NFL betting: News, information, odds shifts


NFLbets is all about how the action in America’s professional football league relates to betting and though the opportunity to get real insider information is more limited all the time, the NFL bettor must keep up-to-date on the latest news – particularly injuries. NFLbets will be focusing on news stories which involve immediate relevance to the games ahead.

We’ve all seen what result when a team loses a starting left tackle, free safety or “skill player” to injury or suspension. In addition, NFL football of the 21st century increasingly runs into another issue taking away players, namely suspensions for drug-related and/or violent activity. Again, though the window of opportunity to leverage injury and suspension information is quite brief indeed, knowing ahead of time always beats ignorance.

NFLbets also seeks to cater to fans of one of the NFL’s 32 teams, and our news stories are compiled for each NFL market within our “team pages” so that fans may follow the progress of their favorites – not to mention check our track record, win or lose. And hopefully we’ll demonstrate throughout that our only bias is toward making money. We’re cheering for the bettors against the house here, and week to week we care only that our picks come through – for the readers and us.

Finally, NFLbets pledges to keep all speculation and opinion to the “Rants” section. In this area, we’ll try to keep things purely informational (no mean feat in a “post-fact” world) – just the facts and no “fake news” here.

NFLbets wishes all bettors the best of luck; let’s all make some money out there, okay?


NFL final results ATS, week 10 (Things Finally Start Making Real Sense Edition)

Tuesday, 13 November 2018 12:17 EST

Betting suddenly makes senseAh, now we’re coming to the payoff … after week 10, the ATS standings are starting to make a lot more sense. We can also now firmly eliminate a few speculative borderline playoff teams, e.g. the Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons as well as probably the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins, and treat them as spoilers and/or squads full of players looking to bag better contracts with 2019’s contenders.

Outliers? Sure were: The week started with an imbalance of double-digit point spreads and in the end only three SU winners failed to cover the point spread (including the Indianapolis Colts’ push against Jacksonville); this followed last week’s total of zero such fails. We’re thinking that week 11 could see an above-average number of upsets ATS and substantially more close contests.

Below runs a complete list of results for week 10 in NFLbets’ standard format, i.e. adjusted for the point spread; all results listed in boldface indicate games in which the SU winner did not cover the spread. Comments, questionable humor and the occasional salient point courtesy NFLbets writer/editor Os Davis.

•  Pittsburgh Steelers 49, Carolina Panthers 21. The Steelers have now run off three consecutive home wins SU/ATS after going 0-7 including last year’s playoff loss. On the other side, at 6-3 SU, the Panthers would appear to be a playoff team, but that 1-3 SU (0-4 ATS!) mark on the road does not impress.

•  New Orleans Saints 51 at Cincinnati Bengals 14. In contrast, their division mates the Saints have the single most impressive record ATS this season thus far: New Orleans is a fantastic 5-0 ATS on the road – and could well extend that to 7-0 going into week 15 at (you guessed it) Carolina.

•  Indianapolis Colts 26, Jacksonville Jaguars 26. Week 9 was all about NFL bettors winning money and favorites winning outright. Bookmakers compensated in week 10 by setting essentially all point spreads high. So it figures in the only game with a ’spread under 5 points, you’d get the push.

•  Seattle Seahawks 31 at Los Angeles Rams 26. The Rams may usually look pretty damn awesome (with the possible exception of the Aqib-less secondary), but after a headline-stealing offseason and high expectations since opening day, they’re now a mundane 4-5-1 ATS.

•  Los Angeles Chargers 10½ at Oakland Raiders 6. The all-Los Angeles Super Bowl is still in play, with the odds on this exact matchup at 30/1 to 32/1 at online sportsbooks. Those who snagged this bet at 40/1 or 50/1 in preseason are certainly percolating with excitement.

•  Cleveland Browns 28, Atlanta Falcons 10. Speaking of the Super Bowl, NFLbets would like to thank the 2018 Atlanta Falcons for eliminating themselves from playoff contention with this loss. We just didn’t want to have paid for this information…

•  Dallas Cowboys 27 at Philadelphia Eagles 12½. Similar can probably be said of the Eagles, though at least we weren’t among those set up to throw Moneys (NFLbets’ preferred form of currency) away on the Eagles.

•  Washington 19½ at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3. And from a moral/ethical viewpoint, a hearty “f*@# you very much” to both the defending champs and the low-bar Cowboys for allowing a team named for a racial slur to advance to the high-audience NFL playoffs.

•  Buffalo Bills 41 at New York Jets 9. Why did this guy’s attempt to popularize “#FireBowles” on Twitter receive a pitiable 32 retweets only? Most likely because nobody cares about the f*##&*ing New York Jets.

•  Tennessee Titans 34, New England Patriots 3½. You just know that some dude out there is looking for odds on a “Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski Retires During Bye Week” prop…

•  Chicago Bears 27, Detroit Lions 22. The most interesting surprise of 2018? The Bears’ sudden re-emergence into contention with another killer D and what appears to be an honest-to-Luckman proper NFL quarterback running the offense. They’re 6-3 ATS thus far and NFLbets reckons Chicago could well end up with the best ATS mark in the NFL in 2018. Also, we can’t wait to see Minnesota favored at Chicago in the wild-card game…

•  Green Bay Packers 20, Miami Dolphins 12. ’Member when we thought the Dolphins, graced with a relatively easy schedule, could sneak into the playoffs? Yeeeaaah, I ’member…

•  Arizona Cardinals 14, Kansas City Chiefs 9½. Lesson relearned about point spreads of 16 points or more: Even the league’s 31st-“best” team can cover against a juggernaut like the 2018 Kansas City Chiefs.

•  New York Giants 27, San Francisco 49ers 20. Talk about your dashed expectations: The 49ers have gone from prospective playoff contenders to just 3-7 ATS, identical to the Jets and just one ATS win better than the bottom-feeding Raiders. Wait ’til next year!

For an updated version of the NFL standings by ATS record, click here.


NFL final results ATS, week 9 (Just for Posterity’s Sake edition)

Tuesday, 13 November 2018 12:05 EST

No time for a writeup on the final results for NFL week 9, as we’ve spent the weekend, likesay, enjoying Las Vegas and sadly must return to reality, i.e. home. Dutifully does NFLbets at very least post our weekly final results page, however.

Below runs a complete list of results for week 10 in NFLbets’ standard format, i.e. adjusted for the point spread; all results listed in boldface indicate games in which the SU winner did not cover the spread; note that in week 9, though five underdogs won SU/ATS, no SU winners failed to cover.

• San Francisco 49ers 34, Oakland Raiders 1½
• Chicago Bears 30½ at Buffalo Bills 9
• Carolina Panthers 36, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28
• Los Angeles Chargers 25 at Seattle Seahawks 16
• Pittsburgh Steelers 23 at Baltimore Ravens 14½
• New England Patriots 26, Green Bay Packers 17
• Kansas City Chiefs 28½, Cleveland Browns 21
• Minnesota Vikings 19½, Detroit Lions 9
• New Orleans Saints 45, Los Angeles Rams 33½
• Atlanta Falcons 36 at Washington 14
• Houston Texans 19 at Denver Broncos 16
• Miami Dolphins 10, New York Jets 6
• Tennessee Titans 28 at Dallas Cowboys 8½

For an updated version of the NFL standing boards with ATS records included, click here.


’Member Bountygate? Yeah, I ’member! (Take the Atlanta Falcons -6 at Cleveland)

Sunday, 11 November 2018 10:18 EST

NFL bets Pittsburgh Steelers logoA default search for any immediate regression to the mean for these two teams reveals little: Carolina and Pittsburgh are both 5-3 ATS this season. The Steelers are 2-2 ATS at home; the Panthers are a serious outlier at home at 4-0-0 ATS (and NFLbets’ll certainly be looking at the opposition in the next Carolina home game), but are hardly unusual at 1-3 ATS (2-2 SU) on the road.

So let’s talk some offense and defense. In a year of offense, Carolina has nevertheless put together a pretty decent defense, particularly against the run: The Panthers are top 10 in most rushing categories defensively as well as no. 4 overall in interceptions.

Such stats may be irrelevant on this given Sunday, however, as Ben Roethlisberger will throw the ball a lot regardless of opposition. James Conner may capture the mainstream media's imagination, Roethlisberger is second in the NFL in pass attempts this season and fourth in completions. And Steelers are 3-1-1 SU (3-2 ATS) in games when Ben *does* throw an interception.

Pittsburgh also brings a top-10 rushing defense statistically to face Christian McCaffrey, Cam Newton and the league's top ground attack. However, this D's impressive-looking numbers are likely heavily due to the Steelers' passing game on offense. In terms of efficiency, they're a mid-pack 14th in Football Outsiders' DVOA metric -- and below-average against the innovative Newton and oft unstoppable McCaffrey won't really cut it.

NFL bets Carolina Panthers logoAs for the potentially gnarly Pennsylvania weather, the forecast for Pittsburgh calls for lows around 36° with an 80% chance of rain, snow and/or some variant on precipitation thereof.

But in cold weather, Cam & Co. aren't nearly as bad as the average South-based team: In games played in temperatures of 45° or lower at kickoff, the Panthers are 7-3 SU/6-4 ATS going back to 2014 and are currently on a 5-1 SU/4-2 ATS run. Seemingly perpetually underrated by the sportsbook, the Panthers have won SU their last four games as an away underdog in cold weather games.

One final consideration: Are you more likely to believe in a 6-3 -- and therefore on pace for a 11-5 or 10-5-1 final regular-season record -- Panthers or Steelers team? We’re saying it’s the Panthers, and to do so, they’ll have to win this one with a tough schedule remaining. Cover the Carolina Panthers ML at +160 or so, and hedge with a bet on the Panthers +3 at Pittsburgh.

We’ll even predict next week’s storylines: Steelers welcome back Le’Veon Bell after Conner stuffed by Panthers and Is Cam Newton the NFL MVP…?


Forget the Titans, take the leap of faith and cover the Cowboys -5 on Monday Night Football

Monday, 05 November 2018 11:45 EST

Okay.

Before we begin, we know. The faith required to back Jason Garrett’s Dallas Cowboys this season may be too much for many NFL bettors to play the point spread on Monday Night Football this week. NFLbets would certainly not blame such skeptics for staying away altogether – but as for us, we’re in Las Vegas for a few more days, and as you well know this place is made for throwing money.

Tennessee Titans +5 at Dallas Cowboys, over/under 40 points

Tennessee Titans betting logoWe’re not throwing money without reason, however. The compelling stat reveals that the Cowboys, despite their trend for decades of not playing smart football, are one of the very hottest teams in the NFL coming off the bye week: Going back to 2004 (!), Dallas is 10-3 ATS regardless of status as favorite or underdog, home or away.

Now NFLbets knows that history going back more than a decade is rarely useful for accurate prognostication. Looking a little more closely, we see that, when Garrett is coaching the Cowboys, they’re 5-3 ATS after the bye; in Dak Prescott’s two years, post-bye week games were split 1-1 ATS. Not incredibly impressive by either, but the Cowboys are looking to turn a corner here – or at least string together a couple of SU wins.

To this end, Ameri Cooper’s aboard and has actually had a week to dust off some unused fly-route plays and basically the entire back third of the Dallas playbook so as to expand Prescott’s repertoire. Dak and Ezekiel Elliott have accounted for 38% of the team’s yardage, and five of the Cowboys offense’s 13 (!!!) touchdowns *on the ground alone*. Anything would be an improvement here, certainly.

But hey – don’t believe in the Cowboys tonight; you don’t have to. Just look across the line at yourrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr 2018 Tennessee Titans.

The Titans have somehow managed to get to a 4-3 record ATS despite averaging just 15.1 points per game thus far. Not so much through strength of will as the incompetence of the opposition, the Titans have kept six of their seven games thus far within a touchdown’s difference; the results have been bizarre.

NFL betsTo wit: The Titans have lost SU/ATS to the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, while winning SU/ATS against the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles. At least two of these aforementioned are prospective playoff sides (Texans and Eagles), while those early-season wins against Houston and Jacksonville might make a difference later.

Though that doesn’t seem likely. The Titans went oh for October (1-2 ATS), scoring just 31 points in three games combined. After a marginal start, the three-game swoon has seen the Titans offense plummet into the bottom 3 teams statistically in points scored, passing TDs, rushing TDs, passing yardage, overall yardage and first downs – would you believe that the unheralded Cowboys D is a top-5 side in all of said categories?

So, yes. Despite Jason Garrett and a still-thin, undependable offense, we’re advising NFL bettors take the Dallas Cowboys -5 vs Tennessee.


Best bets, week 9: We’re betting on one regression, one win streak (P.S. The Oakland Raiders are f^%#^&ing bad)

Friday, 02 November 2018 12:43 EST

So now we get four days of Nick Mullens hype, stupid jokes about Jimmy Garoppolo getting Wally Pipped and Jon Gruden memes – actually, we’ll take the Gruden memes – right?

NFLbets would like to do our part in tempering said hype by quoting Yards After Catch (YAC) stats for San Francisco 49ers receivers this game, but apparently this isn’t a f&^#&^ing official statistic of the NFL and thus cannot be found on the official site or the awesome Pro Football Reference. On the “53”-yarder to Richie Jones, 44 (or nearly 17% of Mullens’s total yards “passing” for the game) were gained on the ground by Jones against a field full of Oakland Raiders defenders who mistakenly thought they were playing touch football.

And now, a few words about our nearly complete whiff in analyzing the Oakland Raiders/San Francisco 49ers game: We don’t care. The truth is, our bet on under 44 points paid off, even if we greatly misoverestimated the Raiders’ ability to, well, frankly do anything in any facet of the game. Beyond the approximately 656 missed tackles, the Raiders allowed 8 QB sacks, were 3-of-13 on third and fourth downs, and somehow lost by 31 despite never turning the ball over.

Wow, are these Raiders bad. And now, they’re at the very bottom of the ATS standings board at 2-6. This is the team that’ll be representing Las Vegas in the post-legalized gambling NFL? O, sweet irony!

For now, we’ll bury the Raiders like their NFL competitors and move on to Sunday’s games – and Sunday’s bets!

Atlanta Falcons +1½ at Washington, over/under 48 points

Atlanta Falcons alternate betting logoNFLbets’ll just go ahead and call this one the Regression To The Mean Bowl. Going solely on reputation through one half of the season, a Washington win is the pick: The Reds have pulled off home upsets against the Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers at home already in 2018. Alex Smith has been Mr. Efficiency again, with just 2 interceptions thrown in 228 attempts – bad news for a defense not great at producing turnovers (the Falcons are actually down in the TO ratio going into this game, 10 to 9) or rushing the passer (with 14 sacks, Atlanta is a lowly 28th in the stat).

But the truth is NFLbets will take the Atlanta Falcons +1½, probably even to take the Falcons ML at +110 to get a nicer payout – unless you’re worried about another tie in 2018, heh heh.

NFLbets would probably make these bets blind even if we didn’t believe that the Falcons (at least on offense; the defense is really quite brutal) are playing better football than their 3-4 SU record indicates. This team got off to a 1-4 start thanks to five games pitting them against playoff contenders – at Philadelphia, vs Carolina, vs New Orleans, vs Cincinnati and at Pittsburgh. And in three of those SU losses, the Falcons stayed within six points of the victor. After two home wins plus the bye week amidst a six-week stretch on the schedule wherein Washington is the toughest opponent, this in terms of fickle momentum would appear to be the Falcons’ game.

NFLbets Washington football logoWell more compelling then the Falcons’ apparent decent run are the ATS numbers for the year. Washington has ascended to the no. 3 spot on the ATS standings board at 5-2-0, while Atlanta languishes at the very bottom, tied with the Raiders at 2-6-0. In addition, the Falcons are now *the only team* without an ATS road win. That may represent only two games, but if Oakland are good for a win on the road in the first half, the Falcons certainly can.

NFL bets is not understanding this point spread, but is loving the opportunity.

Los Angeles Chargers +2 at Seattle Seahawks, over/under 47½ points

NFLbets logo for the ChargersNow on this one, we’re advising that NFL bettors take the Seattle Seahawks -2 vs the Chargers for reasons completely counter to those of the first game. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks have run up some truly gaudy numbers playing in Seattle, but the ATS numbers bring this bet back from the scary cliff of impossibly good.

To begin with, the homefield advantage enjoyed by Seattle is real. How much we can attribute to the biological realities of playing in the Pacific Time Zone and how much to the proto-mythical qualities of the “12th Man”, an away game in Seattle could be penciled in as a loss (at least until the disastrous 2017). Since Wilson was plugged in as a rookie started in 2012, the Seahawks have gone 40-10 SU at home; removing ’17 from the equation, that mark rises to 36-6.

Even more ridiculous is the Seahawks SU record at home against AFC teams: A neat 12-0 over the 6½-season span. Naturally, the team’s mark at home ATS can’t match the SU record, but 30-20-0 is nothing to sneeze at. Finally, against AFC teams at home, the ’Hawks are a solid 8-4 ATS. Further, those four losses ATS came against point spreads of, in chronological order, 11½, 13½, 10½ and 6 points; two of the four ATS losses came against teams with SU winning records and a third was on Opening Day 2014.

Betting on the Seahawks at homeSure, on the other side, the Chargers are a West Coast team coming off a bye week (though prior to that was the London game nine time zones away) with the defense rounding into shape and Melvin Gordon looking increasingly unstoppable facing the middling Seattle D.

But ever since Wilson entered the NFL, Pete Carroll and the Seahwaks have been defying expectations (the team’s ATS marks bear this out) and, in ’18, have been doing more with less. Any 12-0 run is just begging to be bet against, but NFLbets believes that Wilson will simply not stop beating those sides most unfamiliar with his team, i.e. the AFC’s, through 2019 – if he does so, he will have beaten every one of the 16 in Seattle.

This one may be grueling (and so bettors may consider taking the under 47½ points), but the home Seattle Seahawks are at least a field goal better than nearly any NFL team in 2018.


Bottom feeders on the ATS table meet for Thursday Night Football crapfest

Thursday, 01 November 2018 17:39 EST

One more time: NFLbets hates betting on Thursday Night Football. We post columns on these games for amusement purposes only – keeping the ol’ writing and analysis skill sharp and all – and therefore do not necessarily endorse NFL bettors siding with our TNF picks. The extra unknown variables riddling such games can tilt betting on Thursday night football dangerously close to gambling, and the teams in this week’s game hardly inspire confidence.

On the other hand, one obvious opportunity is out there on this game.

Oakland Raiders -1½ at San Francisco 49ers, over/under 44 points

Raiders Las Vegas!So what do we have here? The Raiders have a short week, just four days removed from a 3-TD, zero-interception performance by Derek Carr in which they still lost by 14 points. Marshawn Lynch is on the IR< Ameri Cooper is gone and Carr, for the lack of personnel, is becoming a check-down artist.

Meanwhile, head coach Chucky is apparently oblivious everything other than amassing assets and thinking about the property he’ll be buying in Las Vegas. You gotta love this quote from Gruden’s interview with Howie Long:

“I got a cell phone just like you and everybody else, and I get a lot of phone calls from people who are dying to come and play here. I’m just telling you, to have salary cap space, to have a chance to talk to the people that you really want to wear the silver and black and represent this team, that’s exciting.”

Seriously, that’s about two superlatives short of a Donald Trump quote; just to hammer home the irony, the interview was conducted for who else but the Fox network. So, yeah.

Over on the San Francisco side, well, at least they’re home. (Of course, the Raiders will have to take a short drive to the game after playing last weekend in Oakland.) This tweet should burn away the last shred of hope for the 49ers offense to keep scoring:

And in the five hours since Schefter tweeted the above, the Raiders’ handicap has gone from 3 points to 1½, while the over/under has dropped from 45 to 44 points.

If Mullens does indeed start tonight, he’ll instantly became the NFL leader among current starting QBs in TW (Times Waived) with 2 – and he left Southern Mississippi after the 2016 season. He was on the 49ers practice squad for 2017 and got the call up to the active roster after Jimmy Garoppolo was placed on IR.

SF 49ers alternate logo for bettingMullens may have the advantage of the unknown, but that’s about it. For the season, the 49ers offense ranks 25th in yards per game with 348.3; about the best NFLbets can say (write?) about this team tonight is that Matt Breida, one of this season few pleasant surprises for the 49ers, will play. We can figure he still won’t be 100%, as he hasn’t been since taking an ankle injury three games back. The truth is, if either team gets shut down on offense and therefore gets blown out, it’ll be San Francisco.

But NFLbats believes San Francisco won’t get blown out – not by the Raiders with a single overtime win over the good ol’ Cleveland Browns. We’ll admit we wouldn’t bet f*#F*& all on the outcome of the game; we can even lean on regression to the mean, with both teams among the bottom three in the league ATS: Oakland is 2-5 while San Francisco is 2-6. NFLbets advises bettors to take the under on an O/U of 44 points. Or even lower, really.

And get set to “enjoy” another low-scoring Thursday Night Football non-classic…


Sure bet: Kansas City Chiefs -8½ and well more at Cleveland Browns

Thursday, 01 November 2018 08:48 EST

NFLbets didn’t even need the firings of Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson and/or offensive coordinator Todd Haley to have decided about halfway through last week’s 33-18 throttling given them by the Pittsburgh Steelers that the Kansas City chiefs were set to turn this one into a blowout. Imagine our surprise when, after the dismissals of the not-so-dynamic duo and the ascension of Gregg “That’s Not the Way I Wanted It Done” Williams to top dog spot, the point spread on this game got to -8½.

Wow.

Kansas City chiefs a great betSo for just the second time in 2018 (the first was a preseason proposition bet based on Todd Guley’s touchdown total which looks like money in the bank at this point), NFLbets is proclaiming a “Sure Bet” in week 9: Take the Kansas City Chiefs -8½ at Cleveland. In fact, we be doing quite a bit more in hopes of attaining a better payout in quite an advantageous situation.

First, a couple of stats just in case you need numbers to back up what you already suspect. In stints as head coach, assistant head coach and/or defensive coordinator with Tennessee, Buffalo, Washington, Jacksonville, New Orleans and the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, Gregg Williams has led his teams to a 5-7 SU record and 5-6-1 ATS against Andy Reid-coached team in Philadelphia and Kansas City. Of note about that ATS mark, however: four wins and the came when Williams was with Washington between 2004 and ’07.

This time, though, Williams doesn’t have the 2005 Washington team – his head coach in 2018, Gregg Williams, is a far cry from Joe Gibbs. He doesn’t have Drew Brees as did his 2010 New Orleans Saints – he’s got a quarterback who’s on his second offensive coordinator before his seventh NFL start.

And speaking of offensive coordinator, your man in Cleveland is now one Freddie Kitchens, who has been coaching in NFCAA and NFL football since 1999 … strictly as a position coach. Kitchens was promoted from within from the running backs coach spot. In 18+ seasons as a coach, he was a QBs coach for four: In 2013 through ’16 with the Arizona Cardinals, which included the ’15 team, a top-3 offense statistically.

betting against the Cleveland BrownsBut is that enough behind the likes of Gregg Williams, who’s spent most of this season up to last week apparently looking for opportunities to subvert Haley in hopes of climbing over him to get the doomed Hue’s job? We dare say that Kitchens, like ol’ Head Coach Bountygate and the rest of us, has never seen anything like this Kansas City offense before.

Even against the still-underwhelming Chiefs defense (they’re dead last against the run by Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric, for example), the Baker Mayfield-led Browns offense can’t be liking their chances. This team has scored just under 17 points per game in the past four games. The Chiefs have yet to score under 27 all season.

In terms of trending, despite taking the ATS loss last week against Denver, Kanasas City still tops the ATS standings board at 6-1-1, making them the NFL’s outlier thus far. One would expect Reid’s guys to trend downward, figuring the Chiefs to lose at least four or five more games ATS in 2018. However – you guessed it – the Browns with Huey at the wheel (yikes) have performed well above expectations; Cleveland’s 2-5-1 SU record belies a more reasonable 4-4 ATS mark. Most telling of al for the NFL bettor is the 3-1 ATS at home this team has managed to stumble through into week 9.

The line seems way too good to be true, and maybe it is – but NFLbets will wait for the later clarity of hindsight. We’re bumping this line up to Chiefs -13½ or -14 to increase the payout. Sorry, Browns fans, but the misery looks to continue, at least for one more week.


NFL final results ATS, week 8 (Top of the Table Tumbles Edition)

Tuesday, 30 October 2018 16:50 EST

What was NFLbets saying? That week 8 was a “tough week for betting”? Wellllllll…not so much, as it turns out. We’d mused about betting against the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City chiefs, as all three entered at least one game better than any of the other 29 sides. We didn’t, and all three went for ATS losses.

Sure, home teams were a remarkable 5-7 ATS during the week if you count the Jaguars’ date in London as a home game – and NFLbets does – but this was about the sole anomaly. Favorites were a strong 9-3 ATS and 11-1 SU for the week. Of the three home underdogs (Carolina, Jacksonville and the New York Giants), only the Panthers won ATS or SU. And all of those who covered Hue Jackson in a “First NFL Coach to be Fired in 2018”, congratulations on a great pick.

Below runs a complete list of results for week 8 in NFLbets’ standard format, i.e. adjusted for the point spread; all results listed in boldface indicate games in which the SU winner did not cover the spread. Comments, questionable humor and the occasional salient point courtesy NFLbets writer/editor Os Davis.

Houston Texans 34½, Miami Dolphins 23. Now on a five-game SU (3-2 ATS) run, the Texans today added Demaryius Thomas. All of a sudden, our “Houston Texans to Win AFC” prop bet doesn’t seem so bad…

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34 at Cincinnati Bengals 32½. Ah, Cincinnati – you f&#&^#ing Bengalsed again and/or succumbed to the smoke and mirrors of Fitzmagic to nearly ruin a perfect week at the sportsbook…

Carolina Panthers 36, Baltimore Ravens 18. …but luckily the bookmakers gave us this one to make up some losses. Las Vegas sportsbooks may have had a record-setting September, but here’s to thinking they’d like to take the Panthers +3 line back more than any other this season.

Seattle Seahawks 28 at Detroit Lions 11
New Orleans Saints 27½ at Minnesota Vikings 20
• Denver Broncos 23 at Kansas City Chiefs 21½. And thus did all three of the NFL’s elite ATS teams go down in week 8. The top of the ATS standings board is a bit more crowded now with six teams boasted five or more ATS wins: The Chiefs (6-1-1), Vikings (5-2-1), Washington (5-2-0), Lions (5-2-0), Saints (5-2-0) and Patriots (5-3-0).

Chicago Bears 15½, New York Jets 10. Remember when the Vikings were figured to be one of the two best teams in the NFC? Now they’re nervously glancing in the rearview mirror at the Bears, who might only be stopped if someone points out that Mitch Trubitsky is quarterbacking them…

Indianapolis Colts 38½ at Oakland Raiders 28. As in the overall standings, Jon Gruden has nicely gotten his Raiders bottom-feeding at just 2-5 ATS, better than only the 49ers with this weekend’s grudge match deciding the worst. Can’t wait for that one. Not.

Philadelphia Eagles 20½ at Jacksonville (UK) Jaguars 18. Has anyone considered how the Brexit deal might affect the NFL International Series games played in London? Sure, it’s arcane stuff but certainly well more interesting than discussing the impact of this game on two of the year’s biggest disappointments.

Washington 19 at New York Giants 13. In an alternate universe, Eli Manning is playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Again, more interesting to contemplate than the Giants or Jags…

Pittsburgh Steelers 24½, Cleveland Browns 18. So … Gregg “That’s Not The Way I Want It” Williams is the head coach of the Browns? And they’re playing who this weekend? O, thank you, Football Gods. A mighty pigskin will be sacrificed for your glory!

Green Bay Packers 27 at Los Angeles Rams 21½. Otherwise known as The Best Game of 2018 You Shouldn’t Have Bet.

Arizona Cardinals 18, San Francisco 49ers 13½. A game which dared to ask the philosophical question “If an NFL game is played and no one is watching, does it make a sound?”

New England Patriots 11½ at Buffalo Bills 6. Finally, Monday Night Football in week 8 again made it evident that the only reason to bet against these Patriots winning the AFC East ad infinitum is ignorance of the division’s other three teams.