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Sports betting winners and losers: Did your NFL season props hit? Aaron Rodgers pays off big

Frank Schwab
·6-min read

If you believed in an Aaron Rodgers revenge season after the Green Bay Packers drafted a quarterback in the first round, you cashed some big tickets.

Rodgers was +2500 to win MVP before the season, and now he’s -3000. That’s about 97 percent implied odds that Rodgers will win his third MVP. When we look back at the season-long props offered by BetMGM, Rodgers cashed there too.

Rodgers was +2000 to lead the NFL in passing touchdowns, and that prop cashed. Rodgers also helped Davante Adams bettors. Adams was +900 to lead the NFL in receiving touchdowns, and that was a winner.

Most positive Packers props cashed. They hit the over on their win total, which was 9, weeks ago. Green Bay finished 13-3. The Packers won the division at +175 odds. Green Bay opened at +1800 to win the Super Bowl, and they’re alive for that too.

Here are the yardage leaders and their preseason odds:

Rushing champion, Derrick Henry: Henry was an easy pick, and 37 percent of bettors who bet on the rushing title at BetMGM took Henry. It wasn’t even a sweat.

Henry blew away the field, becoming the eighth back in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards. He had +600 odds to win a second straight rushing title, and while running back is a volatile position, it’s easy to look back and wonder why those odds weren’t much lower. Henry will likely be a heavy favorite to lead the NFL in rushing yards next season, too.

Passing champion, Deshaun Watson: Watson was +2000 to lead the NFL in passing yards after the Texans traded his No. 1 receiver, DeAndre Hopkins. But Watson won this prop with 4,823 yards. It was a tough beat for Patrick Mahomes bettors in this market. Mahomes had 4,740 yards but sat in Week 17 with the Chiefs having the No. 1 seed locked up.

Receiving champion, Stefon Diggs: Diggs opened at +1000 to lead the league in receiving yards, and those odds were higher after a trade to the Buffalo Bills. There were plenty of great receivers who looked like better bets to lead the NFL in receiving yards (go back to your fantasy football draft and you’ll see that). Josh Allen’s massive improvement was a huge boon for Diggs, who led the NFL with 1,535 yards. It was another bummer for Chiefs fans, because Travis Kelce had a shot to lead the league but was stuck on 1,416 yards as he sat in Week 17.

If you missed out on any of those bets, it’s OK. We’ll spend the offseason figuring out who could be the 2021 version of Rodgers, Adams, Watson and Diggs, hitting on pretty good odds for those player props.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) had a big year for bettors. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) had a big year for bettors. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Here are the winners and losers from the past week in the sports betting world:

WINNERS

Washington Football Team division bettors: WFT opened as 10-to-1 underdogs to win the NFC East. Even in the second half of the season you could find odds of +500 and greater on Washington, which started 2-7.

Washington went just 7-9 but there’s no shame in cashing a ticket. The NFC East was bad and Washington won it, with a little help from Eagles coach Doug Pederson’s lineup decisions in the finale. They were the biggest long shot, by far, among the eight division champs. Here are the opening odds for the division champs in the preseason, and what percentage of bets came in on them at BetMGM:

AFC East: Bills opened +325, 16% of bets were on Buffalo to win division
AFC North: Steelers opened +320, 29% of bets were on Pittsburgh to win division
AFC South: Titans opened +160, 45% of bets were on Tennessee to win division
AFC West: Chiefs opened -450, 18% of bets were on Kansas City to win division
NFC East: Washington opened +1000, 19% of bets were on Washington to win division
NFC North: Packers opened +175, 40% of bets were on Green Bay to win division
NFC South: Saints opened +100, 14% of bets were on New Orleans to win division
NFC West: Seahawks opened +200, 31% of bets were on Seattle to win division

Drake Bulldogs: The college basketball season started in late November. Drake has yet to lose against the spread.

Among all teams with more than six games played this season, Drake is the only team left that is undefeated against the spread. They are 11-0 ATS and 13-0 straight up (games against St. Ambrose and McKendree College didn’t have a spread). It’s a remarkable run. No other team with more than eight games played has fewer than two losses against the spread.

Drake hasn’t exactly played the toughest schedule. It hasn’t won a game over a team ranked in the top 150 at KenPom. But bettors who have been riding the Drake train don’t care. And on Monday, BetMGM mobile sports betting launched in Iowa, where Drake is located. Iowans can decide if Drake can keep its undefeated streak going.

LOSERS

Toronto Raptors: Only one team in the NBA has just one win against the spread early this season. The Raptors have been awful.

The Raptors were 5.5-point favorites against the Boston Celtics on Monday and lost by 12. That drops them to 1-5 against the spread and straight up. It’s a Raptors team that was very good last season, a year after winning a championship, and it has been a rough start to this season. They lost Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka in the offseason and that is affecting them.

Perhaps the biggest issue is Toronto is on the road all season. The Raptors were relocated to Tampa Bay due to COVID-19 restrictions in Canada. As long as that continues, it’s tough to see the Raptors bouncing back much this season. Sportsbooks will adjust odds until the Raptors show some improvement.

Las Vegas Raiders under 7.5 wins: The last game to finish in the late afternoon window of Week 17 was a meaningless Raiders-Broncos game.

Meaningless to some anyway.

Three of 32 team win totals came down to the final week of the season. The Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears fell short. The Raiders’ win total of 7.5 was still up in the air in the final seconds.

The Raiders started the season 6-3 but struggled to get to eight wins. Their horrible Week 16 loss to the Miami Dolphins further agitated over bettors. And then again when the Broncos led 31-24 in the final minutes of the finale. With 1:47 left, the Raiders took over at their own 23. Derek Carr led a long drive, capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Josh Jacobs on fourth-and-goal. And inexplicable timeout by Broncos coach Vic Fangio allowed Las Vegas to get the 2-point conversion for the win, an 8-8 record and a win for all those over 7.5 wins tickets. And, of course, a loss on the under tickets.

You don’t see too many sweats like that on season-long props.

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