Thursday Night Football betting

Who the hell likes football on Thursday nights? Not coaches or players, who must fear that turnovers and injuries on a shortened week of practice. Not fans who are just as often treated to a mistake-ridden slogfest or a blowout as a watchable game. NFLbets dares say that perhaps not even the paraphernalia creators dig on the NFL Network’s TNF games as much as previously, because clearly NFL Marketing is taking a bath on the exclusive “Color Rush” jerseys. Seriously, who like those things?

The Thursday Night Football games – broadcasts, beginning in 2018, on Fox! – also have a bad reputation among NFL bettors as tough to call. One would expect more variance in these games, of course, given the aforementioned short week and the amplified issues with East Coasts-to-West Coast travel.

But are TNF games in actuality so difficult to predict? Consider the lists below, which include all Thursday night football results during the 2016 and ’17 seasons, adjusted for point spread and including prime-time games on Thanksgiving. Those in bold are games in which the favorite lost SU; those marked with an asterisk (*) are ATS results which differed from the SU results.

New York Jets 37 at Buffalo Bills 30
New England Patriots 27, Houston Texans 0
Cincinnati Bengals 14½, Miami Dolphins 7
Arizona Cardinals 29½ at San Francisco 49ers 21
San Diego Chargers 21, Denver Broncos 10
Green Bay Packers 18½, Chicago Bears 10
Tennessee Titans 33, Jacksonville Jaguars 22
Atlanta Falcons 38½ at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28
Baltimore Ravens 20½, Cleveland Browns 7
*New Orleans Saints 20, Carolina Panthers 19½
Pittsburgh Steelers 20, Indianapolis Colts 7
*Minnesota Vikings 15 at Dallas Cowboys 14
Kansas City Chiefs 17½, Oakland Raiders 13
Seattle Seahawks 9, Los Angeles Rams 3
Philadelphia Eagles 22½, New York Giants 19

Houston Texans 13 at Cincinnati Bengals 4
*San Francisco 39, Los Angeles Rams 38
Green Bay Packers 27½, Chicago Bears 14
New England Patriots 15½ at Tampa Bay 14
Philadelphia Eagles 28 at Carolina 20
Oakland Raiders 31, Kansas City Chiefs 27
Baltimore Ravens 37, Miami Dolphins 0
New York Jets 34, Buffalo Bills 18
*Seattle Seahawks 16 at Arizona Cardinals 16
Pittsburgh Steelers 33, Tennessee Titans 17
Los Angeles Chargers 27, Dallas Cowboys 6
Dallas Cowboys 38, Washington 12½
Atlanta Falcons 17½, New Orleans Saints 17
Denver Broncos 22 at Indianapolis Colts 13

Stats we can glean from the above sampling of 29 games:

•  On Thursday nights, underdogs won SU seven times of 29 for a winning percentage of just .241; that’s significantly poorer than the usual .326.

•  Favorites were 18-10-1 ATS for a .638 winning percentage, also a significant difference from the usual .550 mark.  

•  The home team is 19-10 on these Thursday nights and 20-8-1 ATS. Once again, these compare quite favorably (so to speak) to expected results SU historically, which give the home team a 57% to 60% to win SU in a typical NFL game.

So there you have it: Though a slightly small sample size historically, these two seasons should indicate that the trend in Thursday night football games is pretty much as NFLbets suspected: Take your usual safe-betting skills and apply them ever more extremely.

Not so tough after all – in theory…

NFL Week 11 ATS results: Bet early, save yourself the aggravation (and money)

Wednesday, 20 November 2019 18:59 EST

Ah, wasn’t the ending to the Cardinals-49ers game majestic? (We mean, for those holding the right tickets, of course.) With a line starting as high as Cardinals +12½, the game ultimately kicked off with a spread of Cardinals +9½ or +10 – a critical half-point difference, as it turns out. With the outcome of the game long settled and the 49ers winning by 4, a last-second fumble-six meant the Niners’d win by 10, causing lots of tickets to flip one way or the other.

It was the kind of backdoor cover that ignites chaos, which leads to mainstream media coverage of the story. It’s also an opportunity for NFLbets on every occasion to remind one of our principal tenets: If you see something good, bet it early. We were lucky enough to catch the Cardinals at +11 and thereby eke out the win.

Seeing as so apparently so many bet so much on various assortment of lines (how so many NFL bettors took bad beats, yet Vegas bookmakers simultaneously took lamentable losses is beyond us, but hey), NFLbets will call the game a tie in our adjusted results.

NFLbets’ roundup of week 11 results with scores adjusted for point spreads runs below; scores marked in bold indicate those games in which the SU and ATS result differed.

• Cleveland Browns 18, Pittsburgh Steelers 7. NFLbets’ takeaway after the whole Myles Garrett helmet-swinging incident? Even when the Browns win an important game, they still fuck it up.

• Arizona Cardinals 36 at San Francisco 49ers 36. NFLbets can’t possibly have been the only one to take the Cardinals at +10½ or more, can we? Jeez, My Bookie and other sportsbooks opened this line at 13½; somebody must have been betting it down to get to Cardinals +9½ at kickoff…

• New England Patriots 12½ at Philadelphia Eagles 10
• Baltimore Ravens 36½, Houston Texans 7. The Patriots are done! Tom Brady is too old and doesn’t have enough weapons on offense! Head coach Harbaugh is an old hand and has won Super Bowls! Hedge against any of the 31 teams you already bet on in the “To Win Super Bowl LIV” prop! Just kidding – yes, Lamar Jackson looks fantastic unto-unstoppable, but weren’t we saying that about Patrick Mahomes last year? And DeShaun Watson the year before…? Right now, NFLbets would bet on at very least three NFC playoff contenders minus a TD against the Ravens…

• Denver Broncos 23 at Minnesota Vikings 20. You think Broncos fans are dumbfounded by the Vikings’ record-setting comeback? Imagine all those who bet on the Vikings, then decided to hedge in live-betting during the second half, only to get burned again. D’oh!

• Buffalo Bills 30 at Miami Dolphins 20. Hardly surprising that the Dolphins got smoked in this one ATS: Buffalo has been beating up on bad teams all year, and Miami could hardly be expected to maintain a 4-0 ATS winning streak. NFLbets is just loving the Bills piling up the wins exactly like this in hopes of a nice small point spread for their 30-point loss in a wild-card game against the AFC South winner.

• Atlanta Falcons 32½ at Carolina Panthers 3. Forget the Falcons’ over-hyped 2-game win streak; far more intriguing is the way the defense has allowed just 9 and 6 points in those games since the bye – which really increases the degree of difficulty for next week’s game versus Tampa Bay.

• Dallas Cowboys 27½ at Detroit Lions 27. Prediction: The Lions’ last SU (and quite possibly ATS) win comes on Thanksgiving Day – and Matt Patricia will probably have signed a contract extension by the following Monday.

• Los Angeles Rams 12, Chicago Bears 7. The under is 13-6 combined in Rams and Bears games this year, and with their respective situations at quarterback, who expects this to change? Sheesh, the Bears-Lions game in a couple weeks could well set the mark for lowest-scoring Thanksgiving Day game ever.

• New Orleans Saints 28½ at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17. And on the flip side, you’ve got the Buccaneers, whose awesome combination of porous defense, quick wide receivers and one of the all-time great interception throwers has helped them hit the over in eight of 10 games this season – this against lines of 45.5 to 51. Heck, in this one, Tampa Bay managed two TDs and the over still hit by a ½-point. Let’s hope Jameis doesn’t sit until week 17 minimum…

• Indianapolis Colts 30½, Jacksonville Jaguars 13. Again, just do not touch these AFC South interdivisional games – totally not worth it. Next time you’re tempted, just double-down on the Bears under or Bucs under.

Cincinnati Bengals 20½ at Oakland(/Las Vegas) Raiders 17. The best thing about the 2019 Cincinnati Bengals? While simultaneously tanking enough to land the no. 1 draft pick, the Bengals are playing craftily enough (or are getting taken well for granted enough) to cover double-digit spreads profitably enough from time to time: They’re a respectable 4-6 ATS.

• New York Jets 34 at Washington 16. ..and, SU win-loss record notwithstanding, are probably better than Washington.

• Kansas City Chiefs 18½, “Los Angeles” Chargers 17. After Phillip Rivers showed his age and gifted the Kansas City defense with five interceptions, NFLbets is ready for many to be suckered into believing that a very poor D has somehow turned the corner…

NFL week 10 ATS results: Hard realities for Chargers, Rams, Cowboys, Chiefs...

Wednesday, 13 November 2019 12:12 EST

Well, NFL week 10 sure established a few things, eh? Dirt may pretty much be shoveled onto the playoff chances of the “Los Angeles” Chargers and Los Angeles Rams. Chicago is now stuck with Mitch Trubisky for a few more weeks after the awesome Matt Patricia-coached defense allowed him to throw for three TDs. The Kansas City Chiefs are no longer even a top-3 contender to win the AFC. And the Dallas Cowboys are the Dallas Cowboys.

NFLbets’ roundup of week 8 results with scores adjusted for point spreads runs below; scores marked in bold indicate those games in which the SU and ATS result differed.

• Las Vegas/Oakland Raiders 26, “Los Angeles” Chargers 22½. Look, at least two things should have been made abundantly clear by this game: The Raiders are making the playoffs, the Chargers are not. NFLbets really can’t wait until the inevitable labelling of Chucky’s Guys as “The Greatest Team About To Leave Their Home City of All-Time.”

Minnesota Vikings 28 at Dallas Cowboys 20½. The proper NFL bettor does not assign attributes to teams and thus superstitiously avoid making good wagers, e.g. “I’m not betting the Panthers because I always lose money on them.” Having said (written?) that, these Cowboys…

• Pittsburgh Steelers 17, Los Angeles Rams 8½. Realistically speaking, the Rams been eliminated from playoff contention: At 1½ games behind current NFC no. 6 Minnesota and 2½ back of Seattle, L.A. may as well begin the tanking process in haste – except their first-round draft pick belongs to Jacksonville. Worse yet, the Rams have bigger, more expensive fish to fry: Aaron Donald, Andrew Whitworth, Dante Fowler Jr., Robert Woods, Todd Gurley are on contracts worth $42.78 million, plus Jared Goff stands to make $9.63 million on his unnecessarily restricted deal of this past offseason. Well, it looked good for about a year and a half there…

• New York Jets 34, New York Giants 24. Currently active high-level profession sports teams based in New York City include the Jets, Giants, Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Rangers. So … um … go Islanders?

• Miami Dolphins 16 at Indianapolis Colts 2. With the Dolphins’ fifth consecutive win ATS, the bandwagon filling, and the still criminally overrated Bills coming to Miami next week, this seems like a really solid opportunity to bet against the plucky Fins.

• Chicago Bears 17½, Detroit Lions 13
• Atlanta Falcons 40, New Orleans Saints 9. Oddities aplenty in these two previews of Thanksgiving Day games, including Atlanta notching the biggest ATS upset of 2019 thus far while topping the Bears’ and Lions’ scores combined. Let’s hope these games are a bit higher quality, because on Sunday these guys were messier than your toothless uncle eating creamed corn while discussing impeachment at the holiday table.

• Cleveland Browns 16, Buffalo Bills 16. The only way the result of this sad sack of an NFL game that would be more appropriate is an actual SU tie.

• Arizona Cardinals 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24½
• Green Bay Packers 19, Carolina Panthers 16. The Cardinals and Packers each currently stand at an impressive 7-3 ATS, which naturally makes NFLbets wants to throw big bucks against them both – but Green Bay’s on a bye, and Arizona is getting a way too high 10½ points at San Francisco, who’s on a short week. Make it tough, why don’tcha, sportsbooks?

• Baltimore Ravens 38½, Cincinnati Bengals 13. Since somehow giving up 40 points to Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns, the Ravens are 5-0 SU (3-2 ATS and on a 3-0 run) and have between their last three opponents by 14, 17 and 36. They’re just waiting to ruin bets in the next couple of weeks…

• Tennessee Titans 35 at Kansas City Chiefs 27. Is the polish off the apple yet (and we don’t mean the Chiefs red-decked Andy Reid)?

• Seattle Seahawks 27 at San Francisco 49ers 18. Here’s to thinking that, in a Seahawks-Patriots Super Bowl LIV, Pete Carroll’s gonna wish he had a Beast Mode to run straight down the middle...

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Week 10 Picks of the Week: Doing the opposite (or rather the reverse)

Wednesday, 06 November 2019 14:24 EST

All right, NFLbets is changing things up this week. After our typical slow start to the season, several good weeks in a row have put us back in the black – under the “Picks of the Week”, rubric, that is. Our so-called “Best Bets” were a total whiff again last week to dump NFLbets’ record for 2019 down to 9-12.

So, yeah. This week, we’re Costanzianly doing the opposite. This week’s Picks of the Week are stealthily our Best Bets and vice versa. NFLbets doesn’t know how that’ll affect your wagering, but full transparency, eh?

What we’re calling NFLbets’ Picks of Week 10 follow.

“Los Angeles” Chargers -1½ at Oakland(/Las Vegas) Raiders

Throw out the numbers: This line is essentially asking you to choose which is the better team: The veteran-stocked team without a home or the surprisingly ragtag bunch getting set to leave home? The Chargers window of Super Bowl contention may already by closed, while Chucky and his plucky Raiders are doing their damnedest to pry that sucker open and force their way into the playoffs.

And consider the greater trends, the actual football these teams are playing. The Raiders recently came off five consecutive road games, including three against prospective playoff teams (Minnesota, Green Bay and Houston) or four (depending on how you feel about Indianapolis’s chances with their third choice at quarterback the rest of the way), plus the London game, at a respectable-enough 2-3 SU (3-2 ATS). Last week, they handled Detroit in front of a raucous crowd and this week face a team with no discernible fanbase at all.

So what about those homeless, fan-less Chargers lately? Sure enough, they won SU/ATS in Los Angeles in front of a just-as-raucous crowd of Packers fans for their first “home” win of the season. Prior to that, the Chargers scored 17 points to eke out a 1-point W in Chicago. Prior to that, a 1-5 run had removed them from serious discussion of the 2019 NFL playoffs temporarily.

Both teams, then, are trending upward and both are currently in serious contention for the no. 6 spot. But you know what? Only the Raiders have Josh Jacobs, who has been tormenting defenses over the past four weeks. This dude plus homefield advantage should be enough in this one. Take the 1½ points if you must, but here at NFLbets’ we prefer to take the Raiders ML at +105 for well better value.

Los Angeles Rams -3½ at Pittsburgh Steelers

Whoa, have the Rams been good to bettors this season. The 2018 NFC champs are at 6-2 ATS (including a spiffy 5-0 ATS outside of Los Angeles), tied for league best along with the New Orleans Saints. Of course, this gaudy record makes NFLbets want to bet against the Rams just weekly – but what are we supposed to do when L.A. is currently in one helluva soft spot in the schedule?

Seriously, after a couple of tough losses against fellow NFC West playoff contenders Seattle and San Francisco, the Rams drew Atlanta and Cincinnati, followed by a bye. Next week, they draw Chicago, which may become the first NFL team ever to field an offense without a quarterback. Not that the 2019 Los Angeles Rams need a puff schedule to look scary; though the pass defense has lost a beat from last year, the offense is top-10 in most statistical categories and, until the 49ers game, scoring had hardly been a problem.

Pittsburgh meanwhile features second-/third-string quarterback Mason Rudolph, whose 3-2 SU record as a starter looks impressive enough until you realize that tops among the wins was last week’s over Indianapolis with *their* third-string QB and Adam Vinatieri’s old foot and depended on a 96-yard pick-six.

On one hand, the Steelers’ starting quarterback seems not to matter. Regardless of QB, Pittsburgh’s is a poor offense which is bottom-5 in passing yardage, rushing yardage and first downs. Because of freak plays like Minkah Fitzpatrick’s TD, however, the Steelers have managed 20 to 27 points in every game after the 33-3 drubbing the Patriots handed them in week 1. And gifts like Vinatieri’s shank has them on a 5-1 ATS run going into this game.

Which is exactly why we’re saying take the Los Angeles Rams -3½ at Pittsburgh. Sometimes you just have to back the better team – especially after a bye week.

Seattle Seahawks +6 at San Francisco 49ers

The Seahwaks this season have proven the diametric opposite to the Rams to NFL bettors. While arguably one of the surprises of the league, the ’Hawks are a mere 3-5 ATS and an incredible 0-5 ATS in Seattle. This team’s propensity for just doing enough for the win may make for exciting football, but it’s maddening for those with money down.

So why is NFLbets even considering the eventuality that Seattle’s numbers stay so wickedly imbalanced for one more week? Because the 49ers have been absolutely whupping the ’spreads in 2019. San Francisco has apparently put together a Super Bowl contender about a year early: the Niners are a healthy 5-3 ATS, including a 3-0 ATS mark at home.

About that home record of the 49ers … NFLbets is inclined to neuter that particular number this week because the Seahawks have proven not only this season but in general to enjoy the advantage over West Coast teams: Since Russell Wilson’s debut in 2012, they’re 6-3-1 ATS (5-5 SU) at Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The 49ers haven’t been playing the most impressive of competition – only two of their eight wins came against teams with winning records – but that no. 1 pass defense cannot be denied and since the bye week have enjoyed a turnover differential of +5. Then again, this D has yet to see the likes of Wilson, again tops in the league in passing when pressured.

Fair enough, Seattle squeaked past the inferior-if-exciting Buccaneers last week in OT, but many were thinking upset when center Austin Britt was reported out. The key to the Seahawks keeping this one close will be improving upon the three sacks allowed to a pass rush that isn’t half as deadly as San Francisco’s.

In the final analysis, though, NFLbets is making a football call here. We believe that Russell Wilson is probably the MVP right now. We also believe that the Seahwaks are a true Super Bowl contender. And MVP QBs leading Super Bowl contenders win these sorts of games. SU, we’re talking. Sure, take the Seattle Seahawks +6, but also take the Seahawks ML at +230 – a payout here is like three wins for the price of two!

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 4-2.
NFLbets’ Picks of the Week this season: 27-15.

Check here for the current NFL Weekly Odds.

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NFL week 9 ATS results: Revenge of the homers (except *#@^#^@ing Seattle)

Tuesday, 05 November 2019 10:33 EST

We probably should have been expecting week 9 to play out like that. Going into the games, the home team had gone just 51-68-2 ATS and 53-63-1 SU; naturally, mathematically, order was restored (or at least well on its way to restoration). The home sides were nearly unstoppable this week at 10-3 ATS (8-5 SU) which in itself produced some weird results: Arizona and Miami winning ATS in the same week; the Patriots getting smoked on the road; and the Chargers recording their best-ever victory at the soccer stadium.

On the other hand, the Seahawks infuriatingly dropped their game in Seattle ATS. The Seahawks are a seriously ugly outlier this season: As the team’s no. 2 home team ATS, the ’Hawks are a sad 0-4 at home thus far in 2019. NFLbets thinks Pete Carroll owes us some money for all these heart-attack SU wins/ ATS losses at this point.

NFLbets’ roundup of week 8 results with scores adjusted for point spreads runs below; scores marked in bold indicate those games in which the SU and ATS result differed.

• Arizona Cardinals 25, San Francisco 49ers 17½. So the 49ers are now 8-0 SU (5-3 ATS), but in their second half get six of eight games against prospective playoff teams: vs Seattle, vs Green Bay, at Baltimore, at New Orleans, vs the Rams and at Seattle. This feels a lot like 3-5 ATS the rest of the way and, as much as the hypemongers want a New England-San Francisco Super Bowl, that’s no easy road for Jimmy G. & Co.

• Houston Texans 24½ at London Jaguars 3. Speaking of the Super Bowl, NFLbets has said (written?) it before and will say (write?) it again: At times, the 2019 Houston Texans seriously resemble a championship team now that the OL is respectable (just seven sacks allowed in the past five games, which might be a franchise record). And yeah, we’ve heard about J.J. Watt’s injury.

• Kansas City Chiefs 26, Minnesota Vikings 17½. Hey, maybe when Patrick Mahomes gets back, the Chiefs should consider sticking with Matt Moore! #QuarterbackControversy.

• “Los Angeles” Chargers 26, Green Bay Packers 7. Clearly the upset of the week – how many parlays did this result kill? And as a result of the win, Chargers management is apparently seriously considering relocating to London, U.K., perhaps to finally give this franchise its first homefield advanage since Stan Humphries was at QB.

Buffalo Bills 13½, Washington 9. You wanna talk regression to the mean? Consider Washington, a city with a Stanley Cup and World Series championships fresh on the mantel – but with an NBA team doomed to last-place finishes until John Wall retires from the league, and an NFL team that … well, you know how bad they are.

Carolina Panthers 26½, Tennessee Titans 20. Wait a minute, an NFC South/AFC South game with a result that makes sense? Hold everything here, it’s Mandela Effect time…

• Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders 28½, Detroit Lions 24. On the other hand, NFLbets doesn’t believe there’s a universe alternate enough to consider these particular Raiders bona fide contenders. Personally, we’re looking forward to Gruden et al winning 5 or 6 of their last eight, squeaking into the no. 6 spot in the AFC playoffs at 9-7 and just getting torched in Kansas City. We’re counting the money now.

• Miami Dolphins 26, New York Jets 14½. Break up the Dolphins! Hey, somebody had to say it...

Denver Broncos 24, Cleveland Browns 15. Note to Cleveland Browns: Do you realize that you’ve got a guy on your staff who has four Grey Cup titles under his belt, including one as head coach and two as defensive coordinator? And instead you’re running with a head coach whose résumé’s major highlight is “works well with Baker Mayfield”? Come on, guys … #FreeChrisJones

• Philadelphia Eagles 17, Chicago Bears 14. The biggest disappointment of the 2019 NFL season for both fans and bettors alike? The Chicago Bears, and it’s not even close. After going a ridiculous 12-5 ATS (including 7-2 ATS at home) in 2018, Da Bearssssssss are tied with the bottom-feeding Falcons, Browns and Jets at 2-6 in ’19. Ah well, at least the under is still a great play with Trubisky at the helm…

• Baltimore Ravens 37, New England Patriots 14. Come on, don’t be so shocked. You didn’t *really* think the Patriots were gonna go 16-0 SU this season, did you?

• Pittsburgh Steelers 26, Indianapolis Colts 24. ’Member how Adam Vinatieri won ta couple of Super Bowls for New England with field goals? ’Member how his 12 points was the margin of victory in Indy’s Super Bowl win? Neither does anyone else who bet on the Colts this week after that ridiculous shank. In truth, that freakish display might ultimately the difference between Indianapolis a playoff spot, too.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34 at Seattle Seahawks 33½. Now, some might say that NFLbets losing this bet by a half-point was karma for winning twice by half a point last week. To those people we say … ah, nevermind.

PS. The Game went over due to a blowen call that might sting for some

Dallas Cowboys 30½ at New York Giants 18. You have to love how the Cowboys D totally took charge at the line of … oh, kitty! What a nice kitty kitty kitty, good kitty…

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Week 9 picks: We’re probably betting way too much this week

Wednesday, 30 October 2019 11:11 EST

Well, last week was certainly like shooting fish in a barrel: Between our Picks of the Week and Best Bets, NFLbets went an insane 8-1 in betting.


The trick when such good fortune and prescient prognostication pays off is of course not to immediately turn the winnings into too many reache – but there’s just so much good stuff in week 9…

NFLbets Picks of Week 9 follow.

San Francisco 49ers -10½ at Arizona Cardinals, over/under 43 points

On the surface level, the 2019 Arizona Cardinals are overachieving nicely with rookie Kyler Murray at the helm and playing in what is clearly the NFL’s best division. The Cards stand at 3-4-1 SU going into this Thursday night football matchup and are averaging a respectable 24.5 points per game.

But take a closer look: Sure, they ran up 34 points on Atlanta and 27 each against Detroit and at the Giants. But against teams with winning records – specifically, at the Baltimore Ravens, vs the Carolina Panthers, vs the Seattle Seahawks at the New Orleans Saints – the Cardinals are a predictable 0-4 at home win/loss record but are a decent 5-3 ATS, averaging a measly 14.0 points. And don’t forget those 26 sacks taken by Murray against just 7 TDs. The 49ers are bringing a defense which is the 2nd-stingiest in points allowed, tops against the pass and just a flat-out badass at bringing the pass rush.

And we haven’t even gotten to Jimmy Garoppolo and that 49ers offense yet. So yeah, we’ll say take the San Francisco 49ers -10½ at Arizona. Normally, we’d also advise to take the under in a TNF game, but the Niners just might score 43 all by themselves in this one…

Chicago Bears +5 at Philadelphia Eagles, over/under 43 points

NFLbets is thinking about this one abstractly first. To put it plainly, the 2019 Bears appear to have contracted a case of Blake Bortles Syndrome – and it’s terminal. Mitch Trubisky and his inability to throw a pass more than 10 yards is utterly demoralizing a team that looked like a Super Bowl contender, never lost a game by more than 7 points and were very good to bettors with a league-best 12-5 ATS.

This season? Five times the opposition has been held to 17 points or less – and the Bears went 3-2 SU (2-3 ATS) in those games. The offense is bottom-10 in most statistical categories; one of few exceptions in pass attempts. And in a year when visitors are just killing it, particularly ATS, the Bears and the Atlanta Falcons are the only teams which have yet to win ATS on the road.

Normally, NFLbets’d stop right here, write “regression to the mean” and advise taking Chicago +5, but these Bears are a tough sell to NFL bettors for sure.

Plus, there is the opposition: The 2019 Philadelphia Eagles, the league’s most frustrating team. At 4-4 SU (3-5 ATS), these Eagles stymied bettors repeatedly over the first 7 weeks of the season and were at a league 2nd-worst 2-5 ATS before taking care of business at the Buffalo Bills last week. Oddly enough, Philadelphia has played four teams with winning records – Packers, Vikings, Cowboys and Bills – and all four were away games.

So despite the shortcomings of these Eagles, NFLbets figures that after three consecutive road games, they’ll be ready to exploit homefield advantage. At just 1-2 ATS in Philly thus far, this is the regression that NFLbets is looking for here. Take the Philadelphia Eagles -5 vs Chicago and take the under on an O/U of 43 points

Houston Texans -1½ at London Jaguars, over/under 46½ points

The fact that NFLbets is betting on this or any AFC South game suggests that we indeed have let last week’s success go to our head, but who can resist betting the UK games? It’s time for another hallowed NFL betting tradition: The breaking out of stats on the Jacksonville Jaguars playing in their second home. NFLbets doesn’t like to lean on history too much for insight into current games, but we’ll make an exception for the UK games due to the special relationship between the Jags and London, not to mention the difference experience makes on this game.

So since the Jaguars/NFL games in London became rote in 2013, the Jaguars are – you guessed it – 3-3 SU/ATS at Wembley. However, the stat we dig lots more is the over/under record in UK Jags games, i.e. the over is 5-1, with the first under hitting last year by 2 points.

How geeked is NFLbets by recent success? We’re going completely against our own grain – not to mention the 50% chance of good old London rain – to advise NFL bettors to take the over on an O/U of 46½ points. J.J. Watt’s absence aside, these are a couple of scoreboard-spinning offenses already. For the record, the most points scored in a U.K.-hosted game is 69 scored by the Saints and Chargers back in 2008. We probably won’t see that many, but NFLbets wouldn’t be surprised if this game produced the most points in week 9.

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 5-1.
NFLbets’ Picks of the Week this season: 23-13.

Check here for the current NFL Weekly Odds:

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NFL week 8 ATS results: Losing faith in mathematics (sort of)

Tuesday, 29 October 2019 19:43 EST

Last week, away teams ruled ATS in going an impressive 9-4-11 – but in week 8, the visitors really killed it with an 10-3 mark plus one neutral-site game. However, truly crazy is the reality that these results are the norm in 2019: Home teams are, incredibly enough, just 51-68-2 ATS this season; and SU, homers are barely better at 53-63-1.

To further weird things us, consider that while only one team remains undefeated ATS at home thus far are the San Francisco 49ers, four have yet to win at home: The Los Angeles Chargers (if you want to acknowledge the soccer stadium in which Chargers backers are always outnumbered), Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and, stunningly, the Seattle Seahawks. The Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams and Indianapolis Colts, meanwhile, are undefeated on the road/in neutral-site games at a combined 10-0-1.

NFLbets is, of course, a big believer in regression to the mean, but this trend is nearly enough to shake one’s confidence in numbers.

NFLbets’ roundup of week 8 results with scores adjusted for point spreads runs below; scores marked in bold indicate those games in which the SU and ATS result differed.

• Washington 9 at Minnesota Vikings 2½
New York Giants 26 at Detroit Lions 24½

• Philadelphia Eagles 29 at Buffalo Bills 13. With the Dallas Cowboys on a bye, the pitiable NFC North went 3-0 ATS – not improbably the last time this season this division will rack up three ATS wins in a single week.

• Jacksonville Jaguars 23½ at New York Jets 15
• Tennessee Titans 25, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22. Since Buffalo was unmasked as frauds last weekend and the AFC North teams are generally inferior … could two AFC South teams make the playoffs?

• Oakland Raiders 24 at Houston Texans 22. Let’s hope that three AFC South teams don’t get to the postseason, because the only way to win ATS with an AFC South team in not to bet.

• New England Patriots 13½, Cleveland Browns 13. Those who bet on Patriots -13½ would like to thank the Browns OL for giving up a sack in the fourth quarter in a situation which might have put Cleveland within “just” two scores and might’ve flipped this result for bettors.

• Atlanta Falcons 20 at Seattle Seahawks 19½. With this win, the Seahawks are 3-1 as visitors ATS and – get this – 0-4 ATS at home. This is one serious outlier, considering that over the past 15 years, the Seahawks rank no. 2 at home ATS overall (and go ahead, take one guess as to who’s no. 1). Mark it down right now: You’ll be taking the Seahawks minus any points at home the rest of the way, relevance of game depending. (For the record, that’s week 9 vs. Tampa Bay, week 13 vs. Minnesota, week16 vs Arizona and week 17 vs San Francisco.

• San Francisco 49ers 46½, Carolina Panthers 13. Yeesh, since when did the 49ers become the Chiefs (except with a frankly awesome defense)? Note: Excepting the anomalous weather-marred Washington game, this team is averaging 33.0 points per game, yet the over in Niners games is 5-2 thus far. Sounds like the over is a good bet down the stretch – if the D doesn’t crush everyone like they did the Panthers…

• Denver Broncos 13 at Indianapolis Colts 9½. Correct NFLbets if we’re wrong, but wasn’t that Joe “6.6 yards per pass attempt” Flacco complaining about not getting a chance to win the game for his Broncos. We don’t say (write?) this often, but … whatever, dude.

• “Los Angeles” Chargers 17 at Chicago Bears 12½. Eddy Piniero did more than help lose the game for Chicago last week, he also delivered a dagger to any holders of “Bears -3½” and “over 41” tickets. There, Piniero, now all those folks hate you, too.

• New Orleans Saints 18½, Arizona Cardinals 9
• Los Angeles Rams 10½, Cincinnati Bengals 10 (UK)
• Green Bay Packers 29 at Kansas City Chiefs 24. These three winners (along with Guess Who) top the ATS standings board at 6-2; quite an impressive feat, considering that all four entered the season as expected playoff teams. Further, the Rams, Packers and Patriots have played as favorites in 21 of the combined 24 games, and the Saints are on a 5-0 ATS run.

• Miami Dolphins 14 at Pittsburgh Steelers 12½. Would you believe that, after the Saints, the Miami Flippin’ Dolphins are the hottest team in the NFL ATS? Three wins in a row and counting…

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Week 8 picks: Betting on blowouts and low-scoring affairs

Wednesday, 23 October 2019 13:35 EST

According to My Bookie and every other sportsbook out there, week 8 of the 2019 NFL season will be characterized by blowouts and/or low-scoring games. That’s just fine and dandy with NFLbets, as we see much opportunity in Vegas’s pessimistic outlook.

Or maybe we’re just overconfident after NFLbets’ Picks of the Week are on an 11-3 run the past three weeks. NFL bettors may therefore take the following with the relevant grains of salt. Speaking (writing?) of overconfidence, once again is NFLbets taking on Thursday Night Football betting again, namely

Washington +16½ at Minnesota Vikings, over/under 42 points

There’s that magic 16½-point spread from which just one team has even won SU – ironically, the Buffalo Bills against these Vikings last season. With a little more betting, this line might drop to Washington +17, a handicap which no NFL team has ever won SU against, says the point spread conversion table.

Adding to the complexity of betting on a 16½-point spread is the recent reversal in Thursday Night Football betting trends: Whereas in 2016-17, underdogs won SU seven times of 29 for a winning percentage of just .241 on TNF (as opposed to the league norm of .326), ’dogs are 15-7 SU – you read that right – in 2018 and ’19 thus far.

Against the spread, favorites in 2016-17 were 18-10-1 for a .638 winning percentage, significantly above the expected .550 mark. Favorites in 2018-19 are just 9-12-1 ATS, but the home team is 12-9-1 ATS, implying that, during the last 22 games, this particular stat is only useful for home underdogs on TNF.

Balancing out all the uncertainty about Minnesota covering here is one unassailable fact: Washington is brutally bad. NFLbets wonders from whom Washington will score points even if the Vikings purely coast; these guys have scored 42 points combined in their past five games. Minnesota could easily get the shutout here but still lose ATS, as did the 49ers last week. Take the under on an O/U of 42 points.

“Los Angeles” Chargers -4 at Chicago Bears, over/under 40½ points

.At least this one’s easy. We laid down the loose guideline to cover the under in any Bears game until further notice. Naturally, the over is the expected 3-3 in Bears games, and the over hit in both the London game against the Raiders and last week’s destruction by the Saints. However, with Phillip Rivers again amassing more sacks than TD passes on one side and Mitch Trubisky demoralizing his own team on the other, the under is back, baby! Take the under on an O/U of 40½ points.

New York Jets +5½ at Jacksonivlle Jaguars, over/under 41½ points

Let’s see ... the Jaguars haven’t scored 28 points in a game all season, Minshu Miracle aside; and just when the generally discombobulated Jets showed signs of life against the Cowboys two weeks ago, that bitchslapping given them by the Patriots last week certainly (dare we say it?) deflated the morale there back to week 1 levels. So we’re saying take the Jacksonville Jaguars -5½ vs the Jets, and take the under on an O/U of 41½ points.

Cleveland Browns +13½ at New England Patriots

And a very easy one! Sure, the Patriots are playing (very) shorthanded on offense and the Browns indeed have a pretty decent pass rush, but just ask yourself this one question: Is there a single bigger coaching mismatch possible in the 2019 NFL than Bill Belichick versus Freddy Kitchens? Come on, there’s a reason this point spread is this high. Take the New England Patriots -13½ vs Cleveland.

Cincinnati Bengals +13½ at Los Angeles Rams (U.K.)

The accolades of coaching genius are not flying quite as fast and furiously in Sean McVay’s direction as they once were; thus NFLbets will not make a similar comparison as that above between McVay and the 12th President of the United States, Zac Taylor. Like Kitchens, Taylor is a promoted quarterbacks coach clearly in over his head.

Everything is lining up Rams for this game. They’ve just received morale boosts from an intake of new talent before the trade deadline and took care of business last week against the proverbially hapless Falcons. Though Jared Goff (justifiably) takes much flak for rampant turnovers and poor decision making, L.A. has scored 27 or more points in five of seven games in 2019, whereas the Bengals have yet to top 23.

Finally, from the Emperor Wears No Clothes Department, note that, since last season’s much-ballyhooed 105-point game against the Chiefs, the Rams are 5-1 against teams with losing records, 4-5 against all others. The course is clear: Take the Los Angeles Rams -13½ vs Cincinnati.

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 3-0.
NFLbets’ Picks of the Week this season: 18-12.

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NFL Week 7 results ATS: Homefield disadvantage

Tuesday, 22 October 2019 12:57 EST

Rough week for home teams, eh? In week 7, the visitors were a big 9-4-1 Against The Spread (ATS) and San Francisco might’ve made it 10-3-1 had not conditions been so ridiculous in Washington. For weeks 8 and 9, NFL bettors will definitely want to keep an eye on this week’s four home winners: Washington, Indianapolis, Dallas and Green Bay; all except Washington will likely receive exaggerated point spreads.

NFLbets’ roundup of week 7 results with scores adjusted for point spreads runs below; scores marked in bold indicate those games in which the SU and ATS result differed.

Kansas City Chiefs 27 at Denver Broncos 6. Playing in Denver may be an advantage in the actual games themselves, but it’s strictly Rocky Mountain Low ATS: Since 2005, Elway’s guys are second-worst in the league ATS, “topped” only by the Oakland Raiders, whose record in this stat should really reset to 0-0 as the Las Vegas Raiders. Thus far this year, the Broncos are a surprising 3-1 ATS at home but this loss is probably the first of, likesay, five in 2019.

Green Bay Packers 36½, Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders 24. And speaking of the Raiders, Chucky & Co. fell to Aaron Rodgers’s fantasy fantasy football day. Nothing makes any NFL bettor or fan await the following Sunday like a statistically bombastic performance by a quarterback which elicits GOAT conversations. Already NFLbets is leaning against the Packers next week, with their surely bloated point spread.

Baltimore Ravens 30 at Seattle Seahawks 13. Then there’s Lamar Jackson and his Baltimore Ravens whupping Russell Wilson’s guys in Seattle. Watch the hype on the Ravens this week. Watch Wilson’s odds in the “To Win NFL MVP” proposition bet widen. And watch Baltimore lose and Seattle win ATS next time out.

• Miami Dolphins 21 at Buffalo Bills 14. “How about them DOLPHINS?!?!?!??!!!” said no one in 2019.

Los Angeles Rams 34 at Atlanta Falcons 10. How much longer can Dan Quinn possibly hold onto his job based on “we took the Patriots to overtime in that one Super Bowl”? NFL bettors hope he stays on a little longer as Atlanta head coach, because at 1-6 ATS, the Falcons have been a pleasure to bet against all season long. Some goes for Doug Pederson over there in Philadelphia.

Dallas Cowboys 34, Philadelphia Eagles 10. The Cowboys are for real! No, they aren’t! Yes, they are! (The truth is that Dallas is 3-0 SU/ATS against the NFC East, 1-3 SU/ATS against all others.) As for the Eagles, at least they’ve got no worries about their so-called competition catching them. To wit:

• Arizona Cardinals 27 at New York Giants 17½. How does a team allow 27 points on 260 total yards of offense? Also, how does an offensive line allow eight sacks?

• Washington 10, San Francisco 49ers 9. As the 49ers were favored by 10 in this game, NFLbets seriously considered posting a spread-adjusted score of minus-1 to zero, which was probably the total number of net yards each team managed in the first half of this slogfest. Here’s to hoping you banged the under when you saw/read about these field conditions.

• Indianapolis Colts 28½, Houston Texans 23. Yep, NFLbets regrets not one iota the decision to avoid betting on these AFC South interdivisional games…

• Minnesota Vikings 39½ at Detorit Lions 30. NFLbets had the Lions pegged for the NFL’s trap team in 2019, i.e. that team which gets off to an overachieving first-half start against an easy schedule, only to tip the crowded bandwagon by losing, likesay, five of the last six games. But it seems the Lions will begin losing long before the homestretch after all.

• New Orleans Saints 36 at Chicago Bears 21. Considered the fickleness of fandom and the short-term memory of sports media, NFLbets is rather surprised that no one’s suggesting a quarterback controversy brewing in New Orleans.

• Jacksonville Jaguars 23 at Cincinnati Bengals 17. After eking out a victory against a winless team, folks are bullish on the Jags again? Come on…

• “Los Angeles” Chargers 20 at Tennessee Titans 20. Even if CBS tried to force feed this to audiences in Southern California, Arizona, Minesota and Hawaii, was anyone outside of Tennessee watching this game? For that matter, with a NASCAR race on a competing network, was anyone *in* Tennessee watching this game?

• New England Patriots 23½ at New York Jets 0. Was Adam Gase trying to save his job with a sense of humor in declining consecutive penalties in the fourth quarter? Busted NFLbets up, for sure…

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NFL Week 7 (TNF) Thursday Night Football - Chiefs at Broncos

Thursday, 17 October 2019 16:51 EST

Now this is one classic Thursday Night Football betting conundrum: Do you run with the team picked by many for at least the AFC championship game but coming off two straight losses? Or do you side with a team expected to be a bottom-5 or -10 team on a two-game winning streak and enjoying a sizable homefield advantage? This is what awaits NFL bettors in

Kansas City Chiefs -3 vs Denver Broncos, over/under 48½ points

According to at least one source, nearly 80% of the money has come in on Kansas City, which in and of itself should set off a red alert. So the Broncos aren’t exactly entering this game with a lot of reputation and they’re still sitting at just 2-4 SU – but they’re coming off a shutout in which the offense played just 58 snaps, a meaningful number in relation to the 4-day rest prior to this game.

Meanwhile, the rather surprisingly bad Kansas City defense was on the field for over 10 minutes in the 4th quarter alone as DeShaun Watson and the Texans had their way; hardly a shocker from a D ranked dead last in opponent time of possession and first downs surrendered, but certainly of note. Again, four days’ rest.

Those beating on K.C. are also likely touting Patrick Mahomes’ 3-0 SU (2-1 ATS) lifetime record against the Broncos, though each win was within 7 points and the first of the three wins came in week 17 of 2017, a meaningless game in Mahomes’s “rookie” year. But here’s a balancing stat: Against Andy Reid-coached teams, QB Joe Flacco is 1-3 SU but 4-0 ATS.

But against those two undefeated streaks is the evilest stat of all: Thus far into 2019, the Broncos are just 1-2 ATS away, meaning, that’s right, they’re 3-0 at home.

Then we can factor in all the “goodies” that TNF games produce. For Denver, Emmanuel Sanders left last week in the first half, so he’ll not be at 100%, while Mahomes still appears to be nursing an ankle injury.

All in all, the numbers just keep evening out. The temptation is to cover a Chiefs win on the Money Line (ML) at -180 and cover the Broncos +3, but NFLbets just doesn’t trust TNF games enough to likesay, make that sort of investment. So we’re going to ignore the point spread altogether and reckon on one of two eventualities paying off: 1) Fatigue and high-altitude rule, resulting in (at least) a very low-scoring first half on the way to a typical Thursday night score and/or 2) the frankly less-talented Broncos show their true colors against an above-.500 team – Denver’s 0-3 SU (1-2 ATS) against winning teams thus far.

So take the under on an O/u of 48½ points and hope against fluke touchdowns.

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NFL week 5 ATS results: Thursday Night wounds NFL bettors, Chiefs loss finishes 'em off

Wednesday, 09 October 2019 09:09 EST

Christian McCaffrey, beastAnd we thought week 4 was tough…

Week 5 in the 2019 NFL season started off tough for bettors: The line on the Thursday Night Football game started at Los Angeles Rams -1½ at Seattle, flipped to Seahawks -2-, ended at most sportsbooks at Seahwaks -1½, meaning essentially anyone who played the point spread on TNF lost – except for those few lucky folks that caught the line at Seahawks -½ or “pick ’em.”

It wasn’t quite all downhill from there, but the Bears sure proved the random elements that enter the betting action when an NFL game is played in England; both 2-TD ’spreads covered; and Patrick Mahomes and his Kansas City Chiefs offense looked human.

NFLbets, for one, is glad to have emerged from the bloodbath at breakeven point again but talk about your grueling week of NFL betting…Below runs NFLbets’ roundup of week 5 results with scores adjusted for point spreads, runs below; scores marked in bold indicate those games in which the SU and ATS result differed.

• Los Angeles Rams 29 at Seattle Seahawks 28½
Pittsburgh Steelers 23, Baltimore Ravens 22½. Outlier statistic of the week: Just two games flipped the SU and ATS results – and both had a differential of a half-point. Wacky!

• Minnesota Vikings 22½ at New York Giants 10. Look, NFLbets doesn’t blame you for forgetting that Danny Dimes is a rookie and that you shouldn’t bet on rookies. Nor can we fault you for recognizing that you shouldn’t bet on Kirk Cousins. We were right there with you, man…

• Carolina Panthers 31, Jacksonville Jaguars 27. NFLbets isn’t sure what to make of essentially any team in the AFC South or NFC South (except Atlanta; they’re terrible), and we certainly tending to stay away for inter- *and* cross-division games involving these eight teams but we do know one thing for sure: Christian McCaffrey is an unstoppable force of nature.

• Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders 24, Chicago Bears 15½. And speaking of games NFLbets over-confidently bet and egregiously lost last week, yeesh. All we can say (write?) is that either a) the difference in experience between playing in England once and twice is huge or b) the Raiders and head coach Chucky Gruden are better than we thought. We probably going (a) on this one, because we’re just not ready to believe in these Raiders yet...

• Green Bay Packers 34 at Dallas Cowboys 17½. We’re still uncertain about the Packers as well. Yes, we know they’re 4-1 SU/ATS, including 3-1 against possible playoff teams (Chicago, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Dallas). But to us, the 2020 Green Bay Packers are kinda like that dude in your fantasy league who’s 8th or 9th in points but manages to catch everyone on just the right week. At Dallas, for example, the Packers essentially turned the Cowboys offense into the Texans’. Dak Prescott went for a career-high 463 yards, including two long strikes to Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, who went for 339 yards combined. Luckily for Green Bay, the Cowboys are the Cowboys, are coached by Jason Garett and generously gave up three picks and three sacks. We’re feeling the possibility of an upset (at least ATS) next week versus the Lions. In fact, we’d guess the Pack is heading for treacherous waters in the near future with vs Detroit, vs Oakland/Las Vegas, at Kansas City, at the L.A. Chargers, bye and at San Francisco. We’ll see.

• Houston Texans 49, Atlanta Falcons 32. 85 total points scored? Um, yeah, pretty sure the over hit here.

• Indianapolis Colts 19 at Kansas City Chiefs 2½. A bit of an eye-opener for Chiefs backers here, as suddenly the only team worth betting to win the AFC right now is … well, you know. And speaking of the Patriots, from the Point Spreads This Big Shouldn’t Exist Department come these two ATS results:

• Philadelphia Eagles 17, New York Jets 6
New England Patriots 17 at Washington 7.

• Arizona Cardinals 26 at Cincinnati Bengals 20. Happily, NFLbets had the previous two favorites covered as well as the over in this game – and that’s likely to be the last time for a while we’re covering the over in games involving the Cardinals and Bengals in the same week in 2019.

• Denver Broncos 20 at Los Angeles Chargers 9. Aaaaand the 2019 “Los Angeles” Chargers are again off to a roaring start, going 0-2-1 at “home” so far, which brings their cumulative record in the Carson soccer stadium filled with fans of the opposition in a minimum 5:1 ratio to a whopping 1-8-1. Can we just call these neutral-field games once and for all…?

• Buffalo Bills 14 at Tennessee Titans 3½. You know, this Buffalo Bills team could be the franchise’s best this century. Which is not unlike being the best vintage of German wine.

• New Orleans Saints 28, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24. Geez, has anyone noticed how free-flowing points have become in Buccaneers games? The over is on a commanding 3-0 run, with the average score in those gomes 39-32.

• San Francisco 49ers 26, Cleveland Browns 3. Things sure are easy when you're a West Coast team playing at home in a night game after a bye week. And the opposing team doesn't play defense.

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