The bet: New York Giants +3.5 -135 at Minnesota Vikings
After covering four straight to close out the regular season, the New York Football Giants' 13-4 ATS season-to-date record ranks best in the NFL. Further, the Giants are 6-5-1 straight up when taking points. On the other hand, despite a 13-4 SU record, the Vikings have dropped four of their last five versus the number and are 7-9-1 ATS on the season, good for 23rd in the League. Consistent with this recent regular season performance, we like the Giants for the cover on the road cover Sunday, in the Wild Card Weekend action, on the basis of historically profitable system detailed below:
This angle has submitted only four seasons since 2003-04 with cover rates below 50%, and has delivered an aggregate 35% return on investment over the examination period (statistically significant at the 95% confidence level).
Explaining the enduring success of this system, we believe teams that that did not secure a berth in the previous playoffs (i.e. lower quality teams) may not deserve the favor bookmakers bestow upon them. As such, underdog opposition covers at a meaningfully higher clip than 50%, or even the 52.4% rate required to breakeven, assuming the standard vigorish.
Whatever the reason though, history is clear that the present spot conveys an edge for the Giants. We are obliging and betting New York to beat the number. We bought the hook to get above the key three level (as the home team by three is the most common margin in professional football), but we endorse the Giants for the cover versus the listed line as well.