A migraine headache typically lasts for hours, and the symptoms can include nausea and vomiting. The throbbing pain can be triggered by stress or the agonizing regret of betting against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
Wagering on the NFL in general can be stressful enough. Taking the points and trying to beat Brady makes life that much tougher.
“If I was on the other side of the counter,” MGM Resorts sports book director Jay Rood said, “I would be playing the Patriots and ‘over’ until they burned me.”
The betting public, for the most part, adopted the Patriots a long time ago and continues to stick with them. The wiseguys — and there is an obvious difference between sharp and square money — are more stubborn.
The sharps win their fair share, but they fell to 0-2 against New England after Brady passed for 423 yards in a 35-21 victory over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. The Patriots closed as 6½- to 7-point home favorites, and a late surge pushed the score over the total of 53½, so chalk up another winner for the squares.
It can be argued the Chargers and under the total were the right ways to wager, but there’s always a risk in betting against Bill Belichick, a coach who goes for the jugular, and Brady, who rarely makes costly mistakes and capitalizes on them with the lightning-strike quickness of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The turning point came when San Diego was stopped on fourth down at the New England 1-yard line with 8:14 left in the second quarter. Brady led the Patriots 99 yards the other way, and instead of the Chargers going up 14-10, they went down 20-7 at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, 29 points were put on the board in the fourth. The Patriots, who forced four turnovers, covered every line by tacking on a touchdown with 1:54 remaining.
New England, which burned sharp money by covering at Miami in Week 1, joins Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston and Oakland as the only teams that are 2-0 against the spread.
In Sunday’s craziest game, the Raiders squandered a 21-3 halftime lead yet fought to the final play in a 38-35 loss at Buffalo. Jason Campbell’s 60-yard Hail Mary was almost answered, but Bills cornerback Da’Norris Searcy intercepted and pulled the ball away from Oakland wide receiver Denarius Moore.
As Buffalo bettors celebrated a push or money-line win, the ending was in question. Behind the scenes, officials reviewed the play for 10 minutes before announcing it stood as ruled, and not even the Pac-12 Conference could step in and change the score.
Imagine the insanity that would have ensued in the books if the NFL had declared the Raiders the winners. The sharps and squares were both on the Bills, who closed as 3½- to 4-point favorites after the line sat at 3 most of the week.
Dallas opened and closed as a 3-point favorite at San Francisco because the public bet one way and the wiseguys took the other side. The result was fitting.
“The public was all over the Cowboys,” Las Vegas Hilton sports book director Jay Kornegay said.
It was all 49ers early, before they blew a 14-0 lead. Tony Romo closed out the game despite a fractured rib and hit wide receiver Jesse Holley on a 77-yard pass on the Cowboys’ first play of overtime. Holley pulled a knucklehead move by holding the ball up to celebrate and was caught from behind at the 1.
Instead of attempting to run the ball into the end zone once or twice, Dallas settled for a 19-yard field goal by Dan Bailey and a 27-24 win, an outcome that resulted in bettors winning nothing instead of an estimated $72 million worldwide, according to RJ Bell of Pregame.com.
“We needed the Niners big time,” Rood said. “At least they saved the late cover.”
Another surprisingly strong effort from rookie quarterback Cam Newton helped Carolina cover as a 10½-point underdog in a 30-23 loss to Green Bay.
Rood called the Panthers a “parlay killer,” and upset victories by Atlanta and Tennessee helped the books, as well. The Falcons rallied past Philadelphia 35-31, but the outcome might have been different if not for Eagles quarterback Michael Vick getting knocked out because of a concussion.
Favorites and underdogs split 7-7-1, sharps and squares each hit about .500, and we all can agree the Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs were dead underdogs.
When wagering on NFL games, you don’t always get what you deserve, and the results can be a headache even when you win.
But it’s always entertaining, and often more rewarding when laying points with the Patriots.
Contact sports betting columnist Matt Youmans at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2907. He co-hosts the “Las Vegas Sportsline” weeknights at midnight on KDWN-AM (720) and thelasvegassportsline.com.