Perhaps it’s time for bettors to stop trusting the Atlanta Falcons.
Last week, the Falcons led the Dallas Cowboys 39-24 with seven minutes remaining, but managed to blow that lead and lose on a field goal as time expired. That Atlanta collapse resulted in a brutally bad beat for one MGM bettor who wagered $35,000 on the in-game line of -3333. That Falcons moneyline bet would have yielded a return of $1,050. Instead, it ended up being a horrific loss.
The Falcons have earned a reputation for blowing leads, and it happened yet again on Sunday against the Chicago Bears. This time, the Falcons led 26-10 with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter but allowed Nick Foles, who came off the bench for a struggling Mitchell Trubisky, to lead three straight fourth-quarter touchdown drives for Chicago.
Foles’ third touchdown pass was a 28-yard strike to Anthony Miller to put the Bears ahead 30-26 with 1:53 left in regulation. Atlanta had one more shot to win the game, but Matt Ryan was intercepted by Chicago’s Tashaun Gipson near midfield. It was the final nail in the coffin for another Atlanta heartbreak.
And for one Falcons backer, it was especially brutal. Early in the week, MGM received a $110,000 bet on the Falcons to cover what was then a 3.5-point spread (it closed at Falcons -2.5). But in true Atlanta fashion, a potential six-figure win evaporated along with the Falcons’ lead.
According to MGM, the Bears at one point were +3300 to come back and win the game. It was another brutal turn of events for Falcons backers.
Upsets big for the book
The third time was the charm for MGM. The first two weekends of NFL action resulted in losses for the book, but a series of Week 3 upsets resulted in a profit this time around.
Jeff Stoneback, the Director of Trading for MGM Resorts, told Yahoo Sports that the Detroit Lions beating the Arizona Cardinals as 5.5-point underdogs was the top winner of the day for MGM. The Bears comeback over the Falcons and the Carolina Panthers beating the Los Angeles Chargers as 6.5-point underdogs also helped the house.
“We had some upsets finally this week instead of all those favorites covering like last week,” Stoneback told Yahoo Sports. “The Falcons folding again in the second half, that was very good for the book and frustrating again for the backers of the Falcons.”
MGM would have had a much more profitable Sunday if it wasn’t for the Green Bay Packers’ win over the New Orleans Saints. The public was all over the Packers as 3.5-point underdogs and the over in that game. Both of those hit, and that game — the most bet game of the day — became the biggest loser of Sunday for MGM.
“The big one again, just like last week, was the Sunday night game,” Stoneback said. “We had a lot of parlays rolling into this game, so with the Packers winning and the game going over that was our biggest loser of the day.”
Over hitting at 59.5 percent through 3 weeks
Entering Monday night’s Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens game, the over is 28-19 so far in this NFL season. That’s a 59.5 percent clip.
After an 8-8 mark in Week 1, the over is 20-11 over the past two weeks, including 9-5 on Sunday. The public has been following that trend, and it has been hurting sportsbooks so far.
“Any time we get a lot of overs it hurts us. That happened [Sunday]. Nine of those games went over,” Stoneback told Yahoo Sports. “They all rolled into the Sunday night game, so that was a definite blow to us. We were having a really nice day but we did give away about half the profit we had earned for the day, and a lot of that was due to the [Packers-Saints] game going over.”
The over-under breakdown through three weeks is:
Week 1: 8-8
Week 2: 11-5
Week 3: 9-6
Sunday’s big bet winners
There is always the other side of the coin in a game like Falcons vs. Bears. While Falcons backers were crushed, Bears bettors were elated. One bettor in particular had $100,000 on the Bears moneyline at +120 and won $120,000.
Other big winners on Sunday included:
$120,000 to win $85,714.30 on the Pittsburgh Steelers -3 against the Houston Texans. The Steelers won 28-21.
$55,000 to win $50,000 on the Seattle Seahawks -5.5 against the Dallas Cowboys. The Seahawks won 38-31, scoring the go-ahead touchdown with 1:47 to play. That score put the Seahawks up 36-31, and they covered the spread with a two-point conversion and an interception of Cowboys QB Dak Prescott on a throw to the end zone on the subsequent drive.
$50,000 to win $45,455 on the New England Patriots -7 against the Las Vegas Raiders. The Patriots won 36-20.
$50,000 to win $45,555 on the Indianapolis Colts -12 against the New York Jets. The Colts won 36-7.
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