Odds & Trends: Week 4

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. 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.

Preparing for London

I’m all about quirky NFL data points and this one of the oddest you can find. Since the NFL began playing games in London, teams that are playing in those games are just 19-28-1 (39.6%) against the spread in their games prior to heading overseas. In this exact spot last season, teams heading to London the following week were 2-4 ATS.

Just as we laid out last week when discussing why betting on 0-2 teams to start the season is undervalued (they went 5-3 ATS), with any of these wonky trends, we’re still trying to unearth a bit of meaningful causation as to why they may exist. 

It was much easier to identify causality in that ongoing 0-2 trend than it is here. Are these teams caught up in preparation of planning ahead for all the extra noise that comes with going overseas? Added family tickets and family travel prep? Any of these elements are hard to quantify. 

That all said, a 60% hit rate exists going against teams in these scenarios. If that’s enough to get you to look at going against the Bears or Raiders this week, those teams are headed to London in Week 5. 

Russell Wilson has Been a Strong Bet off a Loss

The Seahawks have been a winning team since drafting Russell Wilson, so it’s not surprising they don’t often lay consecutive eggs. But in comparison to the field, no quarterback has been a better bet coming off a loss. 

Since selecting Wilson in 2012, the Seahawks are 23-10-2 (69.7%) against the spread coming off a loss. That mark is second to only the Vikings (33-14-1) over that span (who have started 10 different quarterbacks during that run). In division games on the road, that mark for Wilson and Seattle is 4-2-1. 

The Falcons Have Struggled Out of Conference

Hosting the Titans this week, Atlanta will have a chance to end an ongoing trend of failing to cover versus AFC opponents, something they once again failed to do last week. 

With a 27-24 loss last week in Indianapolis, the Falcons are now 1-10 over their past 11 regular-season games against an AFC opponent, with five straight losses. Over those 11 games, Atlanta has covered zero times, going 0-11 against the spread. 

Running across from Atlanta this week, Tennessee has won four straight games against the NFC and are a league-best 6-2 against the spread in non-conference games over the past two seasons. 

Trending Towards the Browns in Week 4?

Heading to Baltimore in Week 4, the Browns run into a few trends that may highlight them being a good value that has been bet up to seven points already during the week. 

To start, Baltimore has a few negative trends working against them entering this Sunday. The Ravens are just 3-11 against the spread over their past 14 games as favorites. They’ve opened up 1-1 this season as favorites against the number, but the win came against the Dolphins, so apply whatever grains of salt you need to there. As home favorites, they’ve been even worse, going just 1-6 ATS over that span.

In divisional games, Baltimore has run just as poorly. The Ravens are a league-worst 1-5 ATS the spread in the division since the start of last season with four consecutive failed covers. Under Lamar Jackson, they’ve failed to cover both times in division as favorites laying 6.5 points and 7 points, the latter of which was to the Browns a year ago. 

The Browns are also a team that has trended in the right direction on the road, going 6-3 ATS on the road since the start of last season, including covering in three in a row and four of their past five.