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Are Double-Digit Faves Worth the Chalk?

Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson

It’s widely known in the sports betting world how much “Joe Public” loves betting on favorites, but how much chalk is too much chalk? When it comes to wagering on big spreads in the NFL, heavily favored teams have been medicore at best for their bettors.

In the 2015 NFL campaign, double-digit favorites have gone 10-2 SU but just 5-7 ATS. With Week 15 on the horizon the New England Patriots have opened as healthy 13.5-point home faves over the lowly Tennessee Titans, while the majority of sportsbooks offshore and in Vegas opened the surging Seattle Seahawks in the -14 ballpark for their home tilt against Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns.

Last season a total of 22 teams were tabbed as faves of 10 points or greater and, unsurprisingly, 21 ended up winning straight up. The only exception were the San Francisco 49ers, who fell to the St. Louis Rams 13-10 in Week 8 while failing to cover as 10.5-point faves in the process. Considering how the Niners have performed so far in 2015, it's safe to assume the red and gold won’t be double-digit favorites for the foreseeable future.

2014 wasn’t particularly memorable for bettors who backed the aforementioned heavy faves. Double-digit chalk went 9-11-2 ATS during that span – not exactly what you would call a safe bet.

The moral of the story here is, unless bettors are extremely confident the favored squad is going to run away with the game, big spreads may be more trouble than they’re worth.

It’s common practice to see NFL coaches pull their starters off the field during blowout games (especially as the season reaches its late stages), which means your bets could blow up in your face thanks to some poor performances by players who are normally warming the bench.

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