Notable Bets: Favorites, and bettors, win big in Week 17

9:00 AM ET

An NFL regular season that went to the dogs — and the bookmakers — is over, mercifully for the betting public.

NFL underdogs covered the spread in 55.7% of games this season. That’s the second-best mark for underdogs in the past 20 years, behind only 2006 (56.9%). The barking underdogs produced the most lucrative month ever for Nevada sportsbooks, which won a record $61.8 million in November.

But there is hope heading into the playoffs.

“This was our worst Sunday of the season,” John Murray, executive director of the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas, said after the favorites went 14-2 straight-up in Week 17.

Indeed, after an expensive regular season full of struggles, the betting public is off to a hot start in 2021. They were due.

Here are the notable bets from Week 17.

NFL

• Wild-card round opening lines via Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill:

Colts at Bills (-6.5, 51.5)
Rams at Seahawks (-5, 42.5)
Buccaneers (-7, 46.5) at Washington
Ravens (-4.5, 54.5) at Titans
Bears at Saints (-8.5, 48)
Browns at Steelers (-3.5, 47)

• Sportsbook PointsBet described Sunday as “very average,” with handle down 20% from last week and almost 30% compared to the season average. “Bettors

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