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Undefeated Teams After Week 8: Are They Good Spread Bets For Second Half Of Season?

Undefeated NFL Teams after 8 weeks October 29, 2019 Jimmy Garoppolo

As we cross the midway point of the 2019 NFL regular season, two teams remain undefeated – the New England Patriots (8-0 SU) and San Francisco 49ers (7-0 SU). Those teams are a combined 11-4 ATS and look like world-beaters after Week 8.

A lot of bettors will try to ride this winning momentum and will wager on the Pats and Niners’ spreads because good teams tend to do good things on the football field. Well, historically, that has not been the case in the second half of the regular season as those undefeated teams typically fall off for spread bettors.

Since the 2000 regular season, 19 teams have been undefeated after Week 8 and only six of those teams (31.5 percent) had a winning spread record from Week 9 to Week 17. That’s a drastic drop-off considering all 19 of those teams had a winning ATS record through eight weeks.

Here are all the undefeated teams through Week 8 of an NFL season since 2000:

SeasonTeamSUATSOU
2018Rams8-0 (100.0%)4-3-1 (57.1%)3-5 (37.5%)
2015Bengals7-0 (100.0%)6-0-1 (100.0%)5-2 (71.4%)
2015Patriots7-0 (100.0%)4-1-2 (80.0%)4-3 (57.1%)
2015Panthers7-0 (100.0%)5-2 (71.4%)4-3 (57.1%)
2015Broncos7-0 (100.0%)5-1-1 (83.3%)2-4-1 (33.3%)
2013Chiefs8-0 (100.0%)5-3 (62.5%)2-6 (25.0%)
2012Falcons7-0 (100.0%)5-2 (71.4%)3-4 (42.9%)
2011Packers7-0 (100.0%)5-2 (71.4%)4-3 (57.1%)
2009Colts7-0 (100.0%)5-2 (71.4%)3-4 (42.9%)
2009Saints7-0 (100.0%)6-1 (85.7%)5-2 (71.4%)
2008Titans7-0 (100.0%)7-0 (100.0%)4-3 (57.1%)
2007Patriots8-0 (100.0%)8-0 (100.0%)7-1 (87.5%)
2007Colts7-0 (100.0%)5-2 (71.4%)3-4 (42.9%)
2006Bears7-0 (100.0%)5-2 (71.4%)5-1-1 (83.3%)
2006Colts7-0 (100.0%)5-2 (71.4%)4-3 (57.1%)
2005Colts7-0 (100.0%)5-2 (71.4%)2-5 (28.6%)
2004Eagles7-0 (100.0%)5-2 (71.4%)2-5 (28.6%)
2003Chiefs8-0 (100.0%)7-1 (87.5%)3-4-1 (42.9%)
2000Vikings7-0 (100.0%)5-2 (71.4%)4-3 (57.1%)

Now here are those same teams and how they did SU and ATS for the rest of the season:

SeasonTeamSUATSOU
2018Rams5-3 (62.5%)3-4-1 (42.9%)4-3-1 (57.1%)
2015Bengals5-4 (55.6%)6-3 (66.7%)2-6-1 (25.0%)
2015Patriots5-4 (55.6%)3-5-1 (37.5%)5-4 (55.6%)
2015Panthers8-1 (88.9%)6-3 (66.7%)6-3 (66.7%)
2015Broncos5-4 (55.6%)2-6-1 (25.0%)4-4-1 (50.0%)
2013Chiefs3-5 (37.5%)4-4 (50.0%)5-3 (62.5%)
2012Falcons6-3 (66.7%)4-4-1 (50.0%)2-7 (22.2%)
2011Packers8-1 (88.9%)6-3 (66.7%)7-2 (77.8%)
2009Colts7-2 (77.8%)5-4 (55.6%)6-3 (66.7%)
2009Saints6-3 (66.7%)2-7 (22.2%)1-7-1 (12.5%)
2008Titans6-3 (66.7%)5-3-1 (62.5%)3-5-1 (37.5%)
2007Patriots8-0 (100.0%)2-6 (25.0%)4-4 (50.0%)
2007Colts6-3 (66.7%)4-5 (44.4%)4-5 (44.4%)
2006Bears6-3 (66.7%)5-4 (55.6%)6-3 (66.7%)
2006Colts5-4 (55.6%)3-6 (33.3%)4-5 (44.4%)
2005Colts7-2 (77.8%)4-5 (44.4%)4-5 (44.4%)
2004Eagles6-3 (66.7%)4-5 (44.4%)3-6 (33.3%)
2003Chiefs5-3 (62.5%)3-5 (37.5%)6-2 (75.0%)
2000Vikings4-5 (44.4%)3-6 (33.3%)4-5 (44.4%)

Why These Teams Fail To Cover The Spread

The main reason undefeated teams tend to fade as a good spread bet is adjustments. Oddsmakers shift the spreads to make those teams even larger favorites, which can sometimes make covering the spread an unobtainable task. Another reason is that NFL opponents adjust, get tendencies on tape and figure out ways to beat a team that looked unstoppable.

The best example of peaking too early was the 2007 New England Patriots. They finished the season 16-0 SU and stormed through the league in the first eight weeks while going 8-0 ATS. 

But how they finished from Week 9 onward was jaw-dropping: 2-6 ATS. That’s because the strength of schedule picked up and opponents found the Patriots’ weaknesses. It also didn’t help their case when oddsmakers made them double-digit favorites in nearly every game, regardless of opponent. 

From one bettor to another, just be cautious about blindly betting every 49ers and Patriots spread for the remainder of the season. Sportsbooks didn’t get rich by letting undefeated teams remain that way.