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Odds and Ends

Chiefs remain public darlings amid ATS slide

by Will Gray
Updated On: December 14, 2020, 5:17 pm ET

The Kansas City Chiefs keep winning, but they're not cashing many tickets along the way.

The Chiefs beat the Dolphins Sunday, 33-27, but Miami escaped with a cover as a 7-point underdog despite trailing 30-10 at one point in the fourth quarter. The result was rather fortuitous for oddsmakers at PointsBet Sportsbook: the Chiefs attracted 80 percent of the bets and 91 percent of the handle as road favorites, positioning the Dolphins as the biggest need for the house among the early slate of NFL games.

The result also continued a notable trend for the defending Super Bowl champs, as the Chiefs have won each of their last five games since a 35-9 drubbing of the New York Jets. But they have also failed to cover the spread in any of those five contests, winning by an average of only 4.2 points. Despite the ATS slide, the Chiefs continue to receive healthy support from public bettors, a trend that PointsBet senior sports analyst Andrew Mannino doesn't expect to change anytime soon.

"I think they have all the hallmarks of the teams that the public loves to bet on," Mannino told NBC Sports. "They score points, they're fun to watch offensively, and they have a well-known, great quarterback. That's what people are looking for. So I'm not surprised at all that they continue to see a majority of the action."

The late Dolphins cover helped what was overall an average NFL day for the book, with wins on both sides of the ledger. The house profited from a late cover by the Detroit Lions, as well as a win by the Los Angeles Chargers over the Atlanta Falcons and a blowout victory by the previously reeling Chicago Bears. The public cashed in when the Tennessee Titans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys all won and covered.

"We had a pretty average day," Mannino said. "The Dolphins helped a lot, the Chargers winning outright helped a lot. But all in all, a fairly even day for us."

Monday night's tilt between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns took on an added dynamic when the Pittsburgh Steelers dropped their second game in a row Sunday night in Buffalo. The Browns could get within a game of the Steelers in the AFC North race with a victory, while at 7-5 the Ravens need every win they can get to keep alive their playoff hopes.

Oddsmakers have seen a "fairly even" split on the side action, with Baltimore opening as a 1.5-point favorite before a quick move to the current line of Baltimore -3. The Ravens have received 58 percent of the handle while the Browns account for 51 percent of the tickets, with an emphasis on their moneyline price of +150 for an outright home win.

"People are going after the Browns on the moneyline," Mannino said.

The house will be rooting for a narrow Ravens victory that stays under the posted total of 46. That number has fluctuated between 45.5 and 47 for a game where weather could become a factor, with temperatures in the mid-30s and 19 mph winds expected around kickoff. Despite the blustery forecast, bettors have flocked to the over which accounts for 72 percent of the current ticket count.

"Total bets are heavily favoring the over," Mannino said. "People love the over in this game and are expecting fireworks tonight."

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Will Gray

Will Gray joined Golf Channel in 2007 and currently serves as a staff writer for GolfChannel.com. Gray has been covering fantasy golf since 2012 and is a regular contributor to the Golf Central blog and covers several PGA Tour events each year. He's also a regular contributor to several digital properties on GolfChannel.com, including Stat Man, On the Clock, Fantasy Central, Grill Room and the Monday Scramble podcast.