Suddenly, the betting public is not that bad at betting.
For a third straight week, several U.S. sportsbooks suffered a losing Sunday. It wasn't a massive loss, especially compared to last week, and some books such as DraftKings and BetMGM outside of Nevada, came out ahead Sunday. But some veteran bookmakers were having a hard time remembering a three-week stretch like the one they're enduring this October.
"I don't recall three weeks quite like this in my 25 years in the industry," Jason McCormick, vice president of race and sports for Station Casinos in Las Vegas, said Sunday night.
That's because there haven't been many. According to Nevada Gaming Control records, the state's sportsbooks have suffered a net loss on football over a month during the NFL regular season (September through December) only 11 times, the last time coming in November 2011.
John Murray, another Vegas veteran and executive director of the SuperBook, estimated that they come out ahead on 80% of NFL Sundays "just because of the sheer volume of parlays, but we do suffer our share of losses, too."
The bookmakers' share of losses, of course, isn't as big as the betting public's share, but we're in the midst of a pretty rare run of success for bettors.
"Only winner of the day for us was the Giants' game," Jeff Stoneback, director of MGM sportsbooks in Nevada, said. "Three weeks in a row now that the public has done really well. Not as bad as last week is about the most positive thing that I can say."
NFL home teams are 8-4 against the spread this week. It's the first week this season that home teams have had a winning record against the spread. Favorites are 6-6 ATS this week.
The best early games for bettors on Sunday were: the Packers covering the spread in a win over the Washington Football Team, and the Patriots covering in a blowout of the Jets. Those were the two largest decisions of the day "by a wide margin" for BetRivers' sportsbooks.
"It certainly rare to have three consecutive losing weeks in the NFL," Mattias Stetz, COO of Rush Street Interactive, BetRivers' parent company, told ESPN on Sunday night. "But the flip side is bettors are happy and have a little extra in their pocket for next weekend."
A spokesperson for sportsbook PointsBet told ESPN that it had never suffered three straight losing Sundays on the NFL since entering the U.S. market in 2019.
Part of the reason for the betting public's success has been the lack of big outright upsets. No underdog of more than seven points has won outright this season.
The Chiefs dropped to 3-4 with a blowout loss to the Titans on Sunday. Kansas City is the ninth team in the Super Bowl era to have a losing record through seven games, despite being favored in all seven games. Out of the previous eight teams, only the 1985 49ers reached the playoffs, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
The Chiefs-Titans total closed at 59, which is the highest since the Saints-Falcons game in Week 12 of the 2018 season and the fourth-highest in the regular season in the past 15 years, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
The largest reported bets on Sunday games at Caesars Sportsbook: $520,000 on Rams -15 (loss)
$520,000 on Bears +13 (loss)
$520,000 on Cardinals -17 (win)
$520,000 on Ravens -6 (loss)
$520,000 on Colts +3.5 (win)
$220,000 on Titans money-line +210 (win +$462,000)
The SuperBook reported taking a $10,000 money-line bet on the Bears right before they kicked off against the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay won 38-3.
Three current division leaders -- the Bengals, Cardinals and Raiders -- had the longest odds to win their respecting divisions entering the season. The Cardinals were +575 to win the NFC West; the Raiders were 18-1 to win the AFC West and the Bengals were 25-1 to win the AFC North at Caesars Sportsbook. At 25-1, Cincinnati was tied with Detroit for the second-longest division odds to start the season. Only Houston had longer odds at 30-1.
College football notables
* Missouri and Clemson, each at 0-7 ATS, are the only teams that have yet to cover the spread.
*Three 20-point favorites lost in college football on Saturday, the most on a single day since at least 2010. Overall, 12 20-point favorites have lost outright this season, already the most in a single season since 2010.
*Opening lines via Circa Sports, the first U.S. sportsbook to post a full slate of weekly lines and totals.
Iowa at Wisconsin (-3, 36.5)
Michigan (-4, 53.5) at Michigan State
Miami at Pittsburgh (-10, 61.5)
Texas at Baylor (pick 'em, 59.5)
Texas Tech at Oklahoma (-22, 68.5)
Georgia (-13, 46.5) at Florida
Ole Miss at Auburn (-1, 66.5)
Penn State at Ohio State (-15, 63.5)
North Carolina at Notre Dame (-4, 62.5)
What were the odds?
50-1: The Atlanta Braves' odds to win the World Series in early August at Caesars Sportsbook, the longest all season.
22-1: The Houston Astros' odds to win the World Series on Opening Day at Caesars Sportsbook, the longest all season.
54: The over/under on total points in Saturday's Wake Forest-Army game. Both teams went over the total in Wake Forest's 70-56 win.
36.5: The over/under total on this week's Iowa-Wisconsin game, the lowest of the season.
-25: Penn State was favored over Illinois by 25 and lost straight-up to the Illini in nine overtimes. It's the sixth outright upset by a team that was at least a 25-point underdog this season. That's the most in a single season since 1978.
Quotes to note
"Relative to the narrative, there's too much [sports betting advertising], we've been tracking with our fans, and actually ... there's been no negative sentiment in our fan tracker." -- Chris Halpin, chief strategy and growth officer at the NFL
"We've learned from the New Jersey experience that New Yorkers are clearly motivated to travel locally to bet on sites where proper consumer protections have been put in place that safeguard the integrity of their wager. Connecticut looks to be quickly following a similar pattern: Easily accessed from the New York City area, GeoComply's data shows 38% of Connecticut's wagering activity has originated from the southwestern corner of the state along the I-95 corridor. Heavy volumes have been concentrated in Stamford and Bridgeport, and other highway entry points stretching north along the New York border have also been hotspots." -- Chad Kornett, vice president of global government relations for GeComply, a company that provides geolocation tracking to most U.S. sportsbooks. Online sports betting launched last week in Connecticut.