2019 NFL Week 3 Monday Night Football: Bears @ Redskins
Chicago @ Washington +5.5 -110
FedExField Stadium, Washington, DC
September 23, 2019, 5:20 PM PST
Our primary framework favors the visiting Bears by no more than three in D.C. Monday night. Thus, we are happy to back the home team in primetime, well north of at least two key numbers.
Supporting our power rankings-based signal from a big picture perspective, in our NFL Sunday write-up, we detailed the tendency for underdogs to cash in at a statistically significantly higher rate than 50% in week 3 of the NFL season. Since 2003, teams taking points in their third out are 132-107-7, for a 55% cover rate.
Consistent with the historical norm, teams taking points are in 9-6 ATS week 3, so far.
More generally, the betting public has shown a tendency to exhibit too much exuberance for favorites early in the football year. For instance, since 2003, it has been profitable in September and October to bet against road teams off a win that are laying chalk to non-division foes. Though this system is only good for about seven plays a year on average, it has generated an extremely impressive return on investment of 16% on a 60% cover rate.
Separately, an unrelated highly profitable system, courtesy of the analysts at The Action Network, likewise triggered support for the home dogs this evening. This approach involves fading professional bettors after several so-called "steam moves" on the favorite, and backing the dog to beat the number.
While we believe that a natural reluctance to betting against sharp money might be healthy in this racket, in regular season contests where the favorite sees one to a few steam moves while the dog sees none, it has pretty consistently paid to buck the pros.
With that said, given that big money is pressuring the betting line wider, and we have solid conviction in the underdogs ability to cover, it might make sense to hold off until closer to kick-off before throwing support the Skins way...patient bettors might grab +6, another key spread level.