Year of the Dog Thru Week 2: Best Start Since 1997

This past week in the NFL, dogs went 9-7 ATS (56%).  That’s nothing shocking.  What is interesting, however, is they went 7-9 SU (44%), despite being average +4.6 point underdogs. The dogs who won outright (CLE, STL, SD, CHI, ARI, DAL and PHI) were an average +4.2 dog.  These dogs should win the game outright approximately 36% of the time.  All 7 won.  But upsets happen all of the time, and this, too, is nothing extremely alarming.

Overall, through 2 weeks, NFL underdogs are 20-12 (62.5%) ATS.  It’s the 4th best start in the last 25 years, behind only 1999, 1997 and 2002.

As for College football underdogs, they are 111-97-5 (53) ATS.  While that might not sound like much (especially compared to the NFL), we have not seen a better start to the season for underdogs in the last 14 years (since 2000).

As the public becomes more aware of this “Year of the Dog” phenomenon, however, interesting trends begin to develop.  Eager to jump on “barking” dogs in week 2, the public was drawn to the following week 2 underdogs:

  • Detroit Lions +1.5
  • Miami Dolphins +1
  • Atlanta Falcons +5.5
  • Jacksonville Jaguars +6
  • Dallas Cowboys +3.5

Those dogs received > 50% of spread bets per popular bet % tracking services.  The only dog to cover of that bunch were the Cowboys.

The most unpopular dogs were:

  • Minnesota Vikings +3.5
  • Cleveland Browns +5
  • St. Louis Rams +4
  • San Diego Chargers +5
  • Oakland Raiders +3
  • New York Jets +7.5
  • Kansas City Chiefs +13
  • Chicago Bears +7

Of these least popular dogs, the only two not to cover were the Vikings and Raiders.  They went 6-2 ATS.

In summary:

  • Not in the past 17 years have dogs covered the NFL and CFB like they have in 2014 (only better season in the last 25 yrs was 1997).
  • NFL Dogs are off to the 4th best start in the past 25 years.
  • CFB Dogs are off to the best start since 2000.
  • 14 NFL dogs have won outright – we have not seen more dogs win outright since 2002.
  • As the public becomes more versed in the “Year of the Dog”, be very cautious of public dogs, especially this season.