Watching the Bills and Colts play in a snowstorm on NFL Sunday brought back warm childhood memories of diving for catches into snowbanks while growing up on the East Coast.
It also reminded us why we’re so fortunate to live in sunny Las Vegas, where countless bettors capitalized on the white-out conditions in Buffalo by betting on the under.
The total opened at 39 Saturday night, closed at 36½ and the under was never in doubt. The Bills, who closed as favorites of 3 or 3½ points, led 7-0 at halftime and outlasted Indianapolis 13-7 in overtime on a 21-yard dash through the snow by LeSean McCoy with 1:33 left.
“That was so fun. I couldn’t keep my eyes off that game,” CG Technology sports book director Jason Simbal said. “Not surprisingly, we needed the over and we obviously had no shot.”
Bettors cash in on Eagles
It also was hard to keep our eyes off of the Eagles’ thrilling 43-35 win over the Rams. Chris Long’s strip-sack of Jared Goff set up Jake Elliott’s go-ahead 33-yard field goal with 3:45 left to decide a shootout between the league’s two highest-scoring teams.
Philadelphia was a 2½-point underdog during the week but closed as a 1-point favorite in the best game of the day for bettors.
“The worst game, by far, was the Rams losing to the Eagles,” William Hill sports book director Nick Bogdanovich said. “There was just a massive accumulation of bets on Philadelphia.”
CG Technology won on the Jaguars and Cardinals in the afternoon but lost more on the Eagles than those two games combined.
“It ended up being our biggest game of the day,” Simbal said. “We took a bunch of five-figure bets on the Eagles.”
Philadelphia (11-2) clinched the NFC East with the win and took a one-game lead over the Vikings (10-3) in the quest for home-field advantage in the playoffs. But it might have lost star quarterback Carson Wentz for the rest of the season to a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Wentz worth at least 3 points to line
Wentz threw four touchdown passes before leaving with an injured left knee. He was replaced by Nick Foles, who was solid in completing 6 of 10 passes for 42 yards. Bogdanovich and Simbal said Wentz is worth at least three points to the line.
“They’ve got a good backup in Foles. He made the plays to win the game,” Bogdanovich said. “The difference between the two of them is 3½ to 4 points.”
The Eagles play Sunday at the Giants.
“Foles actually looked pretty decent,” Simbal said. “It’s funny. They’re playing the Giants so it may be (an adjustment of) only 3 points, because even with Foles, the Eagles are a pretty substantial favorite over the Giants.”
Eagles’ Super Bowl odds adjusted
Philadelphia’s odds to win Super Bowl LII also were adjusted in the wake of Wentz’s injury. CG Technology moved them from 5-1 to 10-1, and the Westgate sports book moved them from 4-1 to 10-1.
“It’s going to be tough without him in the playoffs,” Simbal said. “It’s similar to when (Raiders quarterback) Derek Carr got hurt last year. The difference is Foles is a better backup than Connor Cook, and the Eagles will probably get a bye.”
Big bet on Raiders
A William Hill bettor lost a six-figure wager on Oakland, which was a 4-point underdog in a 26-15 defeat at Kansas City.
“We needed the favorite. I don’t know how that’s possible,” Bogdanovich said. “People are giving up on the Chiefs.”
Browns burn sharps, books again
The betting public was all over the Packers and the sharp bettors were on the Browns (0-13), who appeared headed for their first win of the season with a 21-7 fourth-quarter lead over Green Bay. But the Packers, who closed as 2½-point favorites, rallied to tie the game on Brett Hundley’s 1-yard TD pass to Davante Adams with 17 seconds left that was set up by a 65-yard punt return by Trevor Davis.
DeShone Kizer then threw a bad interception in overtime, and Hundley hit Adams for a 25-yard TD pass for a 27-21 win and cover for the masses.
“We needed the Browns one more time, and they let us down one more time,” Bogdanovich said. “It’s like Groundhog Day with them.”
Jimmy G getting support
The sharps were on the 49ers getting 1½ points from the Texans at William Hill’s 107 Nevada sports books, but they were on Houston at CG Technology. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 334 yards in winning his second straight start for San Francisco in a 26-16 triumph.
“They’re drawing money with Garoppolo,” Bogdanovich said. “They’ll be a hot team to bet next year.”