NFL Week 18: Three Lowly Dogs Worth the Flyer in Final Regular Season Action
Empirical evidence suggests the betting public is generally to pessimistic regarding the prospects for bad teams too cover the spread. We suspect recency bias results herding toward favorites in certain situations, despite the normalizing effect of the spread. Durand, Patterson & Shank (2021), for instance, observed that bettors are more likely to side with teams that have won previous outcomes (winning teams are more likely to be favored). Krieger, Davis & Strode (2021) likewise found bettor decision-making to be overly influenced by recent performance.
We detail below a specific set of circumstances that has consistently exploited this tendency, and we identify several setups meeting these criteria for the final week of the 2022-23 regular NFL season. As such, we are taking points with the Panthers, Texans and Jets Sunday.
This prolific angle's 58% cover rate translates to a statistically significant 12% long-term return on investment. Further, this system has submitted only four years with a sub-50% cover rate (and is 17-13 ATS heading into week 18 of the current season).
The following plays are triggered, per this system, for this week:
New York Jets +3.5 125 at Dolphins (the New York Jets won four games last year), and
Panthers +3.5 -115 at Saints (Carolina won fives games last year),
Houston Texans +3 -130 at Indianapolis Colts (Houston won four games last year),
Detroit Lions +4.5 +100 @ Green Bay Packers (Detroit won three games last year)
We endorse the Panthers, Texans and Jets for road dog covers Sunday, but are passing on the the Lions at Packers, as we have observed a conflicting signal for this latter contest. Also worth mentioning, we paid up for the hooks to get to or above the key level of three points, but we like these teams versus the listed lines too.