By Broad Street Cappers
Well, it’s that time of year again. The leaves start changing, pumpkins are abundant and you evaluate your bankroll and handicapping through the first segment of the season. Performing a mid-season checkup on the health of your bankroll and handicapping methods is an essential process that all serious bettors need to partake. Let’s take a look at teams that are cash cows and money burners in the NFL through the first few weeks.
It’s no secret by now that Dogs have had the best opening run to a season in NFL history. Dogs are 57-32-2 (64.04%) ATS and 40-51 (43.96%) SU. Included is a subset of home dogs that are hitting at a 22-11 ATS clip and 19-14 SU. Those are eye-popping figures.
Which specific teams are performing best at the window? At the top are the Rams (5-1 ATS), Bears (4-1) and Bucs (4-1). Bringing up the rear are the Steelers (1-4), Lions (1-4) and Eagles (1-4-1). The next logical question to ask is what is the major differentiating factor in how these teams have performed ATS? Well, for that we look to turnover ratios. Rams are +1, Bears +9, Bucs +3, Steelers +2, Lions -1 and Eagles -9. As one can tell, for the most part, turnover ratio and ATS record have been correlated through the first six weeks of the NFL season. Over the long-term, this correlation has held up for the most part. Teams that don’t turn the ball over win. Teams that win, typically cover in the NFL. Pretty simple basic formula.
The Rams have been a dog in every game they have played this season. Tampa Bay has been a dog in 3 out of their 5 games played already. Chicago on the other hand has been a favorite 3 out of 5 times and the two times they were dogs were on the road. Is this a case of the oddsmakers not adjusting their power ratings quick enough or this is a situation where teams are overachieving early in the year? Time will tell, but what has transpired so far is exactly what the NFL dreams about each year. Parity. A lot of teams in the hunt. It’s the only way to ensure ticket sales, merchandise purchases and continued TV viewing every Sunday afternoon (or Thursday night, Sunday night and Monday night as they do now) for the entire season. It is one of the biggest reasons why the NFL is the monster cash cow that it is.
As for bettors, this is now the time where you want to tighten the screws a bit. Meaning, bet dogs in the best spots that you see fit. Give your bet sheet one final scrubbing before placing your wagers. Be more precise with whom you choose to spend your hard earned money on. As we wait to see if those ATS records discussed above regress back to the mean, be cognizant of the volume of plays you have. Less, but more thought out wagers might be the way to go for the next few weeks as the other half of the league has bye weeks and you begin to see if some of these teams have what it takes to ride through the real grinding part of the season…from now till Thanksgiving. Reevaluating your bankroll and handicapping methods is a constant evolving process. Be sure that you’re properly adjusting for different factors of importance as the season wears on.
If you’re up so far this year, congrats, but don’t get overconfident. Be selective and pounce when you need to. If you’re down so far this year, keep grinding. Don’t load up and bailout. Be selective and find value. Just as with the Niners and Seahawks game on Thursday night, you can go from a loss to a win to a loss in an instant. Things can change quickly. Be prepared.
Good luck and keep cashing!
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