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Bettors thankful for favorites, beat books on fruitful NFL weekend

Bettors received a rude welcome to the long holiday weekend when the Packers beat the Lions as 8½-point underdogs on Thanksgiving morning.

But NFL bettors feasted on favorites the rest of the weekend as they went 12-2 against the spread, including 9-2 on Sunday, to deal sportsbooks a loss.

“It was definitely a good day for the players with all the favorites coming in,” Caesars Sportsbook assistant director of trading Adam Pullen said. “They got some money to do some shopping with for the holidays.”

The South Point, Westgate SuperBook and Station Casinos also reported losses.

“It was one of the better pro weekends for the guests,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “Favorites have really dominated the slate as of late. Overall, it was a good Thanksgiving treat for the bettors, no question.”

On a weekend that saw a plethora of popular favorites cover, including the Cowboys, 49ers, Dolphins, Chiefs and Ravens, the Eagles beating the Bills 37-34 in overtime Sunday was the worst result for the South Point and Caesars.

The Eagles, who closed as 2½-point favorites, rallied from a 24-14 fourth-quarter deficit and tied the game at 31 on Jake Elliott’s 59-yard field goal in the rain with 20 seconds left in regulation. They won it on Jalen Hurts’ 12-yard touchdown run with 2:37 left in OT.

“The Eagles was huge today for the customers,” Caesars vice president of trading Craig Mucklow said. “And the Dolphins on Friday and 49ers on Thursday. Those were the three big ones.”

Philadelphia opened as a 3½-point favorite over Buffalo and was -3 most of the week before closing at -2½ at most books.

“That was definitely not a good result falling on the number,” Pullen said. “Anybody who took the 3 or 3½ early in the week were winners or pushes, and people who bet the Eagles -2½ won.”

The Cowboys (-13) crushed the Commanders 45-10 and the Niners (-7) whipped the Seahawks 31-13 on Thursday, while the Dolphins (-9½) beat the Jets 34-13 on Friday.

Chiefs rally past Raiders

Bettors also cashed in on Kansas City (-9), which stormed back from a 14-0 deficit for a 31-17 victory over the Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. The Chiefs rallied to tie the game at 14 at halftime, then outscored the Raiders 17-3 in the second half.

The Steelers (-2) delivered another big win for bettors in a 16-10 victory over the Bengals, and the Ravens (-3) capped off the weekend with a 20-10 win over the Chargers on “Sunday Night Football.”

“We lost our two biggest decisions on the Bengals and Raiders,” SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay said. “We needed the Bengals to somehow beat the Steelers with their backup quarterback, and we needed the Raiders to at least cover.

“For a while, we were hoping an upset would make the day. But not only did they not get there for the win, but they failed to cover.”

Overs went 9-6, including 4-0 on Sunday afternoon, when all four favorites covered: Chiefs, Eagles, Rams (-3, beat Cardinals 37-14) and Broncos (-2, beat Browns 29-12).

“The favorites and the overs have been rolling in during the afternoon the last few weeks,” Kornegay said.

The only two favorites that didn’t cover Sunday were the Saints (-2, lost 24-15 to Falcons) and Patriots (-4½, lost 10-7 to Giants).

There were some ugly quarterback matchups, including New York’s Tommy DeVito against New England’s Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe.

“There are a lot of young, inexperienced quarterbacks in the league right now, and bettors are clearly betting against them,” Esposito said. “The Patriots ended up going with Bailey Zappe. You had (Bryce) Young and (Will) Levis in the Carolina-Tennessee game, Jake Browning for the Bengals, DTR (Dorian Thompson-Robinson) for the Browns and (Aidan) O’Connell for the Raiders.”

Survivor field slashed

Only 112 entries from a field of 9,267 remain in the hunt for the $9.2 million prize in the $1,000-entry Circa Survivor contest. The contest started the weekend with 372 entries, but 216 were eliminated by the Lions and 36 were knocked out by the Patriots. (Entrants had to make picks on the four Thanksgiving/Black Friday games and then again on the Sunday/Monday slate.)

Thirty-two entries selected the Vikings over the Bears on “Monday Night Football.”

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

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