One month into the NFL season and the main storylines are underdogs (59.0%) and underdogs (59.3% coverage rate). These numbers are interesting, but if we dig a little deeper, we will find stronger trends that can put you one step ahead.
Projected total over 46 points 2022: Favorites (55.0%), Overs (30.0%)
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Projected scores of 46 or less for 2022: Favorites (35%), Overs (45.2%)
Of course, we are only dealing with monthly data, but these are quite significant discrepancies. In trying to understand the context of these numbers, I looked to the recent past to see if these trends have been sustained. Here’s what this study showed.
This will be the third time in four seasons that the favorites have outperformed the ATS when the points total is over 46 than when it is not.
In games with a total of more than 46 points:
2020: 53.8% more
2021: 44.7% more
2022: 30.0% more
If you’re picking a favorite to cover, you want a predicted total of over 46, and if you want to pick an over, the numbers suggest you’re better off targeting lower total games. Week 5 starting lines had seven games with projected total points north of 46. Let’s take a look at the team trends that prevail as we enter Week 5.
Indianapolis Colts – Denver Broncos (-3.5, 43.5)
Colts ATS: 1-3
What do we know about the Colts: They barely made it there last week, but they came. Now that’s nine consecutive underdogs in games featuring the Colts.
Broncos ATS: 1-3
What do we know about the Broncos: Six of the Broncos’ eight home games since Halloween have gone below the total, and four of those times it hasn’t been close (at least 18 points behind).
New York Giants – Green Bay Packers (-8, 41.5)
ATS Giants: 3-1
What do we know about the Giants: Another less last week for the G-men, giving them five in their last six games.
Packers ATS: 2-2
What we know about Packers: Green Bay failed to emerge as a 9.5 favorite last weekend, but that was the exception, not the rule. Until last week, Pack had covered five of their previous seven games when they had at least seven points. They will have a chance to return to action this weekend in London.
Atlanta Falcons – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8, 48)
Falcons ATS: 4-0
What do we know about the Falcons: The Falcons were one of four teams to see all three of their divisional road games top the total (Chiefs, Titans and Giants). These three games topped the total by an average of 13 points.
Buccaneers ATS: 2-1
What do we know about pirates: The Bucs are 4-1 ATS in their last five division games, and four of those games have come under the predicted total.
Chicago Bears – Minnesota Vikings (-7, 44)
Bears ATS: 1-2-1
What do we know about bears: The Bears have had a tough time since the start of 2019, but it became even more evident when they played in the division. They have only 5-14 ATS on this stretch, cashing out by a miserable 26.3% margin.
Vikings ATS: 1-3
What do we know about the Vikings: The Kirk Cousins era began with five losses in a row when the Vikes played divisional rivals at home, but things have changed since then. Five of the last seven have surpassed that number (including the last three in Minnesota against the Bears).
Detroit Lions – New England Patriots (-3, 46.5)
Lions ATS: 3-1
What do we know about Lions: Detroit’s games outperformed the predicted score by 84.5 points in four weeks. Only one team (Chargers) finished last season with a margin of even 70 points. Is a regression or a historical blowout coming?
Patriots ATS: 1-2-1
What do we know about the Patriots: Place, place, place. In seven consecutive home games in New England, tickets have been cashed in (6-2 in the Pats’ last eight road games).
Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (-7, 44.5)
Texans ATS: 2-1-1
What do we know about Texans: The Texans are 7-2 ATS in their last nine division games (3-1 on the road).
Jaguars ATS: 2-2
What do we know about Jaguars: The Jaguars have won twice in the last two calendar years. Both of these games exceeded the total. In both of those games, the Texans covered the number.
Miami Dolphins (-3, 44.5) to New York Jets
Dolphins ATS: 3-1
What do we know about dolphins: The Dolphins have a long work week as they look to avoid consecutive ATS losses for the first time in nearly a calendar year (losing four ATS in a row from weeks 4 to 7 last season).
Jets ATS: 2-2
What do we know about the Jets: The bad news: The Jets are 1-7 in their last eight games in the division. Good news: This cover appeared last December in Miami as a 10-point underdog (they only managed to lose by seven points).
Tennessee Titans (-2.5, 42.5) vs. Washington Commanders
Titans ATS: 2-2
What do we know about the Titans: In four of the last five times the Titans were favored, fewer tickets were received.
ATS commanders: 1-3
What do we know about commanders: The Commanders have put up a respectable 4-3 ATS in their last seven home games, but it hasn’t been exciting at all…six fewer this stretch, four by more than eight points.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Buffalo Bills (-14, 47)
Steelers ATS: 1-2-1
What do we know about the Steelers: Pittsburgh extended their losing streak to the ATS, which topped total points, to five last week against the Jets.
ATS accounts: 2-1-1
What do we know about bills? No one circles the vans like the Bills, and few teams cover numbers as big as New York’s top team: 8-2-2 ATS in the last 12 with at least a touchdown favoring them.
Los Angeles Chargers (-3, 48) to Cleveland Browns
PBX chargers: 3-1
What do we know about chargers: Overticket tickets have been cashed out in eight of the last 10 games.
Browns ATS: 2-2
What do we know about the Browns: Think Browns cover? If so, the game will most likely be paired with under, as undersized tickets have made money in four of Cleveland’s last five home covers (those five games averaged 35.6 total points).
Seattle Seahawks – New Orleans Saints (-5.5, 45.5)
Seahawks ATS: 2-2
What we know about the Seahawks: The Seahawks have scored seven of their last 10 games when they were underdogs by more than a field goal.
Holy ATS: 1-3
What do we know about the Saints: Five games in a row in New Orleans went into the red. Their only real home game this season came in Week 2, when they lost 20-10 to the Buccaneers with an expectation of 43.5 points.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers
49ers ATS: 2-2
What we know about the 49ers: Each of the last four times the 49ers have played a game on short rest, the game has been at least 5.5 points behind the predicted score.
Panthers ATS: 1-3
What do we know about the Panthers: That’s three outs in a row in Carolina games, the streak coming after 7-2 overs.
Dallas Cowboys – Los Angeles Rams.
Cowboys ATS: 3-1
What do we know about Cowboys: Dallas has been 16-5 ATS since the start of last season, two games better than any other team.
Rams ATS: 1-3
What do we know about the Rams: The Rams have played three games in a row in a short week, which is what they will be doing this week after the final game of Week 4.
Philadelphia Eagles (-5, 49.5) vs. Arizona Cardinals
Eagles ATS: 3-1
What do we know about Eagles: The Eagles are looking for a fourth straight coverage, something they didn’t do from weeks 4 to 12 of 2017.
ATS Cardinals: 2-2
What do we know about the cardinals: ATS 5-1 cards at home in October during the Kyler Murray era (four of those games were decided by three points or less).
Cincinnati Bengals – Baltimore Ravens (-3, 48)
Bengals ATS: 2-2
What do we know about Bengals: The Bengals were one of four teams that went 3-0 in division road games last season (Bills, Cardinals and Cowboys).
Ravens ATS: 2-1-1
What do we know about Ravens: The Ravens are just 1-3 ATS in their last four home division games. In these four games, their combined coverage margin is -41 points.
Las Vegas Raiders – Kansas City Chiefs (-7, 51)
ATS Raiders: 1-3
What do we know about raiders: Eight of the Raiders’ last nine primetime games have exceeded the total.
Heads of ATS: 1-2
What do we know about the Chiefs: Each of the last four meetings between these division rivals has been over the total, with three of those games over the total by at least nine points. Also in three of those games… a result that is at least 18.5 different from the spread. Buckle up!