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Week 11 NFL Sunday Against the Spread Betting Guide


Our official ATS picks went 6-2 last week. Additionally, the two picks we were too chicken to play due to our framework's historical miscues also cashed in (the Bucs and the Niners). This strong performance brings our ATS picks to 41-38 on the year, and puts breakeven back within sight (we are down just over one unit season-to-date).

The hypothetical performance chart featured above assumes a bettor risked $100 on every ATS pick we recommended via wizeowlsports.com, and that the bettor incurred the same vigs we paid.

For this Sunday, there are seven spread plays worth considering. We are playing but six, as, despite being quite impressed with the 49er effort to force OT in route to the cover at the Cardinals last week, we are unwilling to take the flier in week 11 versus an angry Patriots team coming off their first loss since Tom Brady's return. Besides, even after improving last week, our system is still a meager 5-9 handicapping Niners (2-4) and Pats (3-5) games versus the number.

The graphic above illustrates our system's ATS picks, the actual vigs we incurred, the expected cover margin and season-long accuracy stats for games the system picked this year featuring the involved teams.

Of note, two-thirds of our NFL Sunday picks highlight squads playing in their own building. On the season, home teams are 71-67-2 ATS, for about a 51% win rate--which falls short of the threshold for a profitable betting strategy. However, at 26-17, underdogs are a blistering 60% this year from the comfort of home. The trend in favor of home dog covers supports the Rams vs the Dolphins as well as the Niners vs the Patriots. However, supporting our decision to pass on the 49ers plus the points, San Francisco is an odds-defying 1-3 against the number from this spot.

The Cowboys and Chiefs are two home favorites we like this week. Broadly speaking, home favorites are winning at a below average clip this year. At 45-50-2, this cohort is only cashing in at 47% on the season, versus a record of 414-439-28, for about a 49% win rate, over the last five years. Our effort anticipates some manner of reversion today, but even in the absence of a broad-based normalization, Dallas has not missed a cover since week 1, so the Boys definitely deserve the benefit of any doubt. On the other hand, we admit that Kansas City is a more dubious selection given the Chiefs 0-3 record this season when favored by more than a field goal.

We are also backing three road dogs: the Bills, Bears and Texans. The story for this class is the antithesis of that of home favorites. Week 10's 7-3 out ATS evidences the wind presently in the sails of this group. If momentum reverses and last week's luster i undone, we still foresee ample scope for success from our road dogs picks, as from a mathematical perspective, teams expected to win at home would need a 6-4 ATS showing today to normalize this year's performance to the 5-year average (four road dogs would cover under this scenario; we only need three!).

Also of note, the Bears pick comes from our suite of computer simulation tools rather than from our primary, power rankings, factors. As such, the reported historical accuracy is not relevant. Instead, we point out that unanimity among our stable of sim factors is 20-7-1 ATS overall this year, including a 2-1 record picking Giants and Bears games.

Happy betting!!

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