- Dallas, Green Bay and Cincinnati were among the best pointspread teams during the 2021 regular season and playoffs.
- Good pointspread teams from one year are often ‘overvalued’ by linesmakers and the public during the following year.
- The 2022 Regular Season begins on September 8 as the Los Angeles Rams host the Buffalo Bills.
NFL football is right around the corner and with it pro football betting. The time between the start of the NFL regular season and the end of ‘March Madness’ is really the best time of the year for sports betting. Much of that has to do with the massive popularity of NFL football betting. For any North American facing sportsbook, NFL football attracts the most betting action. College football is a distant second place.
September 8, 2022 is the ‘official’ start of the NFL regular season with a big game between the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. September 11, 2022 is the first full Sunday of action and the week will conclude with the Denver Broncos playing at the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football.
If you’ve been involved in sports betting for awhile you’re no doubt aware that when it comes to performance against the spread ‘what goes up must come down’. Translation–teams that perform well against the spread one year often post a losing record ATS the following year (and vice versa). There’s a number of reasons for this but the most significant is that linesmakers often ‘shade’ prices of teams known to perform well against the spread. This isn’t a universal rule, but you’ll seldom see teams in any sport dominate ATS year after year.
BEST NFL FOOTBALL POINTSPREAD PERFORMERS FROM 2021 SEASON
The Dallas Cowboys had the best winning percentage against the spread of any NFL team in 2021 going 13-5 against the number for a 72.2% winning percentage. Not only do ‘good’ NFL teams against the spread struggle the following year the reverse is also true. Teams that struggle to cover games one year frequently bounce back strong the following year. That’s exactly what happened to the Cowboys last year–their 13-5 ATS mark came the year after they went 5-11 ATS for 31.2%. Dallas has the added advantage of being a big ‘public’ team and there are few things easier for a contrarian bettor than to go the other way when fair weather fans jump on and off a team’s bandwagon.
Joe Burrow is the truth. The Bengals rebounded from a 4-11-1 SU season in 2020 to go 13-8 SU in 2021. They also put up a 14-7 record against the spread for 66.7%. The Bengals have struggled for awhile now but last season’s performance could attract significantly more public betting interest. And since going against the ‘public’ is never a bad strategy, we could see a marked turnaround in the Bengals pointspread performance this year. One thing about the Bengals is that they look like the only team on the rise in a division where the traditional powers are in a state of decline.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
The Packers also finished with a 66.7% winning percentage but with a 12-6 ATS mark. The Packers are an exception to our ‘good ATS teams struggle the next year’ axiom as they’ve run off three straight winning seasons against the number. Much of last year’s success came from a dominant home performance and there’s nothing more ‘public’ to back the Pack at Lambeau Field. Last year, they were 8-1 SU at home producing a 7-2 ATS record. They covered their only spot as a home underdog and went 6-2 ATS as a home chalk. The Pack could take a step back this year and with their ‘public’ status as a franchise and recent pointspread performance they’re unlikely to be a good betting value.