For years, betting on Bill Belichick and the Patriots to bounce back from a loss was a consistent winner. But those days are gone.
Four years removed from the Tom Brady era in New England, bettors still believed Belichick and the Patriots would rebound Sunday from their embarrassing 38-3 defeat at Dallas with a home win over the Saints.
But they never stood a chance. Mac Jones threw a pick-six midway through the first quarter, and New Orleans never looked back in a 34-0 rout as a 1½-point underdog.
The second-worst shutout loss in team history for the Patriots (1-4, 1-4 ATS) — who have been outscored 72-3 the last two weeks — was one of the day’s biggest losses for bettors and biggest wins for sportsbooks.
“That was a big game for us. We needed the Saints pretty good,” South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews said. “I think Belichick the general manager has done no favors for Belichick the coach.”
Bettors also lost on another Super Bowl-winning coach in Sean Payton, who fell to 1-4 and 0-4-1 ATS in his first season in Denver after losing 31-21 at home to the Jets as a 2½-point favorite.
A Caesars Sportsbook bettor lost a $270,000 bet on the Broncos on the money line. The win was especially sweet for former Denver coach and current Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who was ripped by Payton for the job he did last season.
So have Belichick and Payton lost their touch? Or just their Hall of Fame quarterbacks Brady and Drew Brees?
“Eighty percent of Belichick and Payton’s wins have come with Brees and Brady,” Caesars vice president of trading Craig Mucklow said. “Quarterbacks make coaches look great.”
Caesars assistant director of trading Adam Pullen agrees, though he said Payton should be given a couple of years to retool the Broncos’ roster.
“Great players make great coaches,” he said. “You could say that about a lot of coaches. Obviously those two benefited from two of the best, but you’re not going to have them forever.”
Said Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito: “Without a franchise quarterback in this league, it’s not as easy. It’s not that they’re not good coaches, but the common denominator is you have a good quarterback. If it’s a Tom Brady or a Drew Brees, there’s a definite correlation when that marries up with a quarterback and coach.”
Niners deal blow to book
The books reported solid winning days heading into the 49ers-Cowboys matchup on “Sunday Night Football.” But bettors buried the books as San Francisco cruised to a cover as a 3½-point favorite in a 42-10 blowout win, and the game went over the total of 45.
“We are huge Cowboys fans tonight,” Esposito said before the game. “We’re in a position to give it all back if the Niners come in.”
The game made the Westgate SuperBook a loser on the day.
“The only way we’re going to salvage the day is if the Cowboys win this game outright,” SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay said beforehand. “We were looking pretty good going into the afternoon, then we go 0-4 and the parlays just snowballed to the 49ers.”
Big favorites cover
Favorites went 6-6 ATS, including covers in the afternoon games by the Bengals (-3, beat Cardinals 34-20), Chiefs (-3½, beat Vikings 27-20) and Eagles (-3½, beat Rams 23-14).
Other big wins for bettors were the Dolphins (-13, beat Giants 31-16) and Lions (-9½, beat Panthers 42-24) in the morning games.
The biggest wins for the books were the Jaguars, who beat the Bills 25-20 in London as 5½-point underdogs in the 6:30 a.m. game, and the Steelers (+4½), who trailed the Ravens 10-3 in the fourth quarter before scoring the game’s final 14 points in a 17-10 win.
The Falcons beat the Texans 21-19 but didn’t cover as 2½-point favorites. Houston went ahead 19-18 with 1:49 left on C.J. Stroud’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Schultz. But Desmond Ridder drove Atlanta 56 yards in 10 plays to set up Younghoe Koo’s 37-yard field goal as time expired.
Eight of the 12 games went under the total.