Talk about your reboots: In considering the first half of the 2022 NFL season thus far, NFLbets is getting serious déjà vu back to 1998 triggered by this line on the Sunday night game, namely
As today, the NFC was dominated by two relatively unlikely/unheralded teams: the Atlanta Falcons (ultimately the conference champions) and Minnesota Vikings (who Vikingsed their way out of a Super Bowl appearance).
Chasing their 7-9 season of 1997, the Falcons in ’98 were led by Dan Reeves in his second season as Atlanta head coach. QB by Chris Chandler and known primarily on the defense for their ballhawking defense which led the league in interceptions, the Falcons went 14-2 SU that season. And despite a 5-1 run beginning in week 4 featuring five wins in which they scored 31 points or more, the Falcons ultimately were underdogs in six games – underrated by oddsmakers all season long, Atlanta ended up a very lucrative 11-4-1 ATS.
The 1998 Minnesota Vikings were chasing up a 9-7 season themselves, they could at least boast the presence of Randy Moss, the greatest wide receiver in the NFL that season. Starting the season red-hot on a 7-0 run, Minnesota hit a speed bump in Tampa Bay, then whipped off an 8-0 run to close the season 15-1 SU. Even more impressively for NFL bettors, the Vikings finished the regular season with a fantastic 6-0-1 ATS streak while outscoring the opposition by just under 18 points per game. For the year, the Vikings went – get this – 11-4-1 ATS.
While their path to identical ATS records and the NFC Championship game differed, the glaring commonality is that the sportsbooks simply continued undervaluing both teams’ point spreads right through to week 17.
Consider this season’s Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings. See the déjà vu? NFLbets is figuring the Cowboys-Vikings line is a product of this undervaluing, a bias toward the common conception of the teams which began as the 2021 season ended.
In the case of the Vikings, this bias is particularly egregious this week, as the Vikings have performed at a 4-4-1 clip ATS. Minnesota is playing at home against a third-place team which in the past two games may have discovered how to score but whose formerly historic-looking defense is suddenly giving up 30 points a game.
The thinking, NFLbets supposes, is that the Dallas pass rush will rattle Kirk Cousins enough to chuck up ducks for Trevon Diggs and his compadres. But even if we ignore the presence of superhuman Justin Jefferson, consider that the Bears were able to run for 245 years, and the Packers ran up 203 while their QBs took a combined six sacks. We’re thinking Dalvin Cook will be a good start in fantasy football this week…
While NFLbets can certainly imagine a Cowboys win here, NFLbets believes that if the NFL bettor just strips the nameplates and looks at the numbers, they’d have to play the plus-money money line (ML) on an 8-1 SU home team without injuries to key players. If that’s not enough, how about the Cowboys’ 6-3 ATS record? Take the Minnesota Vikings ML at -105 or better against Dallas.
– written by Os Davis