With the Los Angeles Rams sitting at 7-1 and the Tennessee Titans without star running back Derrick Henry indefinitely, one BetMGM customer was extremely confident the Rams would pull out a win on Sunday Night Football.
How confident? The bettor put down $650,000 on the Rams on the moneyline at -325 odds. A Rams victory would result in a $200,000 prize for the bettor.
But the Titans, 7-point underdogs at BetMGM, had other ideas.
The Rams had an early 3-0 lead before Tennessee’s defense took over and flipped that 3-0 deficit into a 14-3 advantage in the span of 11 seconds by twice intercepting Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford.
The first interception set the Titans up with a first-and-goal at the 2-yard line, which the offense quickly cashed in with a Ryan Tannehill touchdown pass to Geoff Swaim. And on the first play of the ensuing possession, Kevin Byard picked off Stafford and returned it 24 yards for a score.
That lead ballooned to 21-3 by halftime and the Titans never looked back in an eventual 28-16 victory. With the win, the Titans improved to 7-2 against the spread this season, including a 5-0 mark as an underdog.
Not only have the Titans covered the spread in all five of their games as underdogs, they have won all five outright.
Both the Titans and Rams are now 7-2 on the year, but the Rams are 4-5 against the spread.
Underdogs rule the day
The Titans weren’t the only underdogs who won outright in Week 9.
Underdogs covered the spread in nine of the 12 games played on Sunday and seven of those underdogs won outright. That included two double-digit underdogs — the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars — as the sportsbook at BetMGM had another hugely successful day.
“The public did not do well at all. Last week was probably our best win all time. We surpassed that this week,” BetMGM director of trading Jeff Stoneback told Yahoo Sports
The Broncos were 10-point underdogs on the road against the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys got quarterback Dak Prescott back from a calf injury, but it wouldn’t matter as the Broncos cruised to a 30-16 victory that was far more lopsided than the final score may indicate.
It was the first time this season that the Cowboys did not cover the spread.
The biggest upset of the day, though, came when Urban Meyer’s Jaguars beat the Buffalo Bills, the current betting favorites to win the Super Bowl at BetMGM.
It was an ugly game. The Bills closed as 15-point favorites at BetMGM but the Jaguars managed to pull out a 9-6 home win, forcing three Josh Allen turnovers and getting a key turnover on downs in the final minutes.
As of Sunday morning, BetMGM reported that 75% of the bets and 77% of the money bet on that game came in on the Buffalo side. Needless to say, it was a big win for the books.
The Jaguars, Broncos, Titans, Arizona Cardinals (+5.5 over San Francisco 49ers) and Atlanta Falcons (+6.5 over New Orleans Saints) were all “significant” winners for the house, Stoneback told Yahoo Sports.
According to Stoneback, the only winner for the public side came in Philadelphia where the Los Angeles Chargers used a late field goal to beat the Eagles, 27-24. The Chargers were favored by three points throughout the week, but late money came in on the Eagles, moving the point spread to just one at kickoff.
The Eagles tied the game at 24-24 with 6:07 to play but Philly’s offense never saw the field again. Justin Herbert led the Chargers down the field on a 15-play drive, setting up the game-winning 29-yard Dustin Hopkins field goal in the final seconds.
More on the Jaguars’ historic upset over the Bills
The Jaguars winning outright as 15-point underdogs was actually one of the biggest upsets in NFL history from a point spread perspective.
According to The Action Network, there have only been six other games with bigger upsets since 1990.
On three separate occasions, teams that were 17.5-point underdogs won outright. That includes last year when the New York Jets beat the Los Angeles Rams, 23-20. Additionally, the Washington Football Team beat the Dallas Cowboys 24-17 in 1995 and the Miami Dolphins beat the New England Patriots 27-24 in 2018.
Additionally, the Jets beat the Bills as 17-point underdogs in 1992, the Bills beat the Vikings as 16.5-point underdogs in 2019, and the Colts beat the Bills as 16-point underdogs in 1992.