top of page
  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

2022 NFL Preseason Week 1: Historically Reliable System Highlights Three (Easy to Make) ATS Plays

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

Kansas City Chiefs +3.5, Rams +3.5, Cowboys +3 (-135)

In the NFL preseason, backing road dogs (ATS) that secured a slot in the previous playoffs over non-conference opposition that missed the prior postseason has proven solidly profitable historically.

This system has delivered a 17% return on investment since the 2004-05 season. Further this angle failed to eclipse the 50% cover rate only four times during this span.

For the second week of the 2022 preseason, three wagers are triggered, per this system.

First, the Chiefs fell to the Bengals last year in the AFC Championship game, but are still regarded as one of the most dangerous teams in professional football (Las Vegas futures prices from OddsShark imply Kansas City is the most likely team to hoist the Lombardi trophy when the dust ultimately settles on the 2022-23 season). The NFC's Chicago Bears, whose last playoff exposure, back in 2020, resulted in a Wildcard Round loss to the Saints, will lay 3.5 as hosts to the Chiefs Saturday. We are taking the field goal and the hook and backing the better team here.

Next up, the (NFC) Rams, who made the playoffs four of the last five seasons in a stint that included two Super Bowl appearances and ultimately a championship, will face their fellow Angelenos this weekend. The reigning champs sport the fourth highest odds of winning Super Bowl LVII, yet are taking 3.5 points from the (AFC) Los Angeles Chargers, who lost to the Pats in the Divisional Round of the playoffs in 2018 and haven't made the postseason since. We're happy to back the Rams plus the points here.

Finally, last year, the National Football Conference's Dallas Cowboys' 12-5 regular season culminated with an upset loss to the Niners in the Wildcard Round of the playoffs. Fast forwarding six-plus months, the Boys will travel to the Broncos for 2022 preseason week 2 action Saturday. On the other side of the ball, the AFC-member Denver Broncos finished 2021-22 with a 7-10 record and have not registered a winning season since 2016-17. Further, the horses have not made a postseason appearance since 2015-16. We are taking America's Team +3 (-135)...we paid up for the hook given that the home team by three is the most common outcome in professional football. But while we appreciate the wiggle room that +3 affords versus +2.5, we are comfortable too with the listed line. In fact, there is a case to be made for backing the Cowboys' moneyline:

In preseason competition, teams that appeared in the last playoffs and that are taking a field goal or less from squads outside their conference that did not earn a seed in the previous postseason have proven great bets for the straight up win.

Backing teams in this position for the win has been good for a 26% hypothetical return on investment since the 2004-05 season.

We covered the betting public's bias toward favorites in our write-up for Thursday's matchup between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. Relatedly, researchers have documented a recency bias in the NFL betting market, which compels bettors to back recent winners over teams with worse outcomes of late (see here and here for detailed accounts of how recency bias impacts NFL betting). So, though the Chiefs, Rams and Cowboys are all point-takers in week 2 preseason action, we expect market participants to take comfort in these squads track record of success. Given the prior accomplishments of these names, coupled with the solid, empirically-rooted rationale for backing these teams to beat the number this week, we do not expect bettors will encounter much trepidation related to getting down on Kansas City, the L.A. Rams or the Cowboys, even in preliminary, preseason play.

Happy betting!!

bottom of page