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Rovell: Underdogs Rule on Sunday, Putting Sportsbooks on Verge of Historic Week 1

Rovell: Underdogs Rule on Sunday, Putting Sportsbooks on Verge of Historic Week 1 article feature image

James Gilbert/Getty Images. Pictured: Jameis Winston

Sportsbooks are already having a great first week in the NFL as underdogs went 11-4 against the spread (ATS). But, should the Raiders cover as 4-point home underdogs against the Ravens on Monday Night, it will be an all-timer. If the Raiders cover, it will be the best Week 1 for dogs against the spread in since at least 2003, per Action Labs.

Any week where a majority of favorites fail to beat the number is a good one for the bookies, but considering that Week 1 is also one of the biggest business days of the year at the window, you can understand why folks behind the window will be in a good mood on Monday, especially since underdogs had a blast in college football on Saturday, too.

Quotes from bookmakers tonight:

• “Saturday was the best Saturday any of us can remember … and Sunday has actually been even better.”

• “I couldn’t have asked for a better day to start the season.”

— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) September 13, 2021

The most brutal beat for the public came in the 49ers-Lions game. San Francisco closed as 9.5-point favorites and looked like a sure thing with a 41-17 lead late in the game. Detroit would end up getting in the backdoor thanks to a pair of touchdowns and two successful two-point conversions to bring the final score to 41-33. At BetRivers, 83% of the money was on the 49ers.

Some of the day’s most popular sides didn’t even come close to covering. According to Sports Insights, the Green Bay Packers were the most popular bet of the day, attracting 74% of the bets as 3.5-point favorites against the Saints. At PointsBet, 80% of the money was on the Pack. The Saints would go on to win, 38-3.

“Packers game turned it all around for us,” said DraftKings head of trading Johnny Avello. “A Monster handle overall. Feels like more dogs won than Joey Chestnut ate on the Fourth of July.”

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