News and Notes from the NFL- Sept. 30
Heading into Week 3 of the NFL regular season, there were seven teams that were 2-0 and six teams at 0-2 straight-up. Last week’s action took its toll on the undefeated teams, as New England, New York (Jets), Houston, and Washington were all tagged with their first loss. This leaves Green Bay and the two biggest surprises of this season, Buffalo and Detroit, as the three remaining teams with a perfect 3-0 record.
Carolina was the only team to get ‘off the schneid’ last week with its 16-10 victory over Jacksonville as the other five winless teams (Minnesota, St. Louis, Miami, Indianapolis, and Kansas City) sunk into a 0-3 hole. While there are still 13 games left to play, you can pretty much write these teams off for the year, as since 1990 only five teams that started with three straight losses have made the postseason.
As mentioned, the records for both the undefeated teams and the ones that are 0-3 are straight-up. The real question we should be asking ourselves is which teams have been the early money makers and which ones have been drains on the bankroll.
There is only one team in the NFL that is a perfect 3-0 against the spread, the Oakland Raiders. They opened the season with a 23-20 victory over Denver as three-point road underdogs. They lost to Buffalo 38-35 on a last-second touchdown, but covered as 3.5-point road underdogs. Last week, in its home opener, Oakland shocked the New York Jets 34-24 as a three-point home underdog. This week the team is a four-point home underdog against New England.
Honorable mention awards go to Carolina, Detroit, and San Francisco, which have all opened the season at 2-0-1 ATS. There are 11 teams that are currently 2-1 ATS and 11 that are 1-2 ATS. There are three teams split right down the middle at 1-1-1 ATS; Arizona, Dallas, and Minnesota.
The three teams that have been the early drain at 0-3 ATS are St. Louis, Miami, and San Diego. The Rams and Dolphins are a combined 0-6 across the board as they have yet to win a game either way. The Chargers, in typical fashion, have gotten off to a slow start despite the 2-1 SU record. They needed a furious come-from-behind effort to get past the Vikings 24-17 on opening day as nine-point home favorites. As 6.5-point home underdogs, they failed to cover in a 35-21 loss to New England in Week 2. Last week, San Diego had to grind out a 20-17 win over the Chiefs as a prohibitive 14.5-point home favorite. This week, the Chargers are seven-point home favorites against Miami, so one of these teams should get their first ATS win of the season, but a bet on a ‘push’ could be the best play.
Looking back at last season, the team that was the’ best bet’ ATS was Detroit at 12-4. Going back to Week 13 of 2010, the Lions are now 7-0-1 ATS in their last eight games. They started last season 7-1 ATS before going 0-3 ATS in a three-game mid-season stretch. This week, Detroit is a one-point road underdog against the Cowboys. Given the Lions recent success, the odds makers have sharpened the pencils on their games, so it may be time to find another horse to ride for the rest of this season.
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