Dec 1, 2021 - Sports

November was brutal for NFL bettors

Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Matthew Wright prepares to kick a field goal
15.5-point underdog Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Buffalo Bills in Week 10. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The most unpredictable NFL season in recent memory is costing bettors at a historic clip.

Driving the news: November was among the worst months ever for the betting public thanks to underdogs covering the spread nearly 60% of the time and winning 23 games outright.

Notable games: Jaguars over Bills in Week 9; Dolphins over Ravens in Week 10; Texans over Titans in Week 11.

  • That's part of a season-long trend in which underdogs are 99-77-1 against the spread — on pace to be the best mark since 1980.

The big picture: While the NFL's chaos cursed bettors last month, it's made for a wildly entertaining season — and the upshot is a wide-open playoff race with six weeks left.

  • 27 teams are within 1.5 games of a playoff spot, and 25 teams have at least five wins (compared to just 18 at this point last season).
  • This is the first year since 2014 with no 10-win teams through Week 12, and just two division leaders hold more than a two-game lead over second place (NFC North, NFC South).

Wild stat: 25 games this season have been decided on the final play — the most through 12 weeks since the merger. That kind of end-game coin flip has helped cause this unprecedented parity.

Playoff picture:

  • AFC: 1. Ravens (8-3), 2. Patriots (8-4), 3. Titans (8-4), 4. Chiefs (7-4), 5. Bengals (7-4), 6. Bills (7-4), 7. Chargers (6-5)
  • NFC: 1. Cardinals (9-2), 2. Packers (9-3), 3. Buccaneers (8-3), 4. Cowboys (7-4), 5. Rams (7-4), 6. 49ers (6-5), 7. Washington (5-6)

Go deeper: New Jersey becomes first state to hit $1 billion in monthly sports bets

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