NFL Week 5 Sports Betting: Bad for the Books

Sports bettors have a complicated relationship with sportsbooks. Depending on how you’re doing, the book is your best friend or your greatest enemy. While some expect sportsbooks to always profit, especially during the NFL season, that’s not always the case. In fact, plenty of the Week 5 games in the NFL lost the books some big money, and it’s looking like this may have been the most costly bunch of games so far this season for betting platforms, while the public raked in some cash. Let’s take a look at some of the games that have the major sportsbooks licking their wounds this week.

Favorites Dominate Week 5

nfl logo 100We have one more game on the NFL slate this week, and something tells me that Vegas would like the underdog to take this one. Some sportsbooks saw their very first losing slate of NFL games this week, thanks largely to the number of favorites covering. Favored teams have gone 9-6 against the spread so far in Week 5, and that takes its toll on the books. According to Jeff Stoneback, the MGM Resorts director of trading, it was easily the worst week of the young season.

Plenty of big-name teams in the NFL covered their games. The Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all covered the spread, along with the Tennessee Titans, who handily blew out the reeling Jacksonville Jaguars 37-19. The Dallas Cowboys handed the New York Giants a blowout loss as well, and the team is now 5-0 against the spread with a 4-1 straight-up record.

Sunday Night Football Cost the Books Money Too

It wasn’t just the favorites that cost the books money this week. Last night’s electric Sunday Night Football matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills wreaked some havoc as well. The Bills, who were three-point underdogs heading into the game, won 38-20 and now find themselves in the driver’s seat of the AFC. The game also went over the point total of 57. For Caesars Sportsbook, that was the least profitable outcome, with heavy cash going to the Bills and the over.

What About Tonight’s Game?

If the Baltimore Ravens cover the spread tonight, that could cause more trouble for the books. The Ravens are currently seven-point favorites at numerous books with a point total of 46. Baltimore is coming into the game 2-2 ATS on the season, the exact same as the Indianapolis Colts. Both teams are also splitting 2-2 when it comes to the over/under, so there’s no major trend to follow with either squad.

Expect plenty of money on the Ravens, who are coming off a 23-7 rout of the previously undefeated Denver Broncos. The Colts, on the other hand, just got their first win against the season against a struggling Miami Dolphins squad. The Colts are desperate for another win, as a 1-4 start would be devastating to the team’s hopes of a playoff return. However, the game is also important for the Ravens, who have a chance to make a major jump in the division with a win tonight.

Anthony Elio is a CU Boulder graduate with a degree in creative writing and advertising. He is the lead Industry Betting Writer at, where he has spent over a year covering industry news in sports betting, casino, and poker.

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