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…

The top 5 Biggest Losers in NFL betting, 2019-20

Monday, 03 February 2020 14:58 EST

So no matter which side you backed in Super Bowl LIV, you probably lost money in prop betting or an the over/under, thanks to underwhelming statistical performances all around and an outcome few expected – just repeat the mantra “that’s why they call it gambling” and get back on the horse. (Assuming you didn’t put the horse on San Francisco 49ers +1½…)

In the meantime, under the proviso that “misery loves company,” NFLbets’ll attempt to cheer you up with a list of folks who lost bigger and harder than you did. Following our first annual Top 5 Losers in NFL Betting list. Happy schadenfreude!

Honorable mention. Howard Ratner. The protagonist of Uncut Gems, essentially the sports bettor’s Trainspotting, cannot technically be included in this list because ol’ Howie’s poison was NBA betting and because he’s, likesay, fictional. However, this character’s status as a big-time loser cannot be underestimated. Even when hitting an incredibly stupid three-bet parlay for upward of $1 million, he still manages to lose his shop and (SPOILERS!) his life right there on Netflix in front of everyone. Combine with the Academy’s snub of Adam Sandler for an Oscar nomination – to be fair, a very strong five make up the nominees in this category this year – and it adds up to a big L.

5. Patrick Mahomes bettors. Those expecting big returns from Kansas City Chiefs QB Pat Mahomes in Super Bowl LIV proposition bets got burned all over the place, as Mahomes passed for less than 300 yards, had zero TD passes and threw and interception. But at least until the 4th quarter, he had crept over the 33½ to 36½ yards to cover on most “Pat Mahomes rushing yards” props; then came three successive kneeldowns to subtract 15 yards and bam went all those bets as well. Mahomes’s performance was pretty negative for those wagering on him, but those kneeldowns finished ’em off: At least four major US sportsbooks reported that between 66% and 75% of bets in this prop had been put on the over.

4. Jade Roper Tolbert. Kicking off year 2020 was the sordid tale of former Bachelor in Paradise stars who may or may not have cheated at online fantasy football and thus were denied a $1 million grand prize won during a wild-card weekend contest hosted by Draft Kings. Tanner and Jade both entered their max 150 entries in the contest, but after Jade was congratulated for her first-place finish, an investigation by DK revealed that every one of Jade’s and husband Tanner’s entries were unique – quite a coincidence. Naturally, Tanner took to Twitter to cry sexism; no matter: Citing the zillions-to-1 odds required for 300 unique entries to be filed honestly, DK ultimately rescinded the $1 million. Just goes to show: DFS is pure gambling.  

3. Mattress Mack. Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale is the embodiment of the gambler with far more money than brain. Like Howard Ratner, Mattress Mack’s main area of betting is outside football; however, McIngvale’s story should be a lot more directly useful to the average NFL bettor than does Ranter’s. As an unabashed fan of the Houston Astros, McIngvale lost some $13 million alone in bets on the Astros to win the World Series – before losing to the Washington Nationals. As it turns out, McIngvale had offered a refund for the full price of a mattress from any of his Texas furniture stores if the Astros won the World Series and $13 million would have covered that promise financially with a profit. The lesson for football bettors: Hedging doesn’t pay.

2. Josh Shaw. On November 10 at Caesars sportsbook in Las Vegas, Josh Shaw placed at least one odd parlay involving three second-half point spreads and lost. Happens every Sunday during NFL season, right? Yes, but. As it turns out, Shaw was under contract with the Arizona Cardinals and, when the illicit wager was discovered, earned himself an open-ended suspension from the league. Worse yet, one of the ends of the parlay had the Cardinals on the losing side. Still worse yet, the Cardinals covered the second-half spread, but lost SU and busted Shaw’s parlay. Dude, it was the Buccaneers – you should’ve taken the over…

1. Anybody who bet on the Cleveland Browns at season’s beginning. NFLbets is not counted among the lot who figured a team which blew its last realistic shot at a Super Bowl in 1988 and was two seasons removed from an 0-16 finish – and so could harangue with impunity, but we’ll spare you. After all, the embarrassment of throwing good money at a team led by a QBs coach, “powered” by a guy who seemed to have dropped football awareness from his retinue altogether, featuring a helmet-swinging psychopath and a prima donna WR who taught teammates only to jokingly ask for trades to other teams should be enough. How the hell were these guys getting better odds than the Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers in the preseason? 2019 may have put NFL bettors off the Browns permanently. (Now watch the 2020 Cleveland Browns win Super Bowl LV starting the eason at 80/1. We may already have an early entry for next year’s list...)

–written by Os Davis

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NFL week 13 ATS results: Even the losers…

Wednesday, 04 December 2019 12:46 EST

You know what's great about NFL betting? (Well, one thing that's great about NFL betting.) That, as Tom Petty once crooned, even the losers get lucky sometimes. Judging NFL teams' performance Against The Spread (ATS) can be far more illustrative of their seasons.

For example, the Chicago Bears' Cinderella story of last season -- until the doink-doink, that is -- was reflected in the team's league-best 12-5 win-loss record ATS. To this point in the 2019 NFL season, the leader on the ATS standings board is the Buffalo Bills at 8-3-1; going into week 14, the Bills appear poised to be the lone truly surprising playoff team.

Rounding out the top 7 are the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams at 8-4 ATS, along with the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals each at 7-4-1 ATS. With the exception of the Rams, this half-dozen has also exceeded expectations to a measurable degree, i.e. wins against the spread.

(Incidentally, a further oddity within the 2019 Rams season is the team's insane 6-1 ATS in games outside of Los Angeles.)

Looking at the NFL through bettors’ eyes can even make the execrable NFC East look good -- well ... better, anyway. These four teams are a pathetic 10-26 SU (a .278 winning percentage) combined against the league's 28 other teams. Against the spread, though, they're 15-21 (.417)!

Okay, we tried.

NFLbets’ roundup of week 13 results with scores adjusted for point spreads runs below; scores marked in bold indicate those games in which the SU and ATS result differed.

• Chicago Bears 24 at Detroit Lions 22
• Buffalo Bills 26 at Dallas Cowboys 8½
• New Orleans Saints 26 at Atlanta Falcons 25. Hope you killed it on Thanksgiving like NFLbets did, despite the anomaly of all three away teams winning ATS.

• Houston Texans 28, New England Patriots 18½.
• Pittsburgh Steelers 20, Cleveland Browns 12. Those of you already looking at playoff props take note: Pittsburgh is now looking at a four-game stretch which includes three games away, where they’re 2-3 SU (1-4 ATS). Meanwhile, the Patriots, as though desperately needing a break from the league, have three of four at home to close out the season.

• Tennessee Titans 30 at Indianapolis Colts 17. One more time: Don’t bet these AFC South games – unless you’re taking the under in a Jaguars game.

• Tampa Bay Buccaneers 25 at Jacksonville Jaguars 11. Like we said. Also, has anyone informed the Jacksonville front office and/or medical staff that the Jaguars have, likesay, zero chance at making a run at this thing and thus have no need to rush back Nick “Miracle Worker” Foles in 2019? Come on now…

• Cincinnati Bengals 22, New York Jets 3½. The Jets put together three consecutive 34-point games against bad or fading teams (the Giants, Washington, Oakland/Las Vegas) before managing a whopping 6 at home against the heretofore winless Bengals. Time to get off that bandwagon, NFL bettors.

• Green Bay Packers 27½ at New York Giants 13. Likewise, did anyone put good money down on the Giants in this one? Next time, just send it to Os Davis c/o this website, mmmkay?

• Los Angeles Rams 31½ at Arizona Cardinals 7. Insanely enough, as the Seahawks took the lead in the NFC West, they also helped keep the Rams in the race for the final playoff spot. What should make NFL bettors verrrrrrrrry hesitant to bet on the Rams the rest of the way – aside from Jared Goff, of course – is that 6-1 ATS record away from L.A.; two of the four games remaining are away, and NFLbets is expecting them to lose both ATS.

• San Francisco 49ers 17 at Baltimore Ravens 14. Here’s another great thing about NFL betting: Hilarity often ensues in the closing seconds of nearly any game with a score within a couple TDs’ worth of scoring differential.

If you bet on the 49ers +3½ or more, you spent over 59 minutes pulling for San Francisco … until Justin Tucker lined up for a FG to break the 17-17 tie. At that point, your allegiance suddenly shifted to the Ravens so that the game ends on a Ravens SU win but ATS loss.

Meanwhile, if you had the Ravens -3½ or more, your former backing of the Ravens was just as quickly blown away when Tucker trotted out. At 17-17, the only way your bet had a chance of hitting was for Tucker to botch the field goal attempt, have the game go into overtime and the Ravens win by a touchdown.

• Kansas City Chiefs 28½, Oakland Raiders 9. Don’t give up on the Raiders sneaking into the AFC playoffs just yet: They’re 6-1 SU against sub-.500 teams, and three of the last four (vs Jacksonville, at Chargers, at Denver) are also against losing teams. Hold up the crossout pen for just one more week – Chucky & Co. are at Tennessee for week 14.

• Miami Dolphins 37, Philadelphia Eagles 20½. Same goes for the Eagles: a 7-9 record is all that’s necessary to win. Thus, the division could be decided – no matter who wins – in the week 16 Dallas at Philadelphia and week 17 Washington at Dallas games.

• Washington 29 at Carolina Panthers 9½. That’s right, sports fans: Washington could still win this freakin’ thing with a 4-0 run. Considering they get the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys in the final four weeks … geez, this NFC East is absolutely brutal.

• Denver Broncos 23, San Diego Chargers 15½
• Seattle Seahawks 34, Minnesota Vikings 30. The teams with the biggest imagined home field advantages are ones for NFL bettors to watch coming down the stretch. The Broncos who, crazily enough, have posted the second-worst home record ATS over the past 15 years, are a big 5-1 ATS at home in 2019. Seattle, on the other hand, entered this season with the second-best home record, yet earned their first home win in this game. At this point in the year, NFLbets is definitely expecting these numbers to regress to the mean…

–written by Os Davis

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NFL Week 12 ATS results: No more leaving bets to chance!

Thursday, 28 November 2019 11:05 EST

Finally, the last incomplete week of NFL football is over: Under the current scheduling system in the league, week 12 is the last one in which proper NFL bettors can blame themselves for not betting “upsets” and/or claiming too many unknowns are in play. Every team has played 11 games now and, though one or even two unexpected teams may rise to end the season on a surprise winning streak, we can fairly well glean where most will finish at regular season’s end.

We can expect to see more balance on the table as the sportsbooks tune the lines and odds even more finely as well. At an even 11 games played, just 12 of the league’s 32 teams are within one game of ½00 either way, as opposed to the 21 or so we should expect after 16 games.

So let’s put that last week of chance to rest with the NFLbets’ roundup of week 12 results with scores adjusted for point spreads runs below; scores marked in bold indicate those games in which the SU and ATS result differed.

• Indianapolis Colts 17 at Houston Texans 16½. NFLbets has warned anyone who will listen or read to stay away from these AFC South interdivisional games, but you wouldn’t listen, would you…?

• Tennessee Titans 37½, Jacksonville Jaguars 20. …all right, this one was actually pretty easy.

• Carolina Panthers 31 at New Orleans Saints 24. Same goes for these interdivisional NFC South games. Wait, what’s that? New Orleans at Atlanta on Thanksgiving? Ah, well, there are exceptions to every rule – especially the rules that you make up yourself.

• Cleveland Browns 30, Miami Dolphins 24. This game featured the 2019 Cleveland Browns that we expected at the beginning of the season: TDs by Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt; over 300 yards passing from Baker Mayfield; four sacks and two picks from a defense playing without Myles “The Swinger” Garrett.

Good for Cleveland – and NFLbets fully expects the Browns to take their next two ATS – at Pittsburgh, vs Cincinnati – as well. But weeks 15 and 16 put Cleveland at Arizona and vs Baltimore, leading us to believe that this preseason vogue pick in the “To Win the 2019 AFC Cahmpioship” prop is destined for an 8-8 finish. Place your bets elsewhere after week 14…

• Washington 19, Detroit Lions 12½. Here NFLbets was, thinking the Lions were set to go on a mini-run of SU wins to end the season, get Matt Patricia an extension and fool everybody into betting on them through September 2020. But, ah, it just ain’t gonna happen.

• Cincinnati Bengals 10, Pittsburgh Steelers 9½
• New York Giants 14 at Chicago Bears 13. Here’s a good bet: You can pretty much take the under in any game involving any of these teams for the rest of the year.

• Dallas Cowboys 9 at New England Patriots 7½. The greatest mystery in the NFL is just how Jason Garrett manages to hold on to his job in Dallas. To say Jerry Jones rewards loyalty has become a parodic understatement.

• Buffalo Bills 16½, Denver Broncos 3. For more on the Bills (as well as the Cowboys and Garrett’s, likesay, inability), click here. Look, NFLbets just wants to see how these guys perform against, you know, a team with a winning record.

• San Francisco 49ers 34, Green Bay Packers 8
• Seattle Seahawks 17 at Philadelphia Eagles 8. NFLbets wasn’t surprised one whit by either of these results, but reckons that the next Seahawks-49ers should be one serious bitch to bet – and a potential NFC divisional game? Forget it. Hope it doesn’t happen.

• Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31½ at Atlanta Falcons 22. Can we all agree that a 2-0 SU/ATS run by the Falcons is no big deal? At 4-6-1, hey’re still bottom-10 ATS, and NFLbets figures they’ll be bottom-5 by the end of 2019…

• New York Jets 34, Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders 0• Baltimore Ravens 42½ at Los Angeles Rams 6. We’re sorry. We’re so so sorry...

–written by Os Davis

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Picks of the week: Thanksgiving NFL games feature lots of turkeys

Wednesday, 27 November 2019 15:15 EST

It’s one of the most hallowed traditions in America, right up there with the Super Bowl: Thanksgiving Day football – and specifically betting on Thanksgiving football. Sadly, however, this year’s selection is a tad disappointing from both the fan’s and bettors’ perspectives. NFLbets will nevertheless take a stab at this underwhelming trio because hey, who’s not going to bet the Thanksgiving Day games?

Chicago Bears -2 at Detroit Lions, over/under 38 points

A couple of weeks ago, the over felt like a gimme: After all, Matt Stafford has for over a decade scored points no matter who’s on the roster; overs on Lions games were 7-2 through the first nine games. But then Marvelous Matthew gave way to broken back bones and Jeff Triskel who is, in short, a serious comedown from Stafford; meanwhile, the Bears have averaged 16.7 points per game since their week 6 bye.

Betting on under 38 points isn’t as foolhardy as may seem. Since 2015, 72 games have kicked off with an over/under of 38 points or less, and the over is only 38-34. (Interesting side note: Despite the apparent overemphasis on scoring points, through Thanksgiving, 18 games in 2019 have already carried such a low point spread; at the current rate, ’19 will see the most 38-point over/unders in nearly 15 years.) This is certainly not an original supposition on NFLbets’ part, either: This line has dumped from 40 points to 38 since opening.

So take the under on an O/U of 38 points; this way, you’ll avoiding choosing a winner and profit from what could be a real snoozer.

Buffalo Bills +6½ at Dallas Cowboys, over/under 44½ points

In order to wager on this one, the NFL bettor is left to decide which of these two teams is the bigger fraud. And if you think that’s too harsh, just ask yourself why an 8-3 team is getting a full touchdown in a dome against a 6-5 team who marginally has a head coach.

It breaks down like so. In their three losses, the Bills are 1-1-1 ATS in losing to teams with a combined 20-13 mark. Meanwhile, they’re 8-0 SU (6-2 ATS) against teams that are 27-72 altogether. That 8-3 isn’t so impressive upon a closer look, eh…?

The Cowboys schedule hasn’t been nearly as easy as the Bills’, but in similar fashion to Buffalo, They’re terrible against winning teams: Dallas is just 1-4 SU/ATS against those above .500, with the sole W coming against the Philadelphia Eagles, who could very well finish the season 8-8 or worse.

So either one of these teams is a fraud or you’re flipping a coin to pick this game. NFLbets prefers the former supposition, and we’re guessing the fraud is Buffalo. Statistically, the Bills D is top-10 in quite a few categories, but again, that competition fills in a lot of blanks. In their last six games, Buffalo has surrendered 300 or more yards of offense four times, and has been statistically outperformed on offense thrice.

Jason Garrett seemingly still hasn’t grokked that he holds one of the NFL’s best ground weapons in Ezekiel Elliott, but Zeke might pile up a lot of yards accidentally: For example, Philadelphia Eagles RBs Jordan Howard and Mike Sanders combined for 170 yards on just 26 attempts against Buffalo in week 8. On top of this, Jason Witten and Amari Cooper contributed a total of 5 yards on 6 targets and a single reception put together against a truly proper defense. Here’s to thinking they should do a little better in this one – with “should” being the operative word there.

But then there’s Garrett. Think all the moaning about Garrett’s weak coaching is limited to the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area? Well, you may be right because this team’s misfortunes typically tend to send a cool blast of schadenfreude across the other 31 NFL markets, but the stats don’t lie. And those stats say that, since hired as head coach of the Cowboys in 2010, is a pitiable 6-15 SU (and just 4-17 ATS) in all games played on fewer than seven days off. Talent or no, these Cowboys are always in trouble on a short week.

So we’re gonna split the difference here and say take the Buffalo Bills +6½ at Dallas along with taking the Cowboys ML at -290.

New Orleans Saints -7 at Atlanta Falcons, over/under 50 points

Frankly, NFLbets is surprised this point spread is so low, given that Buffalo is getting 6½ at Dallas; much of the betting public agrees with us, too since this line has gained a point since opening. We suppose the sportsbooks are putting much stock in the Falcons shocking upset of these Saints two weeks ago. But that loss plus the preceding week’s bye is sandwiched by four 30-plus point wins. Meanwhile, the Falcons have scored 30 or more twice this season – in losses to the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans.

Since Devonta Freeman is out for Atlanta, Matt Ryan will likely take it to the air early and often, as opposed to the week 10 game plan which featured 36 pass plays against 34 runs. The Saints boast a top-5 rush defense and a middling pass defense, so Sean Payton would certainly prefer the opposite, but Ryan is beating anyone with his arm any more: His TD numbers are down, his interception numbers are up and he’s currently posting the lowest QBR of his career (59.8).

The Saints are a better team and NFLbets sees here an opportunity for those who get burned in week 10 to recoup some losses. We’re saying take the New Orleans Saints -7 at Atlanta.

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 3-3.
NFLbets’ Picks of the Week this season: 33-21.

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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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