For the past two decades, bettors could count on Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers to bounce back from a loss and not only win the next week, but cover the spread.
Those days are gone.
Brady and Rodgers are a combined 4-10 against the spread this season and have lost and failed to cover in back-to-back weeks, costing gamblers a lot of cash along the way.
“They don’t look like the same quarterbacks right now,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said.
Tampa Bay, the biggest favorite on the board Sunday at -13, suffered an embarrassing 21-3 defeat Sunday to a Carolina team that had lost 17 of its last 20 games, recently fired its coach, traded star running back Christian McCaffrey and started third-string quarterback P.J. Walker.
Green Bay lost 23-21 to Washington as a 4-point favorite. Rodgers finished the game face down on the turf after launching a desperation lateral out of bounds on the final play.
The Packers (3-4) have lost three straight to the Giants, Jets and Commanders. The Buccaneers (3-4) have lost four of five while going 0-5 ATS and have dropped two straight as heavy favorites after losing 20-18 at Pittsburgh, where they were -9½.
“Rodgers still has a very good arm, and his mobility is solid. I just don’t think he has much help,” Westgate SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay said. “Brady just hasn’t looked very good. He definitely looks like he’s taken a couple steps back.
“I’ve dismissed Brady before a number of times. One of these times I’ll be right.”
The Bucs’ stunning defeat was the largest loss for bettors at Caesars Sportsbook.
“The Tampa Bay game knocked out all those money-line parlays and teasers,” Caesars assistant director of trading Adam Pullen said. “People put them on their parlay as an automatic win. They don’t have to think about it. But it’s the second week in a row they’ve disappointed as a big road favorite.”
Tampa also eliminated 70 entrants in the Circa Survivor contest, where only 300 remain alive from a field of 6,133 in the quest for the $1 million prize (175 have the Patriots on Monday night).
Caesars and Station Casinos were small winners, and the Westgate enjoyed its best NFL Sunday of the season. But bettors won big on the Raiders, who dealt books their biggest loss in a 38-20 home win and cover over the Houston Texans as 7-point favorites. The game soared over the total of 46.
“When the Raiders win, cover the spread, and the game goes over, that’s tough for our side of the counter,” Esposito said.
The Raiders trailed 20-17 early in the fourth quarter before taking a 31-20 lead on a pair of Josh Jacobs touchdown runs. Houston was driving for a potential backdoor cover when Duron Harmon put it out of reach by scoring on a 73-yard interception return with 3:26 left.
“Every game is a seven-figure swing in the NFL,” Caesars vice president of trading Craig Mucklow said.
Favorites went 6-6 ATS with four outright losses. Unders went 7-5.
The Caesars bettor who lost $1.05M last week after going 0-3 ATS on NFL wagers won $200,000 on his lone NFL bet of $220,000 on the Titans, who beat the Colts 19-10 as 2½-point favorites.
“We were not singing and dancing last week after his loss,” Mucklow said. “We respect him. It’s an 18-week battle.”
Bettors also cashed in on the Cowboys (-7), who whipped the Lions 24-6, and the Bengals (-6½), who dealt the Falcons their first ATS loss of the season in a 35-17 rout.
The Giants and Jets each won their fourth game in a row. The Giants improved to 6-1 straight-up and ATS with a 23-17 comeback win at Jacksonville as 3-point underdogs when they stopped the Jaguars at the 1-yard line on the final play.
The Jets improved to 5-2 straight-up and ATS with a 16-9 win at Denver as 2-point favorites.
The Chiefs crushed the 49ers 44-23 as 1-point favorites as San Francisco fell to 3-4.
“Brady, Rodgers and the 49ers are all below .500,” Esposito said. “Denver is really, really bad right now. A lot of teams we thought were going to be really good aren’t, and a lot of teams we thought weren’t going to be good have played well.
“The league does appear to be really upside down at this point. From week to week, it’s a head-scratcher. There’s so much parity.”
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at email@example.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.