John Murray and The SuperBook risk room were having a not-so-adequate Sunday in the NFL Week 16 odds market.

“Too much chalk,” he said, alluding to too many favorites winning and covering in the day games. “The bigger games haven’t gone our way today.”

The Denver Broncos fixed that problem by stunningly losing outright to the dismal New England Patriots.

RELATED: Cowboys bettors suffer bad beat

“That’s a pretty shocking way for the Broncos’ season to end. We’ll take it,” Murray said.

Indeed, Denver’s playoff hopes were pretty much buried Sunday night.

Murray and other oddsmakers from Las Vegas and across the country helped rehash the weekend that was in NFL and college football betting.

Broncos Bust Bettors

The Patriots-Broncos Sunday night matchup wasn’t that attractive, on its surface. New England entered at 3-11 straight up (SU) and an almost-as-bad 3-10-1 against the spread (ATS). Denver was a middling 7-7 SU/6-7-1 ATS.

But it was a prime-time game, just the same. And Murray said bettors seemed to want to get a head start on their Christmas Day moneyline parlays — Chiefs to Eagles to 49ers — by adding in the Broncos, thinking the touchdown favorites surely wouldn’t lose at home to New England.

“That’s the story of the day. All the parlays and moneyline parlays are [tied] to Denver,” Murray said prior to the Pats-Broncos kickoff, before adding prophetically: “But who knows? It’s the NFL.”

Ah, yes it is. 

Denver turned a 7-3 halftime lead into a 23-7 deficit by the end of the third quarter. It looked pretty hopeless for moneyline parlays that included the Broncos. But then Denver actually put up two touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions to tie the game at 23 with 2:53 remaining.

Barely a minute later, the Broncos got the ball back with a chance to win the game. But they went three-and-out and sent it right back to the Patriots, who took over on their 19-yard line.

New England then drove 43 yards, and Chad Ryland drilled a 56-yard field goal to give the Pats a 26-23 upset win.

Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins edge Dak Prescott, Cowboys – Dave Helman reacts

Split the Money

The biggest game on Sunday’s docket was FOX’s Dallas CowboysMiami Dolphins game, no question. However, it was a very short spread, with Miami closing as a 1.5-point favorite. 

Both teams are very public, and both drew plenty of action at multiple sportsbooks.

So even though it was a marquee matchup, oddsmakers didn’t have much of a decision. BetMGM data analyst John Ewing said as much five minutes before kickoff. 

At The SuperBook, Murray echoed that sentiment.

“It’s a very even game.”

The Dolphins won 22-20 on a last-second field goal, barely covering the 1.5-point spread. The game played out as closely as it was bet. 

Neither team gets a breather in Week 17: Miami travels to Baltimore, while Dallas hosts Detroit.

Major Wager Rage

In all likelihood, neither you nor I will ever know what it’s like to bet $220,000. But there’s a huge upside to not having that knowledge: We’ll also never know what it’s like to lose a $220,000 bet.

But a Caesars Sports customer definitely knows what that feels like on this Christmas Day. The bettor, in Nevada, put $220,000 on Jets -3 vs. the Commanders. At halftime, New York was rolling 27-7.

At the end of the third quarter, the Jets were still up 27-14. Then Washington got a TD to make it 27-21 with 9:33 remaining. 

Let the sweat begin.

Then Washington scored another touchdown with 4:52 remaining to take a 28-27 lead. At that point, all the Jets needed to win was a field goal. But the bettor — who laid three points — needed a touchdown.

I think we all know how this ends. 

Greg Zuerlein booted a 54-yard field goal with five seconds left, and New York won 30-28, failing to cover. So the house wins. Again.

Back To School

The college football bowl odds market ran through 11 mostly nondescript games last week. But the UtahNorthwestern Las Vegas Bowl matchup was notable enough, and it helped highlight a developing trend: underdogs winning outright.

Underdogs won eight of those 11 games, including Northwestern’s 14-7 upset as a seven-point underdog. Through 17 bowl games overall, underdogs are 10-7 SU/12-5 ATS. Totals continue to run around .500, with the Under holding a 9-8 advantage.

Check back next week to see how these trends develop.

I Like Big Bets and I Cannot Lie

As noted above, Caesars retained that hefty $220,000 Jets -3 bet. Among other big plays at Caesars:

– $220,000 Panthers +5 vs. Packers. Carolina loses 33-30, but covers. Bettor profits $200,000, for a $420,000 total payout.

– $80,000 Bills moneyline -800 at Chargers. Buffalo ekes out a 24-22 victory on a late field goal. Bettor profits $10,000, for a $90,000 total payout.

– $60,000 Chargers +7.5 (-120) first half vs. Bills. Chargers trail 14-10 at halftime. Bettor profits $50,000, for a $110,000 total payout.

– $55,000 Patriots-Broncos Over 37. As noted above, New England wins 26-23. Bettor profits $50,000, for a $105,000 total payout.

In addition, at BetMGM, a customer put $110,000 on Cowboys +1.5 at Dolphins. So that was certainly a painful 22-20 loss, watching the money float away on Miami’s game-ending field goal.

On the plus side was a BetMGM customer who wagered $75,000 on Browns moneyline -150. With Cleveland’s easy 36-22 win at Houston, the bettor profited $50,000, for a $125,000 total payout.

Not a bad three hours or so work, if you can get it.

There will almost certainly be some high-dollar wagers dropping on the Christmas Day triple-header of RaidersChiefs, GiantsEagles and Ravens49ers. And if Kansas City and Philadelphia win — not even cover as double-digit favorites, but just win — the moneyline parlay liability running to San Francisco could fill Santa’s bag and then some.

It could make for quite the entertaining day, and a comeback for bettors from that Patriots-Broncos result. 

Enjoy the games, keep it reasonable, and Merry Christmas!

Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and senior reporter for He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He’s based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golfing in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas

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