As usual, I am going to take a dive into that week’s slate of games and try to dig up some trends. Hopefully, they give us an edge when making game selections each week.
Of course, trends are trends…until they’re not. Sometimes betting on the other end pf a trend ending can be advantageous. The goal here isn’t to plant a flag based on a trend, rather to simply shine a spotlight on these trends that exist and talk through some of them as food for thought.
Paying the Bills
There’s been no better team to bet on so far this season than the Buffalo Bills, who have an 8-3-1 record against the spread through 13 weeks. Of their three failed covers, all came as favorites as they also a league-best 4-0-1 this season against the spread as an underdog. As large home dogs, the Bills have been one of the better bets to make recently, going 4-0 against the spread in home games in which they are getting more than a field goal.
Buffalo will run into a tall order this weekend. Baltimore has won eight consecutive games, their second-longest winning streak in franchise history behind a 12-game winning streak over the 2000-2001 seasons. Not just winning games, but the Ravens have covered in five of their past six games and have covered in four of six road games this season.
There are a host of divisional games this weekend, with a few of these rivalries having intriguing trends surrounding them.
The first is Detroit visiting Minnesota. The Vikings have won and covered four consecutive games versus the Lions, winning all four games by more than seven points and the past three meetings by 12 or more points. 12 points won’t quite be enough this week as the Vikings are the biggest favorite in play this weekend, currently giving 13 points. Shedding that many points with the Vikings has been a risky proposition of late as they’ve gone 0-4-1 against the spread as double-digit favorites, including twice this season to Denver and Washington.
The Falcons have been one of the best teams to bet against this season (4-8 ATS), but one time they have been a sound bet has been when facing the Panthers. Under Dan Quinn, the Falcons are 7-2 straight up and against the spread against Carolina, including five consecutive wins and covers. That includes a 29-3 outright win in Carolina in Week 11 when the Falcons were underdogs.
This week, Atlanta will put that streak up against their home losing streak. Atlanta has lost five straight games (1-4 ATS) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the longest home losing streak in the league and their longest such streak as a franchise in a season since 2007.
After losing seven straight games to the Bengals over the 2014-2017 seasons, the Browns came back and won both games against Cincinnati a year ago, splitting against the spread. The Bengals have been the worst team in the NFL this season, but have been a surprisingly good bet when on the road. The Bengals are 4-2 against the line this season on the road and 10-3 versus the number on the road since the start of last season, which trails only the Saints (11-3 ATS) over that span.
Colts Running Over the NFC
Last week we highlighted the Bucs on the positive end of an ongoing trend in non-conference games, but this week they find themselves on the short side hosting the Colts. Since 2015, the Colts are a league-best 12-5 (70.6%) against the spread against NFC opponents and 4-1 against the spread in those games under Frank Reich.
On the other side, the Buccaneers are a league-worst 0-4 against the spread at home this season and are 1-3 against the spread as a favorite this season.
Showdown in New England
There are some great games this weekend, but the one that will get the most media buzz is the afternoon affair between the Chiefs and Patriots. The Patriots enter this game having won 21 straight home games, the longest streak in the league. The next closest home winning streak is held by Minnesota at five games.
After a dominant start, the Patriots have started to show some vulnerability, dropping two of their past four games with their wins coming by seven and four points and covering the spread in just one of those weeks. Andy Reid has had some success against the Patriots against the Patriots in his career. Well, at least in terms of betting. As a coach, Reid-led teams are just 2-7 straight up against the Patriots, but they are 6-4 against the spread. With the Chiefs, they have gone 3-0 against the spread in each of their three regular-season matchups against New England, while going 0-2 straight up and against the spread in the postseason.