Week 6 NFL betting recap: $2 million Dolphins-Lions parlay cashes


It was another big weekend of wagering in the NFL, even without some of the larger wagers we've seen recently. 

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Here is a look at how the books did, along with an ATS recap of every NFL game.

Sportsbook report

There was another million-dollar wager at DraftKings in Week 6, this one a $2 million moneyline parlay with the Detroit Lions (-159, at Jacksonville) and Miami Dolphins (-385, at New York Jets). Both legs came through easily and the bettor took home over $2.1 million.

In addition to that large wager, the Lions-Jaguars game was a bad result for sportsbooks. It’s not often that the public is on the Lions as a road favorite, but they were on Sunday to the tune of 89% of the spread bets at PointsBet. Detroit won 34-16. The Lions had lost 12 of 13 games coming into Sunday’s matchup.

The biggest decision of the early games at multiple sportsbooks was the Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) beating the Cleveland Browns 38-7. Multiple sportsbooks had over 70% of bets and spread handle on the Steelers, including 72% of spread bets on Pittsburgh -3 at BetRivers and SugarHouse books. There was also a $100,000 ML wager on the Steelers that cashed at the Borgata Sportsbook in New Jersey.

“The biggest decision of the early games for us was the Pittsburgh-Cleveland game, as we were very heavy on Steelers money,” Thomas Gable, sportsbook director at the Borgata in New Jersey, said. “The Lions-Jags was also a big decision that didn’t go our way.  The Patriots getting upset was the biggest decision in our favor.” 

It seems we say it every week, but one of the worst results for sportsbooks was the Miami Dolphins (-9.5) beating the Jets 24-0. An incredible 91% of the total game handle (ML and spread) at BetRivers and SugarHouse books and every sportsbook I spoke to on Sunday mentioned needing the Jets. New York is now the first 0-6 ATS team in the NFL this season, and the first team to start a season 0-6 since the 2013 Houston Texans. The Jets aren’t covering games by an astonishing 11.3 points per game.

“Our biggest morning decisions were the Giants, Browns, Eagles, Bengals and Broncos,” Station Casinos sportsbook director Chuck Esposito told VSiN. “We went 3-2 with Philadelphia’s late cover being huge and the biggest win of the morning games. We needed the J-E-T-S, but that is the case every week!”

The best result of the day for sportsbooks was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (%plussign% 2.5) throttling the Green Bay Packers 38-10. The betting public and late respected money was on Green Bay, as the line moved from PK to Green Bay -2.5 on Sunday. Multiple sportsbooks told VSiN the Packers-Bucs game was the most-bet game of the day. The game had 15% of day’s total handle at BetRivers books.

“The biggest game of the day and one of the bigger games of the year was needing the Bucs and under,” Esposito said.

Books were helped even more when the game stayed Under the total of 55, despite Tampa Bay leading 28-10 at halftime.

“The Tampa-Green Bay game was the most heavily bet game of the day for us,” Gable said. “The Packers had 66% of the money and 69% of the tickets.” 

The Denver Broncos upsetting the New England Patriots 18-12 in Foxboro as 7-point underdogs was a massive result for sportsbooks, including breaking up moneyline parlays as teasers. Station Casinos reported several large five-figure teasers that were broken up as a result of Denver’s win.

Another good game for books was the Baltimore Ravens (-10) winning but not covering 30-28 over the Philadelphia Eagles. More than 70% of bets at William Hill, FanDuel and BetRivers books were on the Ravens. With the line moving from Baltimore -7.5 early in the week to Baltimore -9.5 or -10, the late Eagles TD and subsequent missed two-point conversion killed all of those Ravens teasers. It was the biggest win of the morning games at Station Casinos. One BetMGM bettor did cash a $115,000 wager on the Ravens -6.5 first-half bet.

The Minnesota Vikings (-3.5) were surprisingly a public underdog, but were crushed by the Atlanta Falcons 40-23. Over 86% of the money at William Hill books was on the favored Vikings.

All in all, it was a great Sunday for sportsbooks, with multiple sportsbooks reporting their best Sunday of the season.

“Not a banner day by any means, but for this season, it’s probably been the best Sunday so far,” Gable said before the Sunday night game.

“Clearly one of the best Sunday’s of the year going into the Sunday night game,” Esposito said. “Looks like we are 49ers and under fans tonight.”

The 49ers (%plussign% 2.5) won 24-16 and the game stayed Under the total of 51, further solidifying a winning Sunday for most books.    

— Ben Fawkes

ATS recaps

Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers (-1.5, 45)


The Panthers got off to a terrible start with an illegal block on the opening kickoff return to start their first possession at their own 10-yard line. RB Mike Davis was thrown for a 1-yard loss, QB Teddy Bridgewater was sacked for a loss of 8 to the Carolina 1 and then Bridgewater’s first pass was intercepted by the Bears’ Tashaun Gipson to set up Nick Foles’ 9-yard TD pass to Cole Kmet (Chicago’s first drive was 3 plays, 7 yards for the TD). That set the tone as the Bears led 13-6 at halftime as each team kicked two FGs. Foles’ 1-yard TD run late in the third quarter extended the Bears’ lead to 20-6. The Panthers rallied in the fourth quarter to get within 23-16, but their final two drives ended on downs and Bridgewater’s second INT, as the Bears improved to 5-1 with the small upset at 105 on the money line.


Final score: Bears 23, Panthers 16

ATS winner: Bears

Total: Under 45


Detroit Lions (-3, 53) at Jacksonville Jaguars


Adrian Peterson scored in a 1-yard TD to put the Lions up 7-0 midway through the first quarter and D'Andre Swift (116 yards rushing, 2 TDs) took over as the Lions ran over the Jaguars and outgained them 403-275. Gardner Minshew II tried to keep Jacksonville in the game, cutting the lead to 24-10 late in the third quarter on a 6-yard TD run, but the Lions responded with Swift’s second TD and a Matt Prater FG to make sure they didn’t blow another lead. Minshew added a garbage-time TD pass to RB James Robinson, but the game still stayed Under the total of 53 points.


Final score: Lions 34, Jaguars 17

ATS winner: Lions

Total: Under 53


Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings (-3.5, 53)


The Falcons didn’t blow a lead! They also picked up their first win of the season in the process. Matt Ryan (371 yards, 2 TDs) threw two first-half TDs and Younghoe Koo booted two FGs to take a 20-0 halftime lead. Julio Jones (8 receptions, 137 yards) caught two of Ryan’s TD passes. This game was great for fantasy players who had Vikings QB Kirk Cousins (343 yards, 3 TDs) and WR Justin Jefferson (9 receptions, 166 yards, 2 TDs), though most of that productioncame after the game was out of reach. Even with all the offensive fireworks, the game didn’t go Over 53 until Ryan’s last TD pass to Hayden Hurst with 2:11 to play.


Final score: Falcons 40, Vikings 23

ATS winner: Falcons

Total: Over 53


Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-4, 52)


Houston’s former team (Remember the Oilers … get it?) beat the current franchise in a wild shootout. Ryan Tannenill (364 yards, 4 TDs) threw three first-half TD passes to lead 21-10 at halftime, but Deshaun Watson (335 yards, 4 TDs) rallied the Texans to take a 23-21 lead after three quarters. The Titans were pinned back at their own 6-yard line with under 10 minutes to play, but Derrick Henry (212 rushing yards, 2 TDs) rumbled 94 yards for the go-ahead TD, before Watson threw two more TD passes to give the Texans a 36-29 lead with 1:50 to play. Interim coach Romeo Crenell went for the two-point conversion to try to go up two scores, but it failed, and the Titans, trailing by just 7, drove and scored on Tannehill’s 7-yard TD pass to A.J. Brown with :04 left in regulation. In OT, the Titans scored on the opening possession, capped by Henry’s 5-yard TD run in the “wildcat” formation to win and also miraculously cover the spread.


Final score: Titans 42, Texans 36 (OT)

ATS winner: Titans

Total: Over 52


Washington Football Team at New York Giants (-1.5, 42.5)


The previously winless Giants jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, but they were unable to pull away as they only had 240 total yards (QB Daniel Jones threw for 112 yards and also led the Giants with 74 rushing yards). Washington tied the game 13-13 on Dustin Hopkins’ 28-yard FG with 8:56 to play. The Giants took a 20-13 lead on Tae Crowder’s 43-yard fumble return with 3:29 left. But it still wasn’t over (or Over) as Kyle Allen drove Washington 75 yards in 10 plays, capped by a 22-yard TD pass to Cam Sims. Washington coach “Riverboat Ron” Rivera went for the win but the two-point conversion failed, though Washington backers still cashed as it covered the short spread.


Final score: Giants 20, Football Team 19

ATS winner: Football Team

Total: Under 42.5


Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3, 50)


The Steelers jumped out to a 3-0 lead on their first drive, but they really took control when Minkah Fitzpatrick intercepted Baker Mayfield on the Browns first drive and ran it back 33 yards for the TD and a 10-0 lead. They went up 24-0 before Mayfield threw a 13-yard TD pass to Rashard Higgins with 1:01 left in the first half, but he didn’t do much else on the day as he ended up with just 119 passing yards before being replaced by Case Keenum in the fourth quarter. The Steelers pulled away in a 38-7 rout, highlighted by another TD run by rookie WR Chase Claypool. It’s kind of surprising that the game got as close to the total of 50 points despite the teams combining for fewer than 500 yards (497) as the Steelers grinded out the victory.


Final score: Steelers 38, Browns 7

ATS winner: Steelers

Total: Under 50


Baltimore Ravens (-10, 46.5) at Philadelphia Eagles

This looked like a laugher as Baltimore jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead like you’d expect from a 10-point favorite. However, the Eagles got on the board when RB Miles Sanders ran 74 yards before fumbling at the Ravens’ 7-yard line only to have WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside recover it in the end zone. Lamar Jackson answered with a 37-yard TD run to put the Ravens back up 24-6, but then the Eagles scored three TDs in fourth quarter while the Ravens managed only two FGs by Justin Tucker. Carson Wentz hit Travis Fulgham with an 18-yard TD pass with 3:48 left to get within the closing spread at 30-22 (and Over 46.5 points). However, some early bettors had Eagles 7.5 (as well as contests like the Circa Sports Million and SuperContest) and Wentz obliged with a 1-yard TD run with 1:55 to play to cover all numbers, though the two-point conversion failed to force OT. 


Final score: Ravens 30, Eagles 28

ATS winner: Eagles

Total: Over 46.5


Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts (-7.5, 46)


A team has rallied to win from a 16-point (or more) deficit each week of the NFL season so far and this was Week 6’s comeback/collapse. The Bengals jumped out to a 21-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter. TE Trey Burton put the Colts on the board with a 1-yard TD run and Phillip Rivers (371 passing yards, 3 TDs) threw two TD passes to pull the Colts within 24-21 at halftime. Randy Bullock kicked a 55-yard FG to put the Bengals up 27-21 and the game Over the total of 46 with 3:32 left in the third quarter, but Rivers hit TE Jack Doyle with a 14-yard TD pass to put the Colts ahead 28-27 and then Rodrigo Blankenship kicked a 40-yard FG to close the scoring, but not enough to cover the spread.


Final score: Colts 31, Bengals 27

ATS winner: Bengals

Total: Over 46


Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (-7, 44)


This game was as ugly as the score indicates, but beautiful for Denver backers at 320 on the money line (bettors also bet the spread down from a high of Patriots -10). Brandon McManus scored all of the Broncos’ points on six FGs. There wasn’t much offense overall as the Broncos outgained the Patriots only 299-288 with Denver QB Drew Lock only throwing for 189 yards and Cam Newton throwing for only 152 (both had two INTs). Trailing 18-3, Newton ran in the game’s only TD with 8:31 to play, but was stuffed on a two-point conversion attempt that kept New England down two scores at 18-9.


Final score: Broncos 18, Patriots 12

ATS winner: Broncos

Total: Under 44


Green Bay Packers (-2.5, 55) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers


The Packers grabbed a 10-0 first-quarter lead on a Mason Crosby 39-yard FG and an Aaron Jones 1-yard TD run, but that was it for the Packers’ highlights. Aaron Rodgers was picked off for the first time this season early in the second quarter by Jamel Dean, who returned it 32 yards for the Bucs’ first TD. Rodgers was intercepted again as the Bucs’ defense took over, harassing him all afternoon, sacking him five times and limiting him to just 160 yards passing and no TDs. Tom Brady threw 2 TD passes and Ronald Jones II ran for 3 more as Tampa Bay ran off 38 unanswered points to pull off the blowout. 


Final score: Buccaneers 38, Packers 10

ATS winner: Buccaneers

Total: Under 55


New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-9, 46.5)

In the “other” afternoon game, there was less early doubt in the outcome as the Dolphins dominated from start to finish. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw first-half TD passes to Adam Shaheen, Preston Williams and Durham Smythe. Meanwhile, the Miami D forced six three-and-outs in the first half and Jets QB Joe Flacco was only able to go 21-for-44 for just 186 yards despite going against a prevent defense most of the game. The Jets’ only drive in garbage time also came up short as the Dolphins secured the first shutout of the NFL season.


Final score: Dolphins 24, Jets 0

ATS winner: Dolphins

Total: Under 46.5


Los Angeles Rams (-2.5, 51) at San Francisco 49ers


The 49ers snapped a two-game losing streak as Jimmy Garoppolo (368 yards, 3 TDs) played better with no INTs. He threw first-half TD passes to Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk as the 49ers built a 21-6 lead. The Rams did rally and cut the lead to 24-16 with 3:24 to play on Jared Goff’s 40-yard TD pass to Josh Reynolds. However, the 49ers were able to convert two first downs to go into victory formation and pull the outright upset at 115 on the money line.


Final score: 49ers 24, Rams 16

ATS winner: 49ers

Total: Under 51

— Dave Tuley