Sports | December 1, 2021 1:17 pm

November Was a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Month for NFL Bettors

Parity is great for the NFL as a product but it makes it very hard to wager on, especially for amateurs

The Race and Sports SuperBook at the Westgate Las Vegas
The Race and Sports SuperBook at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.
Ethan Miller/Getty

Thanks to an increase in parity and an apparent decrease of home-field advantage, weekly upsets are becoming the rule, not the exception, in the NFL.

That led to a brutal month for gamblers in November thanks to underdogs covering the spread nearly 60% of the time and winning 23 games outright, including some major upsets like the  Jaguars beating the Bills, the Dolphins beating the Ravens, the Texans topping the Titans and the Raiders beating the Cowboys. Heavily bet primetime favorites losing, including the Rams losing in consecutive weeks to the Titans and 49ers, also happened frequently.

“From week to week, things appear to change dramatically,” Chuck Esposito, a veteran Las Vegas bookmaker with Station Casinos, told ESPN. “Dominant teams earlier in the year have come down to earth, and dogs have been covering at a much higher clip. There are 24 teams that are still fighting for playoff spots.”

With six weeks left to play before the postseason, 27 teams are within 1.5 games of a playoff spot and 25 teams have at least five wins on the year. According to Axios Sports, this is the first year since 2014 with no 10-win teams through Week 12. There are only two teams, the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers, with nine wins.

For the season, home teams are 77-101-1 against the spread and underdogs are 99-77-1 ATS, which is on pace to be the best mark since 1980.

The rise of sports betting, which is legal and operational in 30 states plus the District of Columbia, is also clearly a contributing factor in all of the losing in what ended up being a long November for NFL bettors.

To turn things around in December, NFL wagerers may want to switch over to the NBA and start backing the Phoenix Suns. Winner of 17 in a row and 18-3 on the season, the Suns did not lose a single game in November. After going 16-0 in November, the Suns are the sixth team in NBA history to go without a loss in an entire month.