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Bettors take a beating as popular favorites shank NFL Sunday

Laces out, Rigoberto.

When Adam Vinatieri shanked what would’ve been a game-winning 43-yard field goal try in the Colts’ 26-24 loss to the Steelers on Sunday, replays showed that holder Rigoberto Sanchez held the ball with the laces facing in.

Fans on social media quickly made “Laces out” jokes in reference to “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” the 1994 Jim Carrey movie about a kicker who always blamed Dolphins great Dan Marino — “Laces out, Dan” — for a missed field goal in the Super Bowl because he held the ball with the laces in.

A William Hill bettor who won $300,000 on a straight bet on Pittsburgh minus 1 will always be grateful that Sanchez held the laces in. But most gamblers were on Indianapolis in one of the biggest wins of the day for MGM Resorts sportsbook.

Chargers bury bettors

The biggest win, by far, for MGM and other Las Vegas books was on the Chargers, who upset the Packers 26-11 as 4½-point underdogs.

A whopping 87 percent of tickets were on Green Bay at the Westgate, which took sharp and public action on the Packers. A William Hill bettor lost a $385,000 bet on Green Bay and MGM bettors lost multiple six-figure wagers on the Packers, who entered as one of the league’s hottest teams at 7-1.

But Aaron Rodgers threw for only 161 yards as the Chargers (4-5) dominated in their best game of the season and buried bettors.

“The Chargers game was probably the best game we’ve had all season long,” The Mirage sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback said. “Over half of our win the whole day was on the Chargers. It was mid six-figures.”

Ravens whip Patriots

When the Ravens dealt the Patriots their first loss of the season in a 37-20 win Sunday night as 3-point home underdogs, it capped a monster day for the books. That’s despite the fact that a William Hill bettor won $400,000 on a straight bet on Baltimore.

“If the Ravens end up winning, this could be our best day of the year,” Stoneback said before “Sunday Night Football.” “The sharp money was on the Ravens, but the public was all over the Patriots.”

Bettors go bust on Browns

Pros and average Joes lost big on the Browns, who fell 24-19 to the Broncos as 4-point favorites in Denver quarterback Brandon Allen’s first career NFL start.

“Two of the biggest games we needed were the Chargers and the Broncos. It’s a rarity that you have Joes and Pros on the same side and we were 2-0 in those games,” Westgate vice president Jay Kornegay said. “It looked like the Chargers pretty much dominated, namely because the Packers didn’t show up. It can happen in any sport.

“The Broncos are a little better than their record. Their defense is certainly above average. The Browns continue to make big mistakes and little mistakes. They’re really struggling.”

Denver (3-6) was in Cleveland (2-6) coach Freddie Kitchens’ kitchen. The Broncos forced the Browns to settle for four short field goals and twice stuffed them on fourth down, including a QB sneak by Baker Mayfield on fourth and inches at the 5.

The Raiders delivered another big win for the books, covering as 2½-point favorites in their first home game since Week 2 in a 24-17 win over the Lions. Oakland stopped Detroit at the 1 with three seconds left to cover for the fourth time in five games and improve to 4-4.

Bettors won on the Bills, Seahawks and Eagles, who closed as 5-point favorites over the Bears and covered on a field goal in the final seconds.

Underdogs went 6-6 ATS on Sunday with six outright wins.

Easy money

Looking at a rough day for bettors in hindsight, it should’ve been simple to hit an 11-team parlay. Home teams went 11-0 straight up and ATS.

A pair of prop bets in Las Vegas were decided as New England (8-1) will not go 16-0 and Miami (1-7) will not go 0-16 after beating the New York Jets (1-7) 22-14.

The San Francisco 49ers (8-0) are the NFL’s only remaining unbeaten team. The Cincinnati Bengals (0-8) are on the clock for the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL draft in Las Vegas.

More Betting: Follow at reviewjournal.com/betting and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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