With Tom Savage replacing Deshaun Watson at the helm of Houston’s high-powered offense Sunday, the Texans sputtered and were stopped by the Colts in a 20-14 loss.
“It shows you this is a league driven by the quarterbacks,” The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback said.
In that case, Cam Newton apparently plans on driving the Panthers’ offense into an iceberg.
Following Carolina’s 20-17 win over the Falcons, the quarterback gave an unintentionally amusing answer to a question about losing wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin in a trade to the Bills.
“We just lost a great player,” Newton said. “But nevertheless the Titanic still has to go.”
Newton obviously isn’t a history buff or a movie buff. Otherwise, he would’ve known the Titanic collided with an iceberg in 1912 and 1,503 people died as a result of the shipwreck.
Falcons, Giants biggest disappointments
If not for a pair of great escapes by Atlanta (4-4) in wins at Chicago and Detroit, its season could be classified a disaster.
In fact, at the NFL’s midway point, Stoneback and Golden Nugget sports book director Tony Miller each said the Falcons and New York Giants (1-7) — whipped 51-17 by the Rams as 6-point home underdogs — are the biggest disappointments.
“They’re two teams the public bet heavy on futures (to win the Super Bowl). They’re supposed to be good teams and they both laid eggs,” Miller said. “At least the Giants have an excuse. They’ve got some key injuries. The Falcons have no excuse.”
Matt Ryan threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns, but he had a costly first-half interception that Carolina converted into a touchdown and Julio Jones dropped a wide-open 39-yard TD in the end zone in the fourth quarter.
“They just aren’t the same team as last year,” Stoneback said.
The Panthers (6-3) are picking up steam and pulled off one of three outright upsets Sunday as 3-point home underdogs. Indianapolis, which closed as a 6-point underdog, and the Redskins, who beat the Seahawks 17-14 as 8½-point underdogs, were the others.
Public beats books
The betting public beat the Las Vegas sports books as favorites went 6-3-2 against the spread. The biggest decisions were the Eagles and Rams, the NFL’s biggest two surprises. Philadelphia drilled Denver, 51-23, and the Saints and Jaguars also covered in the morning games. The Cowboys and Cardinals covered short numbers in the afternoon.
“We were a very, very, very small winner. We’ll pay the electric bill, that’s about it,” Miller said before the Sunday night game. “All those favorites in the morning crushed me. If it wasn’t for the Colts, it would’ve been a disaster. A big ole Band-Aid couldn’t stop the bleeding.”
Dolphins’ backdoor cover
Miller bemoaned the fact that his book needed the Dolphins and Jay Cutler on “Sunday Night Football.” But Miami rallied for a backdoor cover at some spots, including the Golden Nugget, where Oakland closed as a 3½-point favorite in a 27-24 win. Most bettors pushed as the Raiders were a consensus 3-point favorite.
Cutler hit Julius Thomas with a 15-yard TD pass with 1:32 left to make it 27-22 and Kenyan Drake added a two-point conversion run. That made Dolphins bettors love the Drake and Raiders bettors hate the Drake.
High roller goes 5-0-1 ATS
It was a six-figure push for a MGM Resorts sports book bettor who had Miami after cashing his other five six-figure wagers on the Eagles, Panthers, Jaguars, Saints and Redskins.
“It wasn’t a good day for us. We were actually a fair-sized loser,” Stoneback said. “The savior for the day was Washington beating Seattle. If the Seahawks had covered the spread, it would’ve been a seven-figure loss.”
Seahawks sink backers
It would’ve been a three-figure win for us. But Seattle let us down again at home, where Blair Walsh missed three first-half field goals and Russell Wilson threw two interceptions. It didn’t affect the spread, but teasers were turned into trash when the Seahawks’ once-vaunted defense let Kirk Cousins drive Washington 70 yards in three plays for the winning TD with 59 seconds left.
“It’s pathetic. Two passes and they go 70 yards,” said Miller, whose book needed Seattle. “The 12th man, my (expletive).”
We feel your pain. It was another losing NFL Sunday for us. But nevertheless the Titanic still has to go.