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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

2022 NFL Week 1: A Spot for Point-Takers Facing Dubious Division Foes

Two home and two away dogs worth week 1 flyers: Backing Falcons, Pats, Texans and Raiders ATS

Early in the season, backing underdogs facing division rivals that did not make an appearance in the prior postseason has proven a particularly profitable long-term strategy.

Siding with teams in this position to beat the number has delivered a statistically significant 20% hypothetical return on investment since the 2005-06 season and has suffered sub-50% cover rates in only three years.

We believe the success of this angle owes to the betting public's penchant toward favorites--i.e. Golec & Tamarkun (1991) and Humphreys, Paul & Weinbach (2013), which, we suspect, causes an inflation of spreads for squads facing teams in this position.

Specifically, more frequent meetings among teams in the same division, as is necessitated by NFL scheduling requirements, breeds greater familiarity with offensive and defensive schemes, which translates to heightened abilities to counter teams' peculiarities. A result is closer than expected games, especially during the first third of the season, when better teams are less likely to have found their stride, and especially against favorites that did not earn a seat at the last postseason table (as such teams as less likely to possess a killer instinct).

To kick off the 2022-23 NFL regular season, four ATS plays are triggered per this system:

  • Saints @ Falcons +6,

  • Patriots +3 @ Dolphins,

  • Colts @ Texans +8, and

  • Raiders +3.5 @ L.A. Chargers

Wagers on Houston and Atlanta to beat the number were also triggered per a separate system that has likewise delivered meaningful (statistically significant) profit over the long-term (see here for details).

Happy betting!!


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