NFL betting Picks: Taking points with Jags, Steelers & NY Giants
sQuite improbably, Zach Wilson and the New York Jets upset the Buffalo Bills in week 1 (this is after Aaron Rodgers ruptured his Achilles tendon in the Jets' first series of the game). Since suffering this six-point loss in their season opener though, the Bills have played lights out, beating the Raiders, Commanders and Dolphins by 28, 34 and 28 point margins, respectively. Perhaps more impressively, Buffalo boasts cover margins of 20.5, 29 and 25 points in three games. In aggregate, the Bills are beating the number with almost 18 points to spare through roughly the first quarter of the season. History suggests game 5 in London (versus the 2-2 Jaguars) represents an ideal spot to fade Josh Allen and the other, other NFL team in New York state.
The angle indicated in the above graphic has proven good for a statistically significant 10% long-term return on investment.
We conjecture that the Joe Public's recency bias results in casual bettors rallying around teams off superlative stints, when, in fact, squads in this spot tend to take their foot off the gas versus the number (and/or opposing squads, aware of their competition's near-term achievements, amplify their mental and physical efforts and keep games closer than expected)...we suspect the profitability of this angle diminishes against teams with better than 60% win rates because high cover margin clubs, who's momentum is indicative of high talent levels, recognize the imperative of maintaining focus versus the most elite competition.
[As support for the notion that recency bias impacts bettor preferences, consider that Durand, Patterson & Shank (2021) analyzed games played between 2003 and 2017 and found that the inclination to overweight near-term outcomes is real in NFL betting markets, and that the magnitude of wins and losses impacts betting behavior more than mere outcomes. Separately, based on data related to games played from 2007 to 2019, Krieger, Davis & Strode (2021) concluded that "bettor decision-making is erroneously influenced by recent performance of teams". These researchers also noted profitable betting opportunities for objective, patient bettors. Similarly, Metz & Jog (2022) reviewed picks from sports bettors between 2013 and 2018 and likewise noted evidence of recency bias.]
In all, the system described herein highlights five plays for week 5, as listed below. We are passing on two though, given conflicting signals. The three week 5 NFL betting picks we endorse per this set of criteria are indicated in bold.
Jacksonville Jaguars +5.5 @ Buffalo Bills
Houston Texans @ Atlanta Falcons
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers +4.5
New York Giants +12.5 @ Miami Dolphins
Cincinnati Bengals @ Arizona Cardinals