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2022 NFL Week 10: Best Spot of Regular Season for Point-Takers

Calling all dogs: Backing a slew of underdogs in week 10

Image: Colonel's Corner

Through nine weeks of regular season NFL action, underdogs are 76-55-3 ATS this season, for a 58% cover rate. This showing contrasts sharply with the 52% long-term cover rate through week 9 since the 2005 season. In 2022, point-takers failed to make any progress in week 1 and stalled temporarily in weeks and 6-8, but the 58% cover rate associated with simply taking the points has been good for a 11% return on investment. The graphic below illustrates the dramatic profitability related to simply taking all points this season.

Against this broadly constructive backdrop for unfavored NFL teams, we note that next week represents the absolute best spot of the regular season calendar to throw support behind underdogs to beat the number. Between 2003 and 2021, regular season favorites covered the spread less than 44% of the time (102-131-6 ATS). This low beat rate proved statistically significantly different than the hypothetical 52.4% breakeven rate at better than the 95% confidence level, suggesting there is something to favorites' struggles during the 10th week, and that the low observed ATS win rate is not merely due to chance. The next image indicates cover rates by week for favorites over the last 19 completed seasons. Red bars reflect weeks for which observed results were proven statistically significant.

Highlighting underdog action worth considering is a mainstay of our approach, as our methodology largely revolves around exploiting persistent biases evident in betting markets, such as the bias against point-takers—see Golec & Tamarkin (1991) or Newell & Cortis (2021) for examples of documentation of bettors' bias toward favorites. Our week 10 ATS picks are shown below (though we are still wrestling over the Browns at the Dolphins) and are consistent with our general penchant in for underdogs (six of our eight or nine week 10 spread picks support dogs):

  • Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers +2.5

  • Seattle Seahawks @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers -1

  • Denver Broncos @ Tennessee Titans -1 1H

  • Denver Broncos +2 @ Tennessee Titans

  • Detroit Lions +2.5 @ Chicago Bears

  • New Orleans Saints @ Pittsburgh Steelers +3

  • Indianapolis Colts +5.5 @ Las Vegas Raiders

  • Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers +4.5

Check back as the week progresses for long-form pieces that detail our rationalize for these picks.

Happy betting!!