“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”
Falcons bettors might be uttering that line from “The Godfather Part III” after they finally abandoned Atlanta only to see it pull off the biggest upset of the NFL season in Sunday’s 26-9 win over the Saints.
Bettors have been waiting almost three years for the Falcons to return to the form that saw them take a 28-3 lead over the Patriots in Super Bowl LI before blowing it in a 34-28 overtime loss.
Atlanta was 19-23 since that historic meltdown and mired in a six-game losing streak before it upset New Orleans — which was riding a six-game win streak — as 13½-point road underdogs and 6-1 on the money line.
Matt Ryan threw two touchdown passes and the Falcons sacked Drew Brees six times to burn bettors in the biggest win of the day for Las Vegas sportsbooks.
“That was inexplicable. That’s the shocker of the day,” William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said. “Everyone’s making a pretty good check, so obviously there’s talent out there.”
The books also will remember the Titans’ 35-32 upset of the Chiefs, who opened as 3-point road favorites before the line soared as high as 6½ with the return of reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes.
The betting public was all over Kansas City as only 9 percent of the action at Caesars Entertainment was on Tennessee. The Chiefs led 32-27 and were in position to go up eight late facing third-and-2 at the Titans’ 24 before Mahomes was sacked.
Kansas City then botched a 46-yard field goal try as holder Dustin Colquitt was flagged for intentional grounding after a bad snap and the Titans took over at their own 39. Four plays later, Ryan Tannehill threw a go-ahead 23-yard TD pass to Adam Humphries with 23 seconds left.
Mahomes quickly put the Chiefs in position for a tying field goal but Joshua Kalu blocked Harrison Butker’s 52-yard try to give the books one of their biggest wins of the season in the 10 a.m. games.
“Titans was a huge win but actually Atlanta winning outright was bigger. Wiped out every money line parlay,” Westgate sportsbook director John Murray said. “We knew they had talent on the roster but it’s still stunning.”
A CG Technology bettor lost a $90,000 money line wager on the Chiefs and an MGM Resorts bettor lost a $100,000 Chiefs-Saints parlay as underdogs continue to thrive this season.
Underdogs are 84-60-1 ATS (58.3 percent) this season after going 7-3-1 ATS Sunday with six outright wins, including the Dolphins (+11) over the Colts, Steelers (+4½) over the Rams and Jets (+3) over the Giants.
“I can’t believe this football season. I’ve never seen anything like it. I think we’ve had only one losing week all year,” The Mirage sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback said. “We’re walking out with a smile no matter what happens (Sunday night).”
The Vikings (+3) became the sixth underdog to win outright when they upset the Cowboys 28-24 on Sunday Night Football.
Bogdanovich said the same William Hill bettor in New Jersey who won $1.1 million last week on three straight bets on the Ravens, Chargers and Steelers lost $40,000 on Sunday after going 1-1-1. The gambler won $400,000 on the Titans (+6) — though William Hill still won on the game — and lost $440,000 on the Buccaneers (-4½) and pushed a $420,000 bet on the Browns (-3, -105).
Cleveland closed as a consensus 3-point favorite over the Bills, but the line closed at 2½ at the Westgate and CG Technology took sharp action on the Browns at 2½. Baker Mayfield threw a go-ahead 7-yard TD pass to Rashard Higgins with 1:44 left and Cleveland escaped with a 19-16 victory when Steven Hauschka missed a 53-yard field goal with 22 seconds left.
Ravens cruise to cover
Bettors won on the Ravens and Packers. Green Bay stopped Christian McCaffrey short of the goal line as time expired to escape with a 24-16 win and cover as a 5-point favorite over Carolina. Baltimore (7-2) built on its impressive win over the Patriots by blowing out the Bengals (0-9) 49-13 as a 10½-point favorite behind Lamar Jackson, who threw for three TDs and had a spectacular 47-yard TD run.
“The Ravens are looking awfully good right now,” Sunset Station sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “Lamar Jackson is surprising me. He has really developed into a top-notch all-around quarterback right now.”