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Las Vegas sportsbooks win again on upset-filled NFL Sunday

Betting on the NFL can be baffling.

Just ask any of the 360 $1,000 entries in the Circa Survivor contest or anybody else who backed the Buffalo Bills or Dallas Cowboys in any way, shape or form Sunday.

Or any bettor who thought it was a good idea to wager against the Green Bay Packers without Aaron Rodgers. Or against the Arizona Cardinals without Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. Or against the Tennessee Titans without Derrick Henry.

All those gamblers lost their money as underdogs went 9-3 ATS with seven outright wins and Las Vegas sportsbooks won big for the second straight NFL Sunday following a rare losing streak.

“After losing three weeks in a row, we’ve come back strong with our two best weeks of the year,” MGM Resorts director of trading Jeff Stoneback said.

BetMGM lost one game as bettors won big on the Chargers (-1½), who beat the Eagles 27-24. The Chargers (5-3) are tied for first in the AFC West with the Raiders, who lost 23-16 to the Giants as 3-point favorites in another big win for the books.

“If we could’ve got there with the Eagles, we would’ve swept the whole board,” Stoneback said. “It would’ve been our best day of the year.”

Jags, Broncos bust bettors

It was still a monster day for the books thanks in large part to huge upsets by the Jaguars and Broncos.

Buffalo, fresh off becoming the consensus Super Bowl favorite last week, closed as the biggest favorite on the board at -16 over lowly Jacksonville after late sharp money came in on the Bills.

But that money turned out to be as sharp as a bowling ball as the Jaguars had the better Josh Allen in a 9-6 victory. Jacksonville defensive end Josh Allen hit an improbable trifecta against Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen, sacking him, intercepting him and recovering his fumble.

“Offensively, Buffalo really seems to be out of sorts right now,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “If I was saying the NFC was a 1½-point favorite in the Super Bowl last week, I’m saying it’s -3 right now, with the Rams, Bucs and even Cards being better than any AFC team.”

Double-digit ’dogs

A week after the Jets became the first team this season to win as a double-digit underdog, the Jaguars and Broncos repeated the feat, with Denver dominating Dallas in a 30-16 win that it led 30-0 as a 10-point underdog.

Apparently the Cowboys should’ve kept Dak Prescott on the sideline and stuck with backup QB Cooper Rush, while the Broncos should’ve gotten rid of Von Miller a long time ago.

“That was probably one of the more shocking results we’ve seen in recent years as everything pointed to the Cowboys in that game and the line reflected that,” Westgate SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay said. “Being a Broncos fan, it was probably the best game I’ve seen them play in years.”

A $100 money line parlay on the Jaguars (+800) and Broncos (+400) would’ve paid $4,400 (44-1) at their closing odds.

There were a few reported, including a $500 parlay at DraftKings that paid more than $15,000.

House of Cards

Arizona opened as a 2½-point favorite at San Francisco, but the line shot up to 49ers -5½ on Sunday after Murray and Hopkins were ruled out. With Colt McCoy at the controls, the Cardinals jumped out to leads of 17-0 and 31-7 en route to a 31-17 win.

Kansas City soared to a 7-point favorite over Green Bay when Rodgers was ruled out in COVID-19 protocol. Packers backup Jordan Love was shaky in his first start but threw a touchdown pass on fourth down with 4:54 left to give Green Bay the backdoor cover in a 13-7 loss.

The Rams climbed from -6½ to -7½ over the Titans after Henry suffered a potential season-ending injury and the Rams acquired Miller in a trade with Denver.

The line closed at 7, and Tennessee naturally cruised to a 28-16 win.

“If you’re a bettor,” Stoneback said, “it’s a tough game to beat.”

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

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