The most popular bets of Week 1 did pretty well for the public. Still, on the whole, sportsbooks still had a pretty good Week 1.
The Buffalo Bills, a popular bet all offseason, easily covered against the Los Angeles Rams in the Thursday night opener. Then all three of the most-bet teams at BetMGM, in terms of money, covered on Sunday according to BetMGM's John Ewing.
Most bet teams (money) at @BetMGM
1. Ravens -6.5
2. Lions +5.5
3. Chiefs -6.5
3-0 ATS, good day for the public.
— John Ewing 🦁 (@johnewing) September 11, 2022
Still, the house had a good Week 1 according to Lamarr Mitchell, director of race and sports at BetMGM.
"The book had a really good win yesterday," Mitchell said Monday.
Bettors' most popular bets do well
Public bettors hit some popular bets but far from all of them. Teams like the New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts were all popular bets and didn't cover.
The top plays did hit. The Bills were the most-bet game of Week 1 heading into Thursday night and Bills -2.5 was the most-bet side of the first week. Buffalo covering was rarely in doubt.
There were some nice wins on Sunday. The Baltimore Ravens were an easy win, taking a 24-3 lead on the way to a 24-9 win over the New York Jets. The Detroit Lions were a sweat but, as they did all last season, they found a way to cover even when they didn't win. They rallied to cover a 5.5-point spread with a 38-35 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
In the afternoon, bettors never had to worry about the Kansas City Chiefs. They blasted the Arizona Cardinals, 44-21, easily covering 6.5 points.
But on the whole, the sportsbooks ended up winning on most of the games Sunday.
Buccaneers cover too
The most popular bet for Sunday night's Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Dallas Cowboys game was the Bucs -2.5. Tampa Bay blasted the Cowboys, who lost Dak Prescott to a thumb injury in the fourth quarter, and easily covered the spread. Mitchell said some big players were on the Buccaneers but a lot of the public ended up on the Cowboys.
There's an avalanche of bets on the Denver Broncos for Monday night and some popular bets have hit so far. But the sportsbooks still did pretty well in Week 1. That's the norm.