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Late-Season NFL Is Bringing Wins For Bettors

After a rough start to the NFL year, bettors are starting to get some wins in against sportsbooks in recent weeks. 

The category of football saw wins of almost 13 percent in September in Nevada books and almost 8 percent in October. (They don’t separate NFL and college in Nevada Gaming Commission reports.) I was also hearing from online books that things were going well on their side of the counter and Twitter chatter anecdotally seemed to line up with this.  

Why was this happening? I wrote about it back in Week 8 and it has a little bit to do with more parity and smaller spreads in the NFL this year. I also wrote about how underdogs were winning games straight up at a mind-blowing rate and faves were covering spreads at higher rates than usual in the games they were winning. Teasers just weren't worth the trouble.  

Well, that’s changed. Fast-forward to Week 16 and most books haven’t had a big win over bettors in at least a few weeks. 

“We just can’t get upsets on key games,” the Westgate’s Jay Kornegay told the Review-Journal this week. “Teasers and moneyline parlays are killing us."

The rate of teams that cover when they win is also coming down and it has more to drop before it gets closer to normal averages from recent seasons. For now, that probably means teasers and moneyline parlays are still going to be kind to bettors. 

Here’s a look at where teams that cover sit in terms of winning outright: 

Records for teams that win & cover the spread in the NFL in 2016
 After Week 8After Week 15Avg. since 2006
All teams that win SU when they cover91-10-6 (90%)186-25-13 (88%)(Avg. since 2006 - 83%)
Underdogs that win SU when they cover 46-10-1 (83%)79-25-2 (76%)(Avg. since 2006 - 67%)
Favorites that cover when they win 45-10-4 (82%)107-25-7 (81%)(Avg. since 2006 - 81%)

Another reason bettors are boosting bankrolls lately is because the best bets in the NFL continue to cover the spread and the worst bets continue to not. 

The New England Patriots are 11-3 against the spread and covered as road chalk on Sunday for the fifth time this season. In the ‘bet against’ category, if you had simply faded the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers every game this season, you’d be 23-4-1 against the spread. That’s a profit of $1,713.70 if you’re betting $100 a game. 

Books are trying hard to stop the bleeding in Week 16. The Pats are 16.5-point favorites at home vs. the Jets as of mid-week. That makes them the biggest favorite in the NFL since the Seahawks were -16.5 at home against the Jets on Sept. 27, 2015.  

Follow me on Twitter @JonnyOddsShark