NFL bettors saw the home teams bounce back in Week 14 while some of the favorites, including the New York Giants, suffered surprising defeats.
The NFL wagering wonderland can be a strange and unpredictable place. Last week the best team in the league, the New York Giants, went down to defeat, losing outright at home as touchdown favorites to a struggling Philadelphia Eagles team. And the Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Denver Broncos, and New England Patriots, all division leaders, all failed to cover spreads. Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, the worst team in the league, the hapless Detroit Lions, along with the 5-8 San Francisco 49ers and the 2-11 Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks, all covered spreads for their financial backers.
Those bettors who played Dallas last Sunday as three-point underdogs on the road at Pittsburgh certainly seemed to have bet on the right team. But as we all know, picking the team that outrushes and outgains its opponent doesn’t always result in a winning wager. The Cowboys coughed up a 13-3 lead in the final eight minutes of the game, and their financial backers took a kick to the gut when QB Tony Romo threw to a wrong-colored jersey with just under two minutes to play. The Steelers’ Deshea Townsend took Romo’s bad throw, sprinted toward the pylon, and just sneaked in for a game-winning touchdown, giving Pittsburgh backers reason to jump for joy with cash-filled fists in the air as the Steelers won 20-13.
By our account, just three of last week’s 16 games went over their respective totals. Two other totals pushed, and 11 games stayed under their totals, as last week’s games averaged just 39.6 total points. So on the season as a whole, NFL totals are now 99-101, excluding pushes, as games have averaged just over 44 points.
And after taking it on the chin in recent weeks, home teams showed some teeth last week, winning 11 of 15 games outright (excluding the game played in Toronto), and going 12-3 against-the-spread. So on the season home teams are now 115-90 straight-up (excluding the two games played on neutral fields, and the Philly-Cincy tie), but still only 91-114 ATS (44%).