Betting Against Terrible NFL Teams
When you have a great handle on just how an NFL franchise is going to perform heading into a brand new season, well, clearly, that’s a good thing that will allow you to wager on that specific team with confidence throughout the game calendar.
Players can always make their decisions and picks based on the future odds for each team and the handicapping projections For example: the betting lines to win the Super Bowl, Conference Championship odds or projected wins for the season, but most of the time, we tend to avoid teams predicted to struggle during the season and just pick the expected winners.
What do you do when you know a team is going to be either mediocre at best – or just plain awful?
This is a question that NFL bettors have had to answer each and every year for ages, and no, not just about the perpetually rebuilding Cleveland Browns believe it or not.
Heading into the 2017 regular season, NFL pro football bettors across the globe need to know just how to handicap a handful of ‘fading’ teams like the Browns, the New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers, among others.
The good news? If you’ve got questions, then I’ve got answers in the form of some expert NFL betting tips on just how to handicap fading teams. Let’s get to them.
Check the Schedule for Other Fading Opponents
First and foremost, you need to look at the schedule of the fading team or teams that you’re thinking about betting on or against in 2017. Every fading team, no matter how awful they are, likely has a handful of games against opponents that they will likely, easily cover the spread in.
The reasons why the fading team will likely cover the spread in could vary from the fact that they’re playing another fading team or the fact that they may be facing an unrealistic point spread.
For example, according to the NFL odds for total season wins the Cleveland Browns are projected to be one of the worst teams in the league with a win total of only 4.5 games. That does not mean that they will lose each and every game, and judging by their 2017 game calendar, they have several games head this season they can win.
Week 5 game vs. the NY Jets (an equally struggling team) is one of those, and the Browns stand a great chance of both, winning outright and covering the spread as a home pick ‘em simply because New York likely won’t be much better than they are this coming season.
Always check the schedule of a fading team, find out just how many other mediocre teams are on their 2017 schedule and which ones look like strong candidates for them to cover the spread.
Look For Division Rivals
If you’re thinking about betting on a fading team in 2017, one of the things you need to do is look at their division games and determine just how realistic of a chance they have of covering the spread because the fact of the matter is that even mediocre or bad teams seemingly put up a better effort against their longtime division rivals.
Take the New York Jets. They were just 6-8-2 ATS (Against The Spread) last season, but three of their ATS victories and one Push, came against their AFC East division rivals, meaning New York managed to go a respectable 3-2-1 ATS in their six division dates a year ago.
The rebuilding Los Angeles Rams may have finished with an uninspiring 4-10-2 ATS mark last season, but half of their ATS victories came against their NFC West division rivals.
Last but not least, the three-win Jacksonville Jaguars managed to record a respectable 7-8-1 ATS mark last season – by going 4-2 ATS in their six AFC South division matchups while closing out the 2016 campaign with three straight ATS victories against Texans, Titans and Colts.
Make no mistake about it, bad teams generally have a better chance of covering the spread against their division rivals.
Let The Dogs Off the Leash!
If you’re looking for a great tip to use when betting on a fading team in 2017, then you probably want to wager on them when they’re an underdog.
For example, the Jets recorded four of their six ATS victories last season as an underdog while the five-win San Diego Chargers recorded four of their seven ATS victories as an underdog.
The lowly Chicago Bears, who were stated to win only six games in 2016, got all seven of their ATS victories in 2016 as an underdog while the Los Angeles Rams picked up three of their four ATS victories as an underdog.
The San Francisco 49ers recorded all four of their ATS wins last season as underdogs and the Jacksonville Jaguars got all nine of their ATS victories last season as barking dogs.
Last but not least, Drew Brees and the seven-win New Orleans Saints managed to record seven of their impressive 10 ATS victories in 2016 as underdogs while going just 3-4 ATS as favorites.
No Streaking Allowed
Another great tip to use when betting on a fading team is to keep in mind that there won’t likely be any ATS winning streams of more than three games, so you may not want to back Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars – or any other fading team in 2017 – to cover the spread in more than three games.
A year ago, Brees and the Saints managed to record just three straight ATS wins while San Francisco recorded two straight ATS victories. The seven-win Arizona Cardinals never managed to cover the spread in more than two straight while six-win Cincinnati never found the way to get past two straight ATS victories while the Jags topped out at three consecutive ATS wins.
While there are always exceptions to the rule, like Chicago’s fine-game ATS winning streak from Week 11-15, remember, there generally just aren’t many lengthy ATS winning streaks of more than three games at best for fading teams.
Placing bets on fading teams this NFL season may be hard to do at first, but once you try a few test wagers, you’ll find the strategy and these tips can be very profitable.