Picking winners in the NFL can be so hard it sometimes feels like it would be more productive just figuring out which side you like in each matchup and then bet the opposite way. The self-fade if you will.
If the method can get George Costanza’s life on track, maybe it can work for NFL bettors too.
A quick look at the NFL standings tells us there are not many – if any – elite teams in the league this season. Twenty-one of the 32 teams in the league are either sitting at .500 or are a game above or below the equator.
The preseason Super Bowl favorites, the New England Patriots, are all offense and no defense, the Pittsburgh Steelers are starting a quarterback who looks washed, and the Seattle Seahawks have an offensive line being held together with silly putty and duct tape.
We looked to see how teams coming off an SU loss did the following week and found they are 33-26 SU - on the moneyline - in their next game.
That’s about a 56 percent win rate for adopting a zig-zag theory – or simply blindly backing teams coming off a loss to win their next game. This is a strategy often used in the NBA and/or NHL playoffs because of the close competition and the thinking a team will bounce back in the next game because the two sides are evenly matched.
NFL teams are relatively evenly matched compared to say the NBA. It’s more likely the Browns could give the Patriots a close game than the Chicago Bulls could keep pace with the Golden State Warriors.
Blinding betting teams coming off a loss in the NFL will come at a discount as well. There is a built-in tax already on teams coming off a win because sportsbooks know bettors want to bet on those teams.
“Perception is the hallmark of good oddsmaking,” Pete Korner, former line consultant and found of the Sports Club in Las Vegas, told Covers. “We know the public has a short memory and as the season progresses, bettors fall into the ‘what have you done lately’ syndrome and that sometimes means, one game ago.”
While we've seen value in zig-zag moneyline bets, here are two teams that have been good ATS bets the week after they failed to cover.
Is there a team that plays with the emotions of bettors more than the one from J-town? One week, their defense is slicing up the Baltimore Ravens and the next week Blake Bortles reminds us that he is, in fact, Blake Bortles.
The Jags are 2-0 against the spread after failing to cover the previous week and 0-2 against the spread coming off an ATS win. Jacksonville is coming off a 30-9 drumming of the Steelers and is a 2.5-point home favorite against the Los Angeles Rams this weekend.
The Bears were supposed to be a bad team this season and their 1-4 record says as much. But Chicago has only been blown out in two of its five games and very easily could have beaten the Falcons outright in Week 1 had its receivers not come down with a severe case of the dropsies in the red zone.
Chicago is 0-2 ATS coming off an ATS win and 2-0 coming off an ATS loss this season. Assuming the pattern continues this week against the Ravens, Mitch Trubisky will have Bears fans throwing up their brewskies.