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‘Funny how?’: NFL bettors not laughing after backing Ravens, Chiefs

“I’m funny how, I mean funny, like I’m a clown? I amuse you. I make you laugh? … Funny how? How am I funny?”

Those lines are part of a memorable scene from the Martin Scorcese mob classic “Goodfellas,” in which Joe Pesci plays an unpredictable psychopath named Tommy DeVito.

It came to mind after Giants practice squad quarterback Tommy DeVito scored a touchdown in their 13-10 overtime loss to the Jets.

Bettors, especially those who backed the Ravens and Chiefs, must have felt like the butt of jokes again on the third straight NFL Sunday in which one of the biggest favorites on the board lost outright.

This week it was the Chiefs who burned bettors in a stunning 24-9 defeat at Denver as 7-point favorites.

It was Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ first loss to Denver after 12 wins and his first road loss in the AFC West after 16 victories.

But bettors who backed Baltimore, a 9½-point favorite at Arizona, lost their wagers in brutal fashion as the Cardinals rallied for an improbable backdoor cover in their 31-24 loss.

Joshua Dobbs threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown with 1:14 left to cut the deficit to 31-21. But Baltimore bettors dodged a bullet when Arizona’s 2-point conversion attempt failed.

But then the Cardinals came up with a rare recovery of an onside kick. Five plays later, Ravens backers appeared to survive another scare when Matt Prater missed a 42-yard field goal attempt. But a false start penalty on the Cardinals negated the kick, and the ball was moved back five yards.

Prater then nailed a 47-yarder to cause a massive swing in favor of the sportsbooks.

“It was a huge swing,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “That dramatically changed the afternoon games and really helped out our side of the counter.”

The swing was a solid seven figures at Caesars Sportsbook.

“It’s a lot of zeros,” Caesars vice president of trading Craig Mucklow said.

Afternoon delight for books

After a few weeks in which bettors lost on the morning games and recouped some of their losses in the afternoon, the script was flipped.

“The morning games were horrible. We went 1-8 in the morning,” Esposito said. “The only real winning game was the Panthers beating the Texans outright.

“However, in the afternoon, having the Broncos and Bengals both win outright and the Cardinals getting a miracle cover ended up making it a good day for our side of the counter.”

Underdogs went 5-5-3 ATS with four outright wins (the Vikings-Packers line closed at pick’em). Overs went 8-6.

Cincinnati (+4) pulled off one of the outright upsets, dealing San Francisco its third straight loss in a 31-17 victory that also ended the 49ers’ 11-game home winning streak. Caesars bettors lost straight bets on the Niners of $220,000 (-4), $115,000 (-3) and $110,000 (-4½).

Carolina (+3½) earned its first win in a 15-13 triumph over the Texans on Eddy Pineiro’s walk-off 23-yard field goal.

Tennessee (+2) held off Atlanta 28-23 behind four TD passes by rookie Will Levis.

But the Broncos, who gave up 70 points to the Dolphins this season, dealt bettors their biggest loss of the day.

“That game was a just a monster,” Caesars assistant director of trading Adam Pullen said. “Every week, one of the big favorites loses outright.”

Denver, which snapped a 16-game losing streak to Kansas City, knocked out countless money-line parlays and teasers and every other bet on the Chiefs — who remain the +480 favorites at Caesars to repeat as Super Bowl champions.

“The Broncos haven’t beaten them since 2015, and the way they were playing this year, we certainly didn’t expect that to happen,” Westgate SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay said. “But the NFL continues to be a week-to-week story. You never know what’s going to happen.”

Seahawks rally late

The Seahawks delivered the biggest win for bettors, including one at Caesars who wagered $220,000 on Seattle -3½.

Seattle, which closed as a 4-point favorite over Cleveland, blew an early 14-0 lead and trailed 20-17 in the final minutes before rallying for an unlikely win and cover.

Jamal Adams forced an interception that deflected off his helmet with 1:57 remaining. Five plays later, Geno Smith threw a 9-yard TD pass to Jaxon Smith-Njigba with 38 seconds left to lift the Seahawks to a 24-20 triumph.

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

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