- Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Cowboys -6.5 -125
At worst, our power rankings framework gives a travelling Cowboys team a tad over a six point edge versus the Giants Monday evening. Thus this game is not an official play. Nonetheless, we observe enough context in favor of Dallas to take the flyer...though we are paying the juiced up vig to get through the key level.
First, supporting the idea that short-term momentum in pro football is a thing, the very simple approach of betting against home teams ATS that dropped four consecutive games SU has generated strong, consistent profits from 2003 to the point last year when we developed this system (this set of criteria is 2-1 ATS so far this season).
Moreover, that Dallas is giving points off a BYE serves as a sweetener in our thinking. Since 2003, rested NFL favorites have been solid bets ATS. Teams laying chalk after a week off are 157-115-7 ATS (58%) over this span.
And while the sample size shrinks considerably, the cover rate improves still when examining only divisional action. Away teams that are expected to beat divisional foes after a BYE are 28-10 ATS (74%) since 2003.
Separately, and also in the Cowboys' favor, The Action Network has noted that meaningful point spread moves in primetime games tend to be misleading. Since 2003, bettors fading line movement covered 59% of games played after 5:00PM Pacific when the spread moved by at least two points.
(Sports Insights reports Dallas was originally installed as nine point favorites at most shops. Remarkably, despite the support of 71% of wagers and dollars bet, the spread has tightened to seven, triggering this system.)
And finally, we repeat our, by now, oft-repeated admonition about the prescience of consensus in ferreting out ATS outcomes during the 'belly' of the NFL season. In the middle this of the football year, popular road teams especially, have been solidly profitable bets since 2003.