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NFL Regular Season Betting Recap

The 2015 NFL regular season wrapped up on Sunday, and like every season before it, it wasn’t short on storylines, both on and off the field. It was also an interesting and unpredictable year at the betting window, as some teams had their backers laughing all the way to the bank, while others contributed to their backers’ Christmas debt.

Here’s the best and worst of the NFL season along with the results of some preseason player props:

Best and Worst ATS Teams

If you were on the Minnesota Vikings all season, you’ve likely earned yourself a nice bankroll to play with in the playoffs. The Vikings were the league’s top ATS team this season, posting an ATS record of 13-3. The Vikings were ninth in the league with a scoring margin of +3.9, while their wins came by an average of 12.2 points.

Right behind the Vikings were the 12-3-1 ATS Cincinnati Bengals who went a perfect 8-0 against the spread on the road.

As far as complete stay-aways, hopefully you didn’t touch the Cowboys or Titans—both went 4-11-1 ATS. The Cowboys were an especially bad bet at home, covering just one spread in Dallas.

Other standout teams on the worst list include the Baltimore Ravens who matched the Cowboys home ATS record, and the New England Patriots who had the worst road ATS record among playoff teams—3-5.

Best Overall ATS
  • Minnesota: 13-3
  • Cincinnati: 12-3-1
  • Carolina 11-5
  • HOU, WAS, GB, ARI: 9-7
Worst Overall ATS
  • Dallas: 4-11-1
  • Tennessee: 4-11-1
  • Cleveland: 5-10-1
  • Miami: 5-11
  • Atlanta: 6-10
Best Home ATS
  • Minnesota: 6-2
  • Carolina: 6-2
  • NYJ, BUF, HOU, WAS, STL, SF: 5-3
Worst Home ATS
  • Dallas: 1-6-1
  • Baltimore: 1-6-1
  • CHI, SD, OAK, MIA: 2-6
Best Road ATS
  • Cincinnati: 8-0
  • Minnesota: 7-1
  • OAK, SD, CHI, ARI: 6-2
Worst Road ATS
  • Tennessee: 2-6
  • San Francisco: 2-6
  • St. Louis: 2-5-1
  • DAL, NE, MIA, CLE, ATL: 3-5

Best OVER/UNDER Teams

It was a fun year to be a Giants fan—well, except for the team completely blowing it down the stretch, losing six of their last seven games. The Giants were, however, the NFL’s top OVER team, posting an 11-5 O/U record. The G-Men scored 30 or more points seven times. They also allowed 27 or more points nine times. I see a first round draft pick being used on a defensive player in their future.

It was an up and down season for the Atlanta Falcons, and things certainly didn’t go as planned on the offensive end, with the team averaging just 21.4 points per game—worst in the NFC South. The Falcons’ underwhelming season led to them being the league’s top UNDER team with a 2-13-1 O/U record.

Top OVER Teams
  • New York Giants: 11-5
  • Jacksonville: 10-6
  • Carolina: 10-6
  • Tennessee: 9-6-1
Top UNDER Teams
  • Atlanta: 2-13-1
  • St. Louis: 4-12
  • Minnesota: 4-10-2
  • Green Bay: 5-11

Biggest Upsets

Three of the five biggest upsets this season occurred over the season’s last two weeks. Each of the five games featured a double-digit spread, and the teams on the receiving end of the five biggest upsets have all made it to the playoffs.

Biggest Upsets of December
DateAwayHomeAway ScoreHome ScoreClosing Spread
Dec 27, 2015St. LouisSeattle2317-11.5
Dec 27, 2015PittsburghBaltimore1720+11.5
Nov 15, 2015DetroitGreen Bay1816-10.5
Nov 16, 2015HoustonCincinnati106-10
Jan 3, 2016New EnglandMiami1020+10

Player Prop Results

Entering the season, big things were expected from Andrew Luck. The Colts quarterback was the favorite to lead in NFL in passing yards at +350, but thanks to an injury riddled season, Luck finished 32nd overall in passing yards. Oddsmakers were expecting a slight drop off from Drew Brees this season, as his odds to win the passing title were at +900. Brees finished the season as the NFL’s top passer, throwing for 4,870 yards.

After playing just one game in 2014, Adrian Peterson entered this season as the favorite to lead the NFL in rushing yards at +350. If you had faith that Peterson would regain his form as the NFL’s top rusher, you were right. Peterson edged out Doug Martin by 83 yards to capture the rushing title with 1,485 yards.

Oddsmakers were close to nailing the top receiver, but missed by just 37 yards. Antonio Brown was the preseason favorite at +550, but finished second in receiving yards to Julio Jones. Jones was second on the preseason list at +650, but finished the season with a league best 1,871 receiving yards—good for second best of all-time.

Odds to lead NFL in passing yards
Preseason FavoritesActual Leaders with Preseason Odds
Andrew Luck (+350) - Finished 32ndDrew Brees (+900)
Aaron Rodgers (+400) - Finished 17thPhilip Rivers (+3300)
Ben Roethlisberger/Peyton Manning (+900) Finished 14th/17thTom Brady (+2000)
Odds to lead NFL in rushing yards
Preseason FavoritesActual Leaders with Preseason Odds
Adrian Peterson (+350) - Finished 1stAdrian Peterson (+350)
DeMarco Murray (+800) - Finished 27thDoug Martin (+5000)
Jamaal Charles/Marshawn Lynch (+800) Finished 54th/49thTodd Gurley (+5000)
Odds to lead NFL in receiving yards
Preseason FavoritesActual Leaders with Preseason Odds
Antonio Brown (+550) - Finished 2ndJulio Jones (+650)
Julio Jones (+650) - Finished 1stAntonio Brown (+550)
C. Johnson/ D. Bryant/O. Beckham/D. Thomas (+900) Finished 10th/121st/5th/7thDeAndre Hopkins (+2500)

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