Monday Night football


Now into its second half-century of continuous broadcasting, Monday Night Football is not only the longest-running primetime tv show by a long stretch, it also makes for the most heavily-bet games during the NFL regular season.

Naturally, that 50 years’ worth of history makes for a rich mythology – and taken-for-granted assumptions that can really eat into the NFL bettor’s bankroll. Does the extra day of preparation favor the home team or does it level the playing field? Do underdogs play better than they normally would? And how about that East-to-West late-night factor; how much, if it all, can that factor into results.

Proper NFL bettors don’t fall prey to assumptions. One would do better to remember a few statistics revealing the realities of betting Monday Night Football. The numbers from 2005 to mid-2020 tell us that:

•  Homefield advantage dissolves further. Home teams are 146-120 SU and just 126-132-8 ATS on Monday Night Football.

•  Good betting opportunities are available in high pointspreads. In games with point spreads of 9 or more, underdogs are predictably a poor 6-38 SU, but an impressive 27-16-1 ATS.

•  The East-to-West disadvantage is also reduced. The seven Western or Mountain Time Zone-based teams (Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams, Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders, San Diego/”Los Angeles” Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks) are 50-57 SU/54-41-8 overall on Monday night; at home, these teams are 36-26 SU and 30-26-6 ATS.

•  Defenses have time to prepare, too. Since 2005, the over on MNF is 125-139-4. And if you believe scoring is trending upward across the board, consider that, between 2014 and mid-2020, the over is 51-63.

Got that all in mind? Great – now prep up further with the current results table and Monday Night Football schedule for the 2020 NFL season below.

Wk

MNF Game Match-Up

Pointspread, over/under

SU winner, result

ATS, O/U winner

1

Pittsburgh at N.Y. Giants

Steelers -6, 44

Steelers, 26-16

Favorite, U

1

Tennessee at Denver

Titans -3, 41½

Titans, 16-14

Underdog, U

2

New Orleans at Vegas

Saints -4, 47½

Saints, 34-24

Underdog, O

3

Kansas City at Baltimore

Chiefs +3½, 55

Chiefs, 34-20

Underdog, U

4

Atlanta at Green Bay

Falcons +5, 56½

Packers, 30-16

Favorite, U

5

Chargers at New Orleans

Chargers +7, 49

Saints, 30-27

Underdog, O

6

Arizona at Dallas

Cardinals +1, 56

Cardinals, 38-10

Underdog, U

7

Chicago at L.A. Rams

Bears +6½, 44

Rams, 24-10

Favorite, U

8

Tampa Bay at N.Y. Giants

Buccaneers -11, 46

Buccaneers, 25-23

Underdog, O

9

New England at N.Y. Jets

Patriots -9, 42

Patriots, 30-27

Underdog, O

10

Minnesota at Chicago

Vikings -3½, 44½

Vikings, 19-13

Favorite, U

11

L.A. Rams at Tampa Bay

Buccaneers -4, 47½

Rams, 27-24

Underdog, O

11

Seattle at Philadelphia

Seahawks -6½, 50

Seahawks, 23-17

Underdog, U

13

Buffalo at San Francisco

Bills +1½, 48

Bills, 34-24

Underdog, O

14

Baltimore at Cleveland

-

-

-

15

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

-

-

-

16

Buffalo at New England

-

-

-

 


For Steelers-Bengals on MNF, consider the masochistic pleasures of betting the under

Monday, 21 December 2020 14:55 EST

NFL apologizes for the hubris of taking Kansas City -3½ as a “sure bet” on this website, though perhaps the Chiefs should be apologizing for their highly anomalous recent behavior: The SU win/ATS loss at New Orleans extends Kansas City’s current run to 6-0 SU/0-6 ATS and have missed covering by 1½ points or less in three of the past four weeks.

But NFLbets seeks to make amends, making it up with not only a solid prediction on the Monday Night Football game,

Pittsburgh Steelers -14½ at Cincinnati Bengals, over/under 40½ points

, but also by introducing you to the awesomeness of betting the under. The joy gleaned from this particular sort of masochistic betting – and isn’t all betting somewhat masochistic…? – is all about schadenfreude and contrarianism.

Taking the under forces the bettor into bizarro world: For those betting the under, holding penalties and offensive pass interference calls are far superior to 80-yard touchdown runs, any coach going for the touchdown on 4th-and-goal from the 1 is categorically insane, and the best players in the game are the punters. A 3-and-out is the best possible outcome for any single drive, particularly if at least two of the calls are running plays and all three stay inbounds.

Most self-flagellatingly of all, however, is the overwhelming dread of garbage time. While pointspread bets are readied for the cashing (or trashing) and fantasy football players cheer on more meaningless points, the under bettor is praying the slacking-off prevent defense manages to keep the slinging second-string QB with nothing to lose out of the end zone.

At least with a last-minute comeback – such as the Cardinals pulled off against Buffalo with the Hail Murray play or like the Rams failed to do against the Jets on Sunday – the losing under bettor has lots of miserable fans, pointspread bettors and fantasy owners with which to commiserate…

But back in happy Bizarro world, when else would a football enthusiast of any sort derive satisfaction from a score of 20-3 with seven minutes left, as in last night’s Cleveland Browns-New York Giants grinder. This feeling is absolutely addictive; as NFLbets watched the Browns and Giants alternately fritter away drives and clock, we were already calculating how low the line on MNF would have to go before we wouldn’t bang the under all over again.

And what a game this is for the under bettor Of all the low-scoring, possibly tanking offenses out there, none is an impotent as the Burrow-less Bengals’. In the past five games, they’re averaging 10 points a game but have only topped that number once; predictably enough, the under is 4-0-1 for Cincinnati’s “run.” Whereas normally, NFLbets would be looking for regression to the mean, but not with this offense.

In normal circumstances, too, NFLbets would consider covering the obviously more talented Pittsburgh side minus a lot of points – but it’s not as though the Steelers have been either blowing out the competition or running up scores: They’re on 0-3 and 2-4 jags ATS and unders are 5-0-1. With a 14½-point spread and a 40½-point over/under mark, sportsbooks are figuring on a final score of 27-13 or 28-13. Seems reasonable enough but since week 8, getting 27 points out of Roethlisberger & Co. is far from automatic as in the season’s first half; the Steelers are averaging just 23.0 points per game in the last six, a full TD down from the 30.0 ppg in the first seven.

Again, then, whereas regression to the mean might otherwise be meaningful, the bigger picture shows the Steelers’ recent losses are the regression: Pittsburgh started 2020 on runs of 6-1 and 8-2 ATS while Steelers games’ overs got off to a 4-2-1 start during the aforementioned weeks of high-scoring offense that by now must seem like long ago to Steelers backers right about now…

Besides – and this point cannot be emphasized enough – can the Bengals really put together 13 points right now? We don’t think so. Take the under on an O/U of 40½ points, sit back and enjoy the lack of fireworks!

–written by Os Davis


For Monday Night Football, most stats favor the Bills – so we’re taking the 49ers

Monday, 07 December 2020 15:04 EST

There are reasons why the pointspread on

Buffalo Bills +1½ at San Francisco 49ers, over/under 47½

…is so low and fluctuating wildly. With about seven hours to game time, spreads from Buffalo +1½ to San Francisco +1 may be found. (For sake of this piece, NFLbets is playing this like a “pick ’em” at odds of 10/11.)

But on the face of it, such a line makes little sense, unless we’re merely figuring upon the East-to-West advantage. Since 2005, West/Mountain Time Zone-based teams are  36-26 SU and 30-26-6 ATS on Monday Night Football – and, because we’re considering this line a “pick ’em”, the former may be more important.

Beyond this, though, the statistical comparison looks in favor of the visitors. The Bills are a solid 8-3 SU/6-5 SU and are riding a 4-1 SU streak into San Francisco Phoenix. The Buffalo offense is unquestionably solid, a top-10 unit in scoring, yardage, first downs, time of possession and most passing stat categories. The defense is fair enough, though below-average against the running game.

Meanwhile, in their NFC championship defense, the 49ers have been mediocre whether Jimmy Garoppolo or Nick Mullens is in at quarterback; their squeaker over the no-comeback Rams in week 12 snapped a three-game SU/ATS losing streak against prospective playoff teams, and the Niners are now essentially playing must-wins throughout the season’s remainder, with four games left against NFC West and NFC East teams.

But here’s the thing: The 49ers have been decked by injuries throughout the season and this week’s IL may be the shortest of 2020 for this team thus far. From the offense, OT Tom Compton is the only major notable, though TE Jordan Reed may be a gametime decision. The defense, too, is near full strength and regardless has been at least as impressive as Buffalo’s plus includes better run-stuffers.

So when NFLbets advises bettors to take the San Francisco 49ers money line (ML) vs Buffalo, we’re betting on the Bills’ statistical regression and the 49ers’ general desperation but the truth is that San Francisco has more talent than the 5-6 SU mark indicates – nor are we sure that Buffalo is truly a .720 team.

Beyond this, we’re also thinking you should take the over on an O/U of 47½ points. Yes, NFLbets is going to be taking hard looks at unders for the rest of 2020, but going into the Washington-Pittsburgh early Monday(!!!) game, the under is 8-4 in week 13 – plus we’ve already covering under in Football Team-Steelers are thinking under for Cowboys-Ravens as well…

–written by Os Davis


Resisting betting Rams at Buccaneers on Monday Night Football is futile

Monday, 23 November 2020 17:37 EST

NFLbets swears we’re not chasing losses; we just dig on betting Monday Night Football. Yes, we took a beatdown on Sunday, but past is past as they say, and who can resist on betting a dandy like…

Los Angeles Rams +4½ at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, over/under 48½ points

Even more than in the Rams’ run to the Super Bowl two seasons ago, this team depends on a tightly-run game plan designed to get the offense to generate any early lead and the defense to hold said lead. And whoa, are the results as stark as the description: When the 2020 L.A. Rams have the lead after the first quarter, they’re 3-0 SU/2-1 ATS; when leading after the first half, 4-0 SU/3-1 ATS; and when behind at the half, the Rams are a sad 1-3 SU/ATS – and the sole win came in week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys.

More damning for the Rams is their weak 1-2 SU/ATS against prospective playoff teams (though technically their mark is 2-2 SU because the Rams have already run the table against the four NFC East teams).

From the Rams’ perspective, the smart bet might simply be to wait until the end of the first quarter, go live betting and wager accordingly. But the NFLbets editor wants more than this, so we’ll have to consider how Tampa Bay stacks up here. And whoa, have these Buccaneers proven difficult to gauge this season. Not including the ridiculous 38-3 pummeling by the New Orleans Saints, the Bucs win Q1 by just about ½-point per game and the first half by just under 4.

The real key to this game might be blowing past the reputations of both teams, however.

For example: Even the most ardent drinkers of Tom Brady’s dietician-approved Kool-Aid will admit that his efficiency decreases when he’s pressured by defenses. And we all know that the Rams defense is pretty freakin’ awesome: This D is statistically top-3 in points allowed, yards allowed, passing yards allowed and first downs allowed, and ranks top-10 in most DVOA categories.

But while everyone else was watching Brady and/or Aaron Donald, guess whose defense ranks no. 1 in passing DVOA? That’s right: Tampa Bay’s, and they’ve also amassed 32 QB sacks, exactly one more than have the Rams. Additionally, would you believe the single worst quarterback in the NFL when pressured is Jared Goff? (Those who’ve seen him play enough this season would believe so…)

So again, NFLbets is splitting the difference on this one. We’re saying take the Los Angeles Rams +5 and take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ML at -230. Plus, with defenses like these – NFLbets doesn’t care how unpredictable the 2020 Effect makes everything – we’re thinking take the under on an O/U of 48½

–written by Os Davis


Week 10 ATS results: Dolphins cruising, Vikings late to the party

Tuesday, 17 November 2020 22:21 EST

Some good cashes, one very bad beat (thanks very much for making the clever choice at the exact costliest time, Cliff Kingsbury) and not nearly as many upsets as NFLbets might’ve liked – that fairly well sums up week 10 in the NFL from our perspective. But let’s add a little color to this column, which we like to call the “ATS results.”

The following are the results for the week 10 games of the 2020 NFL season, adjusted for the point spread. Game results listed in italics are those for which the SU and ATS result differed.

Indianapolis Colts 33 at Tennessee Titans 17. NFLbets took the Thursday night game as a sign that week 10 would prove fruitful. The weekend didn’t actually turn out so – except for the sportsbooks, I suppose.

Jacksonville Jaguars 20 at Green Bay Packers 10½. So the 1-8 SU/4-5 ATS Jaguars covered against the NFC Championship-contending Packers? That’s the way of NFL betting in 2020: Thus far the underdog and the under are both 4-1 in games of 13½-point spreads or higher.

New Orleans Saints 17½, San Francisco 49ers 13. Now the excitement begins: With Drew Brees out due to reported multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung(!), will Jameis Winston get the start for the Saints next week? And was Drew Brees’s last NFL game this inconsequential regular-season game…?

Pittsburgh Steelers 29½, Cincinnati Bengals 10. Welp, so much for that upset special…

Houston Texans 7 at Cleveland Browns 2½. In the last two Browns games in Cleveland, a total of 39 points have been scored in inclement weather; probably best to start checking the weather reports before Browns games. Also of note: The Browns have scored 10 or fewer points four times this season; in the other five games, they’ve run up 32 or more. 

Las Vegas Raiders 33½, Denver Broncos 12. One of NFLbets’ biggest questions for 2020 NFL sports fans: Where’s all the love for Checky’s high-scoring offense powered with a quarterback everyone had lost faith in?

Los Angeles Rams 20, Seattle Seahawks 13. Here’s to thinking that, yeah, the 2020 Seattle Seahwaks peaked too soon – and have gone too deep into the season to have to learn to play defense…

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 37 at Carolina Panthers 23. In week 9, the Buccaneers get smoked 38-3 by the Saints; in week 10, they’re putting up 46 on the Panthers after fumbling away their first drive. The continued message to NFL bettors: These NFC South games are nothing but trouble

New England Patriots 23, Baltimore Ravens 10. Most of the top-level talent and the only all-stars on the Patriots defense are in the secondary, so why did Lamar Jackson run just 11 times on a slopy field? Is this the final proof that Baltimore won’t contend for the Super Bowl this year? Should I throw away my prop bet on them yet…?

Miami Dolphins 27½, "Los Angeles" Chargers 21. It says here that the Dolphins, currently on a 5-2 SU/6-1 ATS run, get to pay the Broncos without their first-string second-string quarterback Drew Lock? We keep waiting for a SU/ATS loss, but vs Kansas City Chiefs is still four weeks away; between then, it’s at the New York Jets and vs Cincinnati Bengals.

Buffalo Bills 30 at Arizona Cardinals 29. The gut-punch of the week for anyone who had Cardinals -2½, Cardinals -3 or the Cards ML – but the truth is after that fourth quarter, any respectable sportsbook should have refused to cash any ticket. Before Buffalo scored their literal last-minute TD, they’d run up four defensive penalties on a single drive, chased by a fifth penalty on the kickoff directly thereafter. Arizona meanwhile followed a 17-point barrage in the late third by refusing to run down clock and letting Kyler Murray attempt magic. Not exactly inspiring stuff for either team come playoff time…

New York Giants 27, Philadelphia Eagles 12
Detroit Lions 27½, Washington FT 27
Dallas Cowboys 1, bye 0
. Last week, NFLbets covered the Eagles with the reverse logic that a division leader at 3-5-1 is completely preposterous. Well, that’s the case after the Giants manhandled Philly on Sunday while the Football Team couldn’t muster up enough comeback against the Lions. It’s still possible that 5-11 could win the NFC East, one wacky outcome that can’t be blamed on 2020.

Minnesota Vikings 15½ at Chicago Bears 13. You know how every time it happens, the NFL is excoriated by some fans for allowing sub-.500 teams into the playoffs? Vikings fans are going to be doing that complaining this offseason – and the vitriol will be aimed at the NFC East “champion.”

–written by Os Davis


Super Contest pick-5: Lots to choose from in week 10

Saturday, 14 November 2020 16:44 EST

Last week in the My Bookie Pick-5 Super Contest, NFLbets was … well, never mind how NFLbets did. We’ve got to trust the process … um, the mathematics, and try not to get bogged down by unwarranted superstition, i.e. never trust the Tennessee Titans and “Los Angeles” Chargers. We’ve got to forget how many times we’ve overestimated the Seattle Seahwaks, we’ve just got to take these one game at a time, etc8.

We’re playing multiple cards in the ’Contest; we’re trying the sawed-off shotgun approach this week. We already covered Indianapolis Colts +1 at Tennessee, and the following are our favorite picks otherwise…

Philadelphia Eagles -3 at New York Giants. This one NFLbets is playing based on sheer absurdity. If the Eagles lose this game, they’ll be 3-5-1 – and still 1 game up on the Giants! Beyond this, apparently NFL bettors are getting geeked on the G-men, who are playing well above expectations and are currently on a 5-1 ATS run.  

Arizona Cardinals -2½ vs Buffalo Bills. Here’s another case of bettors distorting a line. Sure, the Bills’ 44-34 win over the Seahwaks was impressive, but this week their role is reversed: The Bills travel west as marginal underdogs rather than vice versa. O, and Arizona actually plays with a defense.

Miami Dolphins -1½ vs “Los Angeles” Chargers. In back-to-back showdowns of young stud QBs for Tua Tagovailoa, we’re backing the upwardly trending side in what is essentially a “pick ’em.”

Carolina Panthers +6 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The way NFLbets sees it, the assimilation of Antonio Brown alone will take a couple of weeks to get past – or maybe the first real contender the Bucs played heretofore simply badly exposed an offense that can’t handle a pass rush. Would you believe Tampa Bay went 1 for 12 on 3rd and 4th down?

Minnesota Vikings -3 at Chicago Bears. Sure, the Vikings are on a 5-1 streak ATS, but who hasn’t been waiting for the offense-less Bears to regress to the mean already?

Las Vegas Raiders -4 vs Denver Broncos. Working theory on Denver’s ostensible homefield advantage: It only exists when the team is actually competitive, which, come to think of it, is how homefield advantage usually works. In 2020, the Broncos are 1-3 SU/2-2 ATS in Denver and NFLbets is thinking that the only airing out by a QB this week will be from the visitor’s side.

–written by Os Davis


NFL Week 8 ATS results: Underdogs (except the New York Jets) rule

Thursday, 05 November 2020 17:33 EST

In the shortest possible terms, week 8 was all about the underdog. Underdogs went a solid 8-6 ATS and a nice (if you bet ’em) 11-3 ATS. Two favorites covering ATS came in divisional games (San Francisco 49ers-Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles); as for the third, well…

NFLbets isn’t exactly sure what connection may be made to the greater picture of football in 2020, but this year no team is underdoggier than the Jets, who proved so against the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs. In week 8, the 2020 New York Jets became just the 3rd team since 2000 to lose ATS while getting 20 or more points: The exclusive club also includes the 2013 Jacksonville Jaguars (who ultimately went 4-12 SU) and last season’s Miami Dolphins (who somehow got to 5-11).

So, maybe this week take some favorites – including the wonky New England Patriots, getting just 7 at those Jets? Maybe…?

The following are the results for the week 6 games of the 2020 NFL season, adjusted for the point spread. Game results listed in italics are those in which the SU winner could not cover the spread.

Atlanta Falcons 25 at Carolina Panthers 15½. What did NFLbets tell you about betting these NFC South intradivisional games? The outcome never makes any freaking sense! None of the teams has a winning record ATS! The NFC South is a combined 8-13 ATS against everybody else! Wait … sorry, what? NFLbets covered the Panthers -3½ in this game? Oh. Um … sorry?

Minnesota Vikings 28 at Green Bay Packers 16½
Indianapolis Colts 37½ at Detroit Lions 21
Chicago Bears 23, New Orleans Saints 20½
. If there is a division in football which inspires more apathy in 2020 than the NFC North, NFLbets can’t think of it…

Philadelphia Eagles 12½, Dallas Cowboys 9. That was “apathy”, not “rage.” The NFC East inspires rage, mostly at incompetence and short-sightedness.

Las Vegas Raiders 16 at Cleveland Browns 5. Technically, this result went down as an upset, but NFLbets is pretty certain that at season’s end we’ll look back on this and think differently. For week 9, it’s a reminder that a) weather can be a factor starting right about now; b) home field advantage is increasingly a non-factor in the 2020 NFL; and c) the Browns are, to a nearly 100% extent, still the Browns.

Miami Dolphins 28, Los Angeles Rams 13½. On the other hand, the actual travel – especially repeated travel West-to-East-to-West thanks to the peculiarities of the 2020 schedule. From 2017 through ‘’19, the McVay and Goff Rams went 6-1 SU/ATS in Eastern Time Zone-based gams. In *four* games already played there in 2020, they’re just 2-2 SU/ATS. Luckily for the Rams, the trip to Tampa in week 11 is their last such cross-country venture.

Pittsburgh Steelers 28 at Baltimore Ravens 20. NFLbets is secretly hoping that the Pittsburgh Steelers go 16-0 SU to see the inevitable articles about “The worst undefeated NFL team of all-time” and “Are the 2020 Steelers better than the 2007 Patriots?”

New England Patriots 21 at Buffalo Bills 20. Speaking of the Patriots, they’ve got a real chance to start mailing in this season if the Jets game is even close. And if Cam Newton can’t get it done as starter, we may not see him again until, likesay, week 15…

Seattle Seahawks 36, San Francisco 49ers 27. Now firmly established: Wilson-to-Metcalf is the best QB-WR combo in the league and the awakened defense makes the Seahawks the NFC’s most complete team. In a regular year, NFLbets might wonder if Seattle isn’t peaking too soon but with the new one-bye wrinkle in the playoffs, a winning streak early means a week off when it’s needed.

Cincinnati Bengals 31, Tennessee Titans 12½. Cincinnati is one team we’re glad is taking a bye in week 9: At 2-5-1 SU but 6-2 ATS, the Bengals could be a pretty tough play ATS for the remainder of 2020. NFLbets needs some time to recalibrate expectations on Burrow & Co…

Denver Broncos 31, “Los Angeles” Chargers 27. The proper gambler tries hard to eliminate thinking about team histories or superstitious beliefs, but the Chargers are getting increasingly difficult to bet and not expect another ridiculous ending.

Kansas City Chiefs 15, New York Jets 9
New York Giants 23, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14
. Hey, the Giants won ATS and the Jets won ATS (if you had them in a tease)! Things are looking up for the New York football teams! Well, maybe not so much the Jets…

--written by Os Davis


Super Contest, week 7: To play or not to play the math…?

Friday, 23 October 2020 20:34 EST

After a washout in week 6, NFLbets got this one started right by taking the New York Giants +4½ against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night football. We were feeling good until giving this week’s My Bookie Super Challenge pick-5 contest card.

In several cases, games pitted like trend against like trend. A few like Detroit Lions +2½ at Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers +2 at New England Patriots scream “stay away!” while stuff like Cleveland Browns -3 at Cincinnati Bengals feels like a sucker bet whichever way you play.

But in the end, we gotta fill out a card, right? So this is what we came up with…

Buffalo Bills -11 at New York Jets. Mark this down in pen right now: You must bet against the Jets minus whatever points as long as Adam Gase remains head coach. And after he’s fired, stay away from Jets games for a week or two, and then get back to going against them. After the six weeks, the 2020 New York Jets perfectly resemble a 1-15 team.

Green Bay Packers -4½ at Houston Texans. This is a risky pick not because the Packers’ tenuous offense was exposed against Tampa Bay, the first above-average D they’d played thus far. – the Texans D is bottom-5 in points allowed, turnovers forced, most rushing categories, etc. – but because of the numbers. Green Bay’s record thus far is 4-1 SU/ATS; the Texans are 1-5 SU/ATS. This is why it’s called the Super Challenge, NFLbets supposes.

Arizona Cardinals +3½ vs  Seattle Seahawks. At 5-0 SU, the Seahawks aren’t necessarily *due* for a loss, but the numbers are stacking up against them and the Cardinals’ offense is not the sort Seattle wants to face right now. The Seattle D has a reputation for poor play, but the actual results have been intriguing. Yes, they’re no. 1 in allowing yardage, as the average opponent is managing to outduel Russell “I Run Up 400 Yards In My Sleep These Days” Wilson. The Seahawks rank 15th in points allowed, however, and are currently no. 1 in turnovers. The Cardinals offense has committed just 11 turnovers all season and are no. 5 in yardage per game. Arizona could very well win this one outright.

Kansas City Chiefs -9 at Denver Broncos. Guess who suddenly has the best rushing game in the NFL? Yep, the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs. This is a high point spread for sure, but Denver has not yet seen runners like this yet.

Los Angeles Rams -6 vs Chicago Bears. It’s tough to back a team minus-6 with an offense that seems to have trouble scoring 6 points, but the truth is the Rams have ranked top 5 in Football Outsiders’ offensive DVOA metric all season. NFLbets is banking on the mathematics over Nick Foles’s magic – at 5-1, the Bears have already exceeded their Pythagorean Expectation (PE) wins by 1.8. Plus, Aaron Donald.

–written by Os Davis



NFL Week 5 ATS results: Head coaches come, head coaches go…

Thursday, 15 October 2020 16:18 EST

Not even coronavirus could slow the interesting results of week 5: Both of last year’s Super Bowl participants got 40-burgers run up on ’em, Tom Brady forgot how many downs NFL football plays with, Romeo Crennel coached a team to a win for the first time since 2013 and the Titans reemerged to swamp the 2020 media darlings and get to 4-0.

The following are the results for the week 4 games of the 2020 NFL season, adjusted for the point spread. Game results listed in italics are those for which the SU and ATS result differed.

Chicago Bears 20 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 15½. Perhaps most shocking of all shocks about the ostensibly shocking Chicago Bears is that NFLbets has yet to hear any talking head on tv or podcast proclaim that the Bears are The Worst 4-1 Team of All-Time. The more rational explanation is that maybe the Lions, Giants, Falcons and, yes, Buccaneers just aren’t that good; neither is Indianapolis, to whom the Bears lost SU/ATS in week 4. Chicago gets Carolina this week, so we’ll tell you in advance that we’re letting it ride on the Panthers.

Carolina Panthers 23 at Atlanta Falcons 13½. Speaking of the Falcons, the Game That Got Dan Quinn And Thomas Dimitroff Fired will one from the 2020 schedule that will be looked upon with much WTF.

Arizona Cardinals 23 at New York Jets 10. Repeat after NFLbets: Do note overestimate the Cardinals … do not overestimate the Cardinals. Remember that the Jets’ sole purpose in the 2020 season appears to be to make the league’s 31 other teams look better. (Must remember, must remember…)

Las Vegas Raiders 40 at Kansas City Chiefs 21
Miami Dolphins 43 at San Francisco 49ers 8½
. This is just about the point in the season when we realize that a) repeating as Super Bowl champions is really difficult (the back-to-back hasn’t happened in 15 years) and b) the Super Bowl hangover really does cripple teams (of the past 18 Super Bowl-losing teams, just 8 made the playoffs the following season and the only such team that improved year-on-year in the regular season after losing the Super Bowl were Kurt Warner’s Cardinals.).

Houston Texans 23½, Jacksonville Jaguars 14. Get this: If the Texans cover the 3½ points at the Tennessee Titans this Sunday, their interim head coach Romeo Crennel (career record SU 29-55) would be lifted to a career record of 42-42-2 ATS? The man is living proof that bookmakers know their business.

Minnesota Vikings 26 at Seattle Seahawks 20½. Unless the Seahawks are peaking early, NFLbets is absolutely considering Seattle the team to beat in the NFC – though should the season play out on relatively the current note, a Seahwaks-Packers NFC conference championship would probably come down to the final drive…

Cleveland Browns 31, Indianapolis Colts 23. not sure when to start believing in the 2020 Cleveland Browns, but this is one bandwagon that NFLbets won’t mind joining late.

New York Giants 34 at Dallas Cowboys 29½
Pittsburgh Steelers 30½, Philadelphia Eagles 29
Los Angeles Rams 23 at Washington FT 10
. Could the luckiest team in football be the 1-3-1 SU/1-4 ATS Philadelphia Eagles? As the Eagles are being torn apart by injuries, age and the magically disappearing Carson Wentz, their 1-3-1 is good enough to keep them in playoff contention: The Giants’ OL is as bad as ever and Saquon Barkley is out; the Football Team likewise has no offense and will continue to lose despite a couple of badasses on the defense; and the Cowboys just lost the QB on the best statistical run in franchise history. All jokes and kidding aside, Philly’s 6-9-1 could be enough to take this infuriating NFC Least…

Los Angeles Chargers 27 at New Orleans Saints 23. Trade Michael Thomas!

Baltimore Ravens 14½, Cincinnati Bengals 3. NFLbets hasn’t broken down the numbers yet, but we believe there is a direct correlation between the number of points the Ravens beat a given team by and that team’s overall quality. And Cincinnati is just not very good.

Tennessee Titans 42, Buffalo Bills 13. So much for breaking up the outlier’s numbers: The Titans are now 4-0 SU/1-3 ATS and NFLbets is just blaming it all on the havoc wreaked by Covid…

–written by Os Davis.


NFL Week 4 ATS results: Big wins for Bengals, Bills, chaos and disorder

Wednesday, 07 October 2020 18:50 EST

In week 4, Covid-19 officially reared its virulent head in the 2020 NFL season after hanging over everything for the entirety thus far. At least coronavirus is making NFL betting a little simpler by removing homefield advantage even further out of the equation that in the 2010s: Home teams went 5-10 SU and 6-9 ATS last week, dragging homers down to 31-31-1 SU (no really) and 29-34 ATS on the season. Plus, for the first time in forever, the over didn’t dominate the over/under lines, going 7-7-1.

Compared to the rest of the weeks in this NFL season – such as it could well be – week 4 may be the last normalcy we see in ’20. Hope we can refund all those Super Bowl preseason props…

The following are the results for the week 4 games of the 2020 NFL season, adjusted for the point spread. Game results listed in italics are those for which the SU and ATS result differed.

Covid 19, Tennessee Titans 0. The 2020 NFL season was build on the unsteady foundation of NFL fans’ willing delusion and the desperation of players to squeeze out every playing minute of a short professional career. After news of a coronavirus outbreak among Titans players and staff last week, that shaky structure is positively tremulous.

As in Major League Baseball, the Titans’ Covid cases (and soon thereafter the Patriots’) forced the league to first postpone until later in the week, then in the season, the team’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In week 5, Bills-Titans, Raiders-Chiefs, Dolphins-49ers, Broncos-Patriots are in doubt. Should the rollover effect of contagion from one team to their opposition continue, all games will be cancelled by week 8.

So, NFLbets supposes, enjoy it while it lasts!

Denver Broncos 37 at New York Jets 27. You can tell the under is particularly beleaguered in 2020 when the Broncos trot out a third-string quarterback and the Jets steadfastly remain the Jets, yet the cellar-dwellers still put together 65 points.

Indianapolis Colts 15½ at Chicago Bears 11. Though, on the other hand, Colts-Bears was a classic destined-to-go-under game. And now that Nick Foles has at least temporarily ran out of magic dust, we might yet see many more unders from these two in 2020.

Philadelphia Eagles 25 at San Francisco 49ers 11½
Cleveland Browns 49 at Dallas Cowboys 34½
New York Giants 9 at Los Angeles Rams 3½
Washington FT 17, Baltimore Ravens 16½
. Just in case you’re craving the “old normal” (That would be the opposite of the “new normal”, right?), go ahead and follow the NFC East for the rest of the season. Right now, Philadelphia’s weakass tie to Cincinnati in week 3 has them at 1-2-1 SU and in first place in the division.

NFL bettors, on the other hand, may enjoy betting against the NFC East until the interdivisional games hit the schedule: The NFC East combined, despite the three ATS wins last week, is still a combined 5-11 ATS against the league’s other 28 teams, and the Cowboys are 0-4 ATS all by their lonesomes. The NFL can’t expand the playoffs enough for this division, it seems…

Cincinnati Bengals 32, Jacksonville Jaguars 25. Joe Burrow, who’s beginning to resemble a one-man show in Cincinnati, finally got his first NFL win with the Bengals – and the expression “a W’s a W” has never been truer.

Carolina Panthers 31, Arizona Cardinals 18. Teddy Bridgewater for MVP!

Seattle Seahawks 26½ at Miami Dolphins 23. Ever since the scintallating Seahawks-Patriots Super Bowl, NFLbets fears overrating the Seahawks. Nevertheless, we always end up betting them to our own detriment – this was particularly egregious in 2019, when Seattle went 7-10-1 ATS in all games, including a still-baffling 4-4 SU/2-6 ATS at home. For the nonce, however, there appears to be no overrating these Seahawks.

Minnesota Vikings 31 at Houston Texans 19½
Green Bay Packers 25, Atlanta Falcons 16
New Orleans Saints 32 at Detroit Lions 29
. Bill O’Brien became the first coaching casualty of the NFL season after another limp Texans loss. Meanwhile, fans of the Lions, Falcons and Jets are wondering, “What doesn’t O’Brien have that our coach does…?”

“Los Angeles” Chargers 31 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30½. Four games into the season and Tampa Bay Tom Brady finally put in a decent showing – especially if you’re willing to overlook the pick-six. The hype should be on the border of unbearable for this week’s game at Chicago, but the team’s first true test is in week 6 when they meet Green Bay.

Buffalo Bills 27 at Las Vegas Raiders 23. Look, all the bandwagoneering the Bills are experiencing is great and all, and NFLbets seeks not to disparage the good vibes. Though we just can’t stop thinking that the Bills are going to get the chance to become the first franchise to go 0-5 in Super Bowls. Especially if we bet on them…

Kansas City Chiefs 15½, New England Patriots 10. Goddamn it, where was the reporter asking Bill Belichick whether a field goal at the end of the first half would have changed the complexion of the game for the Patriots? Who wouldn’t have paid good money for that reaction?