunday.
In the late afternoon games, the Atlanta Falcons’ loss to the Minnesota Vikings, 41-28, cost books on single bets, but like the Steelers, the single bet wins were mostly offset by losing teasers and parlays that had the Falcons as the final-game anchor.
Even the San Francisco 49ers – Philadelphia Eagles game ended up on a positive note for sportsbooks as the early money on the 49ers were mostly given back by a late rush of Eagles bets. Had the late Philly money not come in to even out the sides, books would’ve lost out a lot on the 49ers winning, 26-21, against the Eagles.
The public didn’t fare any better in the Sunday Night Football game where more money was tied into the New Orleans Saints despite being short favorites on the road against the Dallas Cowboys. The spread might have been influenced by the Saints’ thorough beat down of the Cowboys last season in New Orleans but none of that mattered in this game. Dallas turned the tables on New Orleans, coasting to a 38-17 victory.
Incidentally, the Saints have been one of the most heavily backed public teams in the first quarter of the season. Through four games, New Orleans is 0-4 against the spread.
Action now moves to Week 5 where all six teams with byes on Week 4 return to the field. Conversely, only the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders have byes in Week 5.