2022 NFL Week 1: Recency Bias at Work Early in the Regular Season
Per a reliable history-based system, siding with a quartet of home dogs: Falcons +6 -120, Bears +7.5 -130, Lions +4 & Texans +8
Backing dogs of less than a touchdown that won no more than six games during the prior season has proven a winning strategy over the first quarter of the NFL regular season.
This angle has been good for a statistically significant 12% hypothetical return on investment since 2004-05, with only five seasons with a sub-50% cover rate.
We posit that the public's recency bias accounts for the long-term profitability of this system. We believe the propensity for the typical bettor to overweight near-term results leads to the expectation that last year's bad teams will not beat the number in the new football year. As the season progresses and squads in this position cover early season spreads (as is generally the case), perceptions are altered and lines are adjusted accordingly until this angle's value is priced away (when last season's worst teams take a touchdown or more, there is often some bigger issue within the organization that inhibits a greater likelihood of covers in the new year).
The Jaguars and Lions each won a mere three games last season, for worst teams in the NFL honors. The New York Giants were tied for second worst record, with four wins, while the Bears' 6-11 record was slightly more respectable but still landed Chicago in the League's fourth quartile. History suggests the public is likely to (erroneously) extrapolate these prior poor absolute showings into forward-looking ATS results. We are backing this group of dogs for covers in week 1 action:
New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons +6 (-120)
San Francisco 49ers @ Chicago Bears +7.5 (-130)
Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions +4
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans +8