Why I Shy Away from Betting on Teams that have a Positive Record Against the Spread
Growing up as the son of a gambler has armed me with some life lessons which let’s face it, those who didn’t have a gambler in the family, just never learned. One such lesson is not wagering on teams with a positive record against the spread, if you didn’t bet on them when they covered the spread. In other words, “I didn’t go to the wedding, so I’m not going to the funeral.”
This was one of my dad’s favorite sayings and the basic meaning is that if he wasn’t on the team when they covered, he wasn’t going to bet them now because they’re eventually going to lose. I mean it’s not as high minded as “never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line”, but it is sage advice.
Look at last week for example. Cincinnati came into Thursday night football with a 2-1 record ATS and Jacksonville was 0-3. So of course, the Bengals laying -7- was a lock right? Wrong, they didn’t cover.
Denver was 3-0 ATS and the Ravens were 1-2. Denver got smoked as a -1 point favorite.
Miami was 2-1 ATS and the Colts were 0-3. Miami was a -2- point favorite. Guess who won. Right, Indy.
Tennessee was 2-1 ATS and the Jets were 0-3. Not only did the Jets cover at +5-, they won OUTRIGHT!
So yeah, the wedding/funeral angle definitely has some merit.
Taking this advice into consideration this week, I point you to the only NFL team that has an undefeated ATS record, the Dallas Cowboys. Yes, the Cowboys are 4-0-0 ATS, having covered as +9 dogs to Tampa Bay in the opener, +3 dogs vs the Chargers, -3- favorites vs the Eagles and -4- faves against the Panthers.
Right behind the Cowboys stand Green Bay, Cleveland, Carolina, Arizona, Denver, Buffalo and the Chargers with 3-1-0 records ATS.
So, does that mean that these teams should all be faded in Week 5? For my dad, yes. But for Joe Public, no. Joe Public loves the favorite and six of these eight teams come into Week 5 as the favorite. The only two teams not favored are the Bills +3 at the Chiefs and the Browns +2- at the Chargers.
In Vegas, casinos are reporting two of the biggest public plays this week as the Packers -3 at the Bengals and the Cowboys – 7 vs the Giants.
Both of the dogs are intriguing here not just for the wedding/funeral angle, but also because I think they both hold value. But I have to point to another of my father’s sayings – “When you bet bad teams, bad things happen” – which means I can’t take the Giants because they stink and I’m hard pressed to go with the Bengals because they aren’t so great either.
This week I’m going to side with the team that beat me last week to knock me from the ranks of the unbeaten, the Kansas City Chiefs – 3 vs Buffalo. Yes, last week I went against another of my dad’s gambling sayings – “Study long, study wrong” – and rather than taking their game against the Eagles at face value where everything was pointing to the favorite (just check out my article from last week to see what I mean. https://propshq.com/insights/nfl/andy-reid-returns-to-philly-to-take-on-the-eagles/) I tried to make a case for the Eagles and it blew up in my face thanks to Nick Sirianni and his stupid highlighters.
Well, it’s time to “turn the page” and let’s see if we’ll “get even, or even worse.” Yup, you guessed it. Those are two more of my dad’s favorites. And I’ll leave you with one more. If you take this advice and it doesn’t work out, remember what you paid for it. Right, zero.
If you’d like to make a wager on any of today’s NFL action or wager on any other sports, check out FanDuel, DraftKings and BetRivers. “You might be walking around lucky and not even know it.”
Have a great week 5! I hope you are fortunate.