2019 NFL Week 10: O/U's in High-Spread Divisional Play
As the top-dogs in the AFC North, the Ravens are slated as ten-point favorites at Cincinnati in week 10. The winless Bengals are dead last in the division.
Similar to Baltimore's position, the 7-1 Saints are also comfortably perched atop the NFC South. Meanwhile, on the other side of the football the lowly Falcons occupy the bottom slot on the division's rankings list. Atlanta will carry a six-game losing streak to New Orleans where the Falcons are slated as 13-point underdogs Sunday.
A simple system predicated on backing the UNDER in divisional action featuring double-digit spreads has proven highly profitable from the start of the 2003 season through the point last year when we discovered this approach.
This set of criteria is 9-8-1 since the date indicated in the graphic, including a 2-4 stint this season. Notably, the four losses this season were sustained against betting totals of between 42.5 and 44 (for context, between 2003 and 2015 seasons the average O/U was 43).
In instances where the total closed above average, the UNDER is 2-0 this season.
The contests fitting this system for week 10 sport totals of 46 and 51.5 as of the time of this writing--both well north of recent averages, and squarely in the realm of profitability for this approach.
Additionally, NFLWeather.com forecasts 10-11 mph winds throughout the Ravens Bengals matchup.
This observation matters because high winds have been consistent with paydays for the UNDER. High air pressure makes it more difficult to place passes on target. Rather than risk being turned over, offenses tend to adjust by skewing play calling away from the aerial attack. A typical result is depressed scoring relative to potential, as clock-chewing, smaller-gaining running plays replace big passing plays that tend to amass yards in bunches.
Importantly, evidence suggests bookmakers do not fully account for such inclimate conditions. We discussed this phenomenon in detail ahead of the week 3 edition of Thursday Night Football.
Regarding the Falcons at Saints, we note that the UNDER has done well historically in high-spread divisional contests in domes. Lower than expected scores are 23-15 since 2003 in big-spread, intra-divisional games played under a big top.