2022 NFL Week 2: Backing Two Dogs That Are Not as Bad as You Think
Updated: Sep 19, 2022
Since the 2005-06 NFL regular season, the naive strategy of backing point-takers versus the number in week 2 has delivered better than a 7% return, on a record of 146-119-7 ATS. Consistent with this general tendency, we are siding with a slew of dogs this week, including the Jags and Panthers. Read on for our rationale for taking points with Jacksonville and Carolina.
We hypothesize that the worst teams from a year ago are commonly underestimated against the spread early in the new season (as bettors have little data regarding current season performance on which to base expectations, so last season's poor showing commands an outsized influence in the public's consciousness).
Supporting this thesis, we have observed that dogs of less than a touchdown who won no more than six games last year have proven solid bets during the first quarter of the season.
Teams in this position have delivered a 12% return on investment since 2004-05 and are 3-2 ATS so far this year.
In some cases though, bad straight up teams do not post notable year-over-year improvement and low expectations ATS are justified. However, larger spreads generally attend such situations (teams taking more than seven during the first four games of the football year after winning six or fewer games last season are 58-62-2 against the spread).
Betting lines of less than a trip to the end zone (plus the PAT) tend to indicate opportunities to exploit the public's recency bias. Accordingly, we are taking stabs on two of three plays triggered per this system:
Colts @ Jaguars +4
Panthers +2 (-115) @ NY Giants
This system also highlights the New York Jets +6.5 at the Cleveland Browns in week 2. We are passing here though, as we simply do not trust the Jets (after a 15-point loss to the visiting Baltimore Ravens in week 1, New York is 1-5 ATS per this system since 2018-19). Maybe the Jets will fall to seven point dogs by kickoff, so we can maintain the contention that we adhere to a strict discipline...fingers crossed.