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NFL Week 2: Sunday's AGAINST-THE-SPREAD Betting Guide


Last Sunday's against the spread plays finished 5-4. At the indicated vigs, that performance translates to a slight gain (0.35 units).

For week 2, we highlight considerably fewer games, however, we note that our average level of conviction is higher this go-round versus last week (the median absolute deviations between the average line estimates produced by our primary factors and the current betting line are about one point higher than week 1). This observation may be significant, as only last week's lower conviction plays failed to collect. Specifically, all games with a confidence rating less than 2 missed, while all contests for which our this threshold was exceeded cashed in.

We present below three (high-conviction) against the spread betting picks for Sunday of week 2. The following table also illustrates the vigs we incurred laying these wagers and the absolute deviation between our line estimate and the current spread (our measure of relative conviction).

Sentiment, as measured by betting volume, is neutral for the Chiefs and the 49ers, as, per SportsInisghts, public support is close to evenly split for each. The Vikings though have garnered the support of only 20% of ATS wagers, a contrarian support for a Minnesota cover.

In addition to our primary system and sentiment though, the home underdog effect, which we chronicled last week, likewise supports Minnesota to cover in week 2.

Separately, Vergin (2010) documents that heavy favorites most often failed to cover between 1969 and 1995. This work attributes this phenomenon to bettors' tendency to overreact to recent positive performance (over the previous game, several games or season). Also, Wever & Aadland (2011) document the accrual of statistically significant profits from betting on underdogs with large closing lines. These research efforts validate our play on the Niners.

Kansas City and Houston have faced off only four times since 2010. The Chiefs covered in three of those meetings, all in Houston. However, KC has not fared well in recent history on the road. Kansas City finished 1-4 ATS last season from this position. Further, while the Texans were a meager 5-4 versus the number at home in 2015, this stint included an impressive 4-1 run as home favorites. On Sunday, our work expects a version of the Chiefs resembling the team from the second half of last week's contest versus the Chargers.

Happy betting!!

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