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Show Me the Money: The NFL Games That Crushed Sportsbooks This Season

Jan 03, 2019 7:25 PM EST

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes, Matthew Stafford and Tom Brady

  • Jay Kornegay of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook runs through the 2018 NFL games that won and lost bettors the most money this season, including the Giants at Cowboys game back in Week 2.

2018 is in the rearview — and no matter how the NFL season ended up for you as a bettor, you likely had a big score and an excruciating loss.

The sportsbooks are no different: They win (and lose) big from time to time, as well.

But which games cost books the most? And which had them stuffing their coffers?

Since it’s hard to get a consensus across sportsbooks, we asked Jay Kornegay, the vice president of operations at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook to look through their books and tell us what games were the best and worst for them.


1. New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys, Week 2

The week before, the Cowboys couldn’t get anything going against the Panthers and lost 16-8, while the Giants lost 20-15 to the Jaguars.

The Giants closed at 3.5 point favorites, and Kornegay says “everyone was fading the Cowboys off their bad loss.”

Dallas went up 10-0 and never looked back, beating the G-Men by a touchdown and covering.

2. Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings, Week 12

Not the easiest game to call for bettors. The Packers came into this Sunday Night game 4-5-1, while the Vikings were 5-4-1. Both were coming off loses — the Packers to the Seahawks and the Vikings to the Bears.

The Vikings were 3.5-point favorites, but the money was coming in big on Green Bay. “We had big liability on the Packers already and we had a house player bet $50,000 on Packers +3.5 right before kickoff,” Kornegay said.

The Packers came within seven points in the game’s closing minutes, but the Vikings recovered an onside kick and won by 7.

3. New York Jets at Detroit Lions, Week 1

Ah the famous, “Sam Darnold should be in the Hall of Fame” game. First Monday Night Football game of the season.

Since no one had played a game yet, the Lions were installed as 6.5-point favorites, by the time of kickoff it moved to -7.

“We had a lot of moneyline parlays and teasers to the Lions and a house player bet $30,000 on Lions -7,” Kornegay said.

Jets scored the most points in the Todd Bowles Era and put 48 on the board. Darnold, who became the youngest rookie to start a Week 1 game since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, went 16-of-21 for 198 yards.

He threw for two touchdowns with one pick. After this game, the Jets failed to cover the next three games.

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Sam Darnold

4. Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans, Week 2

The Texans, who lost to the Patriots in Week 1 by seven, opened as 1.5-point favorites, which swelled to 3 by kickoff. “The public loaded up on them,” Kornegay said. The Titans won by three, 20-17.

5. New England Patriots at Tennessee Titans, Week 10

The Titans came into this game at 4-4 and the Patriots at 7-2. Even when accounting for playing on the road, the Pats appeared to be a steal at -6.5.

This was one of three games this season the Patriots had at least 70 percent of the tickets on them. They lost two of three of those straight up, including this one by an astounding 24 points.

“We took a ton of money line parlays and teasers on them,” Kornegay said.