Every NFL season, there’s always a week where sportsbooks root for underrated players to help save them from disaster. Week 6 was one of those weeks as books had to thank no less than Oakland Raiders quarterback David Carr for playing the game of his life against the San Diego Chargers. Carr and the Raiders ultimately dropped a 31-28 decision to the Bolts but the result was more than enough for the Raiders to cover the 7.5-point spread, sending San Diego to its first ATS loss of the season.
That result was more than enough for books to survive another heart-stopping NFL weekend that saw them take gut punches when the Denver Broncos improbably covered the spread against the New York Jets in the dying seconds of that game and then followed up by an eerily similar chain of events in the Arizona Cardinals-Atlanta Falcons game that also ended up being a big winner for the public. The Broncos-Jets game going over after that late Aqib Talib pick six also cost books a chunk of change.
The early spate of games couldn’t have gone any worse for the books. It wasn’t just the Broncos-Jets game. The Green Bay Packers’ equally stunning comeback against the Miami Dolphins also went the public’s way. Same with the New England Patriots breaking open a close game against the Buffalo Bills. All told, the early games saw favorites go 5-3 ATS with books only winning on The Carolina-Cincy game and the Pittsburgh-Cleveland game.
But if there was one game the books had to have, it was Oakland covering the 8-point spread against the previously undefeated (ATS) San Diego Chargers. Philip Rivers and company were one of the heavy public picks of the day and losing that game would’ve been a red letter day for sportsbooks. Of all the players to pull them through, David Carr showed up with the game of his life, throwing for 282 yards and four touchdowns to help the Raiders to a late lead before succumbing to a last-minute Chargers touchdown. Still, it wasn’t enough for San Diego to cover the spread and after sweating out that debilitating finish in the Broncos-Jets game, sportsbooks were able to let out a collective sigh of relief after the late afternoon games.