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Week 6: NFL Betting Primer

It’s been a season of extremes through the first five weeks of the 2019 NFL season. Road teams are going off, covering spreads at 63.2 percent, underdogs aren’t far behind at 57.8 percent and a big-time trend in prime-time games has seen the UNDER hit in 12 of the 16 games.

Here’s the thing, though — history indicates those numbers are extremely likely to get closer to 50 percent as the season goes on, so betting on those trends to continue is a poor strategy.

Here’s the look at home vs away and favorite vs underdog ATS results from the past few seasons if for some reason you think I’m lying and want more definitive evidence:

Road Team & Underdog ATS records
YearRoad Team ATS RecordUnderdog ATS Record
201948-28-2 ATS (63.2%)44-32-2 (57.8%)
2018127-118-11 ATS (51.8%)132-110-9  (54.5%)
2017119-128-9 ATS (48.2%)110-132-9 (45.4%) 
2016123-124-9 ATS (49.8%)120-124-9 (49.1%)
2015132-113-11 ATS (53.9%)131-112-11 (53.9%) 
2014129-123-4 ATS (51.2%)129-123-4 (51.1%)

The bottom line is that you should still be handicapping each game individually, and it doesn’t make much sense to incorporate results from other teams’ games into your analysis.

However, and I guess I’m contradicting myself here, but with recent history showing that these numbers typically end up closer to 50 percent, I do think it’s worth considering more home teams and more favorites when you’re on the fence with your picks as the season goes on.

Anyways, on to my thoughts on the worst game of the season…

A Must-Lose Game for the Miami Dolphins

I can’t think of a worse game on paper than the game we’re about to experience in Week 6 with the Redskins in Miami to take on the Dolphins. In the first few weeks of the season, it was crystal clear that the Dolphins were the worst team in the league, and the likely beneficiary of the No. 1 overall draft pick, aka Tua Tagovailoa, aka the franchise quarterback that they’ve been without since Dan Marino hung ‘em up.

BUT, all of a sudden, the Dolphins have a little bit of competition for being the worst team in the league. The Jets and Bengals join Miami and Washington as the only winless squads and the Redskins stand out as a team that, like the Dolphins, has every incentive to tank. Early reports on Dwayne Haskins aren’t favorable, while obtaining the top pick in the draft would be an excellent carrot to dangle in front of a big-time head coach candidate.

The Redskins also play in a tougher division and will likely be an underdog in every other game following this one. The Dolphins, meanwhile, could possibly pull off upsets in either of their games vs the Jets, or against the Giants or Bengals later in the season.

So, what’s my point? Well, the Dolphins have come this far in their tank job, but they must take it one step further and LOSE a very winnable game vs another disgraceful team that’s in a vulnerable spot after firing their head coach and currently utilizing a QB carousel.

I’m a Dolphins fan, and it hasn’t been easy. They literally have done nothing right in close to two decades, but so far they’ve been nailing this tanking thing. There’s still a long way to go and if they can keep it going, they might be rewarded with a move that could set up the franchise for the next two decades.

So, do the right thing, Dolphins, and LOSE THE DAMN GAME!

Good luck in Week 6, and as always, keep chasing that paper!

Giants-Patriots
  • The Patriots are allowing 6.17 points over their last six games.
  • The Patriots are tied for first in turnover differential. The Giants are tied for second-last. 
  • The Patriots are 18-0 SU and 14-4 ATS in their last 18 games at home.
  • The Patriots are 11-0 SU and 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games as a double-digit favorite.
  • The Giants are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games on the road.
  • The Giants are 6-0 ATS in their last six games as a double-digit underdog.
  • The Patriots have a first-half spread record of 4-1. The Giants are at 1-4 ATS.
  • The total has gone UNDER in five of the Patriots' last six games. (Avg combined score: 34.17)
  • The Giants are 5-0 ATS in their last five games vs the Patriots.
  • Eli Manning ruined the Patriots' perfect season by beating them in Super Bowl 42.
Panthers-Buccaneers
  • Bucs games have a league-high average combined score of 59 points. Panthers games are at 47.2 points.
  • The total has gone UNDER in six of the Panthers' last seven games vs the Buccaneers. (Avg combined score: 38.57)
  • The Panthers are 3-0 SU in their last three games on the road. (Avg winning margin: 14.33)
  • The Panthers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games before a bye.
  • The Buccaneers are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games before a bye.
  • The Buccaneers are 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 games in October.
Bengals-Ravens
  • The Ravens rank 30th in net yards per play over their last three games and 31st overall in opponent yards per play.
  • The Bengals are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games as road underdogs.
  • The Bengals are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games vs divisional opponents.
  • The Ravens are 0-5 ATS in their last five games at home.
  • The Ravens are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games as a double-digit favorite.
  • The Ravens are 0-6 ATS in their last six games vs their division at home.
  • The Ravens have allowed 32 points per game over their last three games.
  • The Ravens are 1-8 ATS in their last nine games at home vs teams with losing records.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 14 of the Bengals' last 20 games vs their division on the road.
  • The Bengals are 0-8 SU in their last eight games on the road. (Avg losing margin: 10.38)
Cowboys-Jets
  • Over their last three games, the Cowboys are tied for first in net yards per play. The Jets are 31st over that span.
  • The Jets have the worst third-down conversion rate in the NFL while the Cowboys defense has the second-best opponent third-down conversion percentage.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 11 of the Cowboys' last 15 games on the road. (Avg combined score: 37.2)
  • Jets games have an average combined score of 35, which is the fourth-lowest in the NFL.
  • The Cowboys are 4-0 ATS in their last four games after consecutive ATS losses.
  • The Jets are 0-7 SU and 0-6-1 ATS in their last seven games at home.
Seahawks-Browns
  • The Seahawks have an NFL-best 76.47 percent red-zone TD scoring rate. The Browns rank 30th in opponent red-zone TD scoring percentage.
  • The total has gone OVER in 11 of the Seahawks' last 14 games. (Avg combined score: 52.0)
  • The Seahawks are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games on the road.
  • The Seahawks are 4-0 SU and ATS in their last four games in the early afternoon.
Eagles-Vikings
  • The Vikings are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games as favorite.
  • The Vikings are 12-2 SU in their last 14 games as home favorites.
  • The Vikings are allowing 15.5 points per game over their last five home games.
  • The Eagles are 5-1 ATS in their last six games on the road.
  • The Eagles are 8-2 SU and ATS in their last 10 games in October.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 10 of the Vikings' last 14 games at home. (Avg combined score: 41.36)
  • The Vikings are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games after an ATS win.
  • The Eagles are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games vs the Vikings.
Falcons-Cardinals
  • The Falcons are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games on the road.
  • The Falcons are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games as road favorites.
  • The Falcons are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games in October.
  • The Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl once.
  • The Cardinals are 0-5-1 SU in their last six games at home. (Avg losing margin: 12.17)
Redskins-Dolphins
  • May God have mercy on your soul if you plan on watching this game. Maybe just bet ‘tie’ and move on.
  • The Redskins are 0-7 SU in their last seven games. (Avg losing margin: 15.86)
  • The Dolphins are 0-7 SU in their last seven games. (Avg losing margin: 28.0)
  • The Dolphins are 0-6 SU and ATS in their last six games as underdog.
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Dolphins' last three games. (Avg combined score: 40.0)
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Redskins' last three games vs the Dolphins. (Avg combined score: 28.33)
  • The Redskins are 0-5 SU in their last five games on the road vs the Dolphins. (Avg losing margin: 4.8)
Saints-Jaguars
  • The Saints are 18-4 SU in their last 22 games.
  • The Saints are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games on the road.
  • The total has gone UNDER in four of the Saints' last five games on the road. (Avg combined score: 36.4)
  • The total has gone UNDER in five of the Jaguars' last six games at home. (Avg combined score: 31.83)
  • The Jaguars are averaging 15.14 points per game over their last seven home games.
  • The Saints are 13-1 ATS in their last 14 games in October.
  • The Jaguars are 4-13 SU in their last 17 games.
Steelers-Chargers
  • The Chargers are 11-2-1 ATS in their last 14 games after an ATS loss.
  • The Steelers are 15-3 SU in their last 18 games at night.
  • The total has gone UNDER in seven of the Steelers' last eight games on the road. (Avg combined score: 43.63)
  • The Steelers are 0-5 SU in their last five games on the road. (Avg losing margin: 9.4)
  • The total has gone UNDER in four of the Chargers' last five games at home. (Avg combined score: 42.6)
Texans-Chiefs
  • The Texans have the best third-down conversion percentage in the league while the Chiefs rank third.
  • The total has gone OVER in four of the Texans' last five games on the road. (Avg combined score: 52.4)
  • The Texans are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games as road underdogs.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 12 of the Chiefs' last 17 games at home. (Avg combined score: 47.24)
  • The Chiefs are 12-0 SU in their last 12 games in the early afternoon.
  • The visiting team is 5-1 ATS in its last six games in this matchup.
Titans-Broncos
  • The Titans rank fourth in opponent third-down conversion rate but 25th in offensive third-down conversion percentage.
  • The Titans are 2-14 ATS in their last 16 games on the road after covering in their most recent road game.
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Titans' last four games. (Avg combined score: 29.5)
  • The total has gone UNDER in 12 of the Broncos' last 14 games. (Avg combined score: 38.93)
  • Titans games this season have an average combined score of 34.8 that is the third-lowest in the NFL. Broncos games are at 39.2.
  • The Broncos are averaging 15.9 points over their last nine games.
  • The Broncos are 1-8 SU and 2-7 ATS in their last nine games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in nine of the Broncos' last 10 games in the late afternoon.
49ers-Rams
  • The 49ers rank first in net yards per play over their last three games.
  • The 49ers have an NFL-best 20 percent opponent red-zone TD scoring rate. The Rams rank 25th.
  • The total has gone OVER in three of the Rams' last four games at home. (Avg combined score: 65.75)
  • The total has gone OVER in four of the 49ers' last five games vs the Rams. (Avg combined score: 59.8)
  • The Rams are averaging 33.08 points per game over their last 12 home games.
  • The 49ers are 2-11 SU in their last 13 games vs their division on the road.
  • The Rams are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games.
  • The Rams are 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven games as favorite.
 Lions-Packers
  • The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Lions' last 11 games. (Avg combined score: 39.09)
  • The total has gone UNDER in 14 of the Lions' last 19 games vs their division on the road.
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Packers' last five games vs divisional opponents.
  • The Lions are 7-21 SU in their last 28 games at night.
  • The Lions are 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven games after a bye.
  • The Packers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games vs divisional opponents.
  • The Packers are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games at night.
  • The Lions are 3-25 SU in their last 28 games on the road vs the Packers.