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NFL Underdogs Dominating Divisional Play

If you’re having a hard time picking a side in a divisional game, quit stressing and just take the underdog. It’s as simple as that as underdogs have been very profitable in divisional games since the start of last season, and that trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. Underdogs have gone 78-51-7 ATS (60% cover rate) in divisional games during that time and only one of the eight divisions has seen underdogs go below .500.

Looking at this season alone, underdogs are 23-14-2 ATS, which is up a tick from last season. Where you find your real edge here is when you break down these numbers by division. The most profitable division to bet the dog in has been the NFC South, as they’ve gone 13-4 ATS since the beginning of last season. That’s money in the bank and can be attributed to the Falcons going 0-6 ATS and the Panthers going 1-4 ATS as a favorite over divisional opponents.

Here’s a division-by-division breakdown of underdog records within the division since the start of last season:

DivisionATS RecordSU Record
AFC East9-6-2 (60%)9-8
AFC West11-6 (65%)5-12
AFC North7-7-2 (50%)6-10
AFC South7-8-2 (47%)5-12
NFC East11-5-1 (69%)10-7
NFC West11-7 (61%)9-8-1
NFC North8-8 (50%)9-9
NFC South13-4 (76%)11-6

Best and Worst Bets in Divisional Games

Digging a bit further into betting divisional games, there are a few teams that should be on your radar when matching up vs a divisional opponent. The Houston Texans are 6-1-1 ATS vs other AFC South teams since the beginning of last season, which is the best mark in the NFL. The New Orleans Saints aren’t far behind at 6-2 ATS, with each of those six wins coming as an underdog.

As for teams to steer clear of in divisional games, the Cleveland Browns are a brutal 1-7 SU and ATS in their last eight games vs other AFC North teams, with five of those losses being by double digits. The Dolphins have also struggled within their division, as they’ve gone just 2-6 SU and ATS vs other AFC East teams. This includes an 0-4 SU and ATS record in road games.

Here’s the best and worst bets in divisional games since the beginning of last season:

Best divisional ATS bets
TeamATS Record vs Division Opponents
Texans6-1-1 (85.7%)
Saints6-2 (75%)
Vikings6-2 (75%)
Redskins6-3 (66.6%)
Rams6-3 (66.6%)
Steelers4-2-2 (66.6%)
Ravens4-2-1 (66.6%)
Jets4-2-1 (66.6%)
Worst divisional ATS bets
TeamATS Record vs Division Opponents
Browns1-7 (12.5%)
Dolphins2-6 (25%)
Lions2-6 (25%)
Titans2-6-1 (25%)
Falcons3-6 (33.3%)
49ers3-6 (33.3%)
Panthers3-6 (33.3%)

Week 9 features six divisional matchups, so with all these numbers in mind, you'll want to give extra consideration to the underdogs in each of those games. Specifically with the Falcons vs Buccaneers game, with underdogs being the most profitable in NFC South games. Have a blast with your bets this weekend, remember to do a little homework on OddsShark.com before placing a wager, and as always, keep chasing that paper!

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