NFL Betting Trends- 2012 ATS Results by the Numbers
Even the worse teams in the NFL tend to play better at home and while they may not win a game straight-up, they have a much better chance of covering against the spread than they would on the road. Quality teams will always win the majority on their home games SU, but since they are usually a heavier favorite they may be less likely to cover the spread.
The opposite trend exists on the road. It is much more difficult to win SU on the road no matter how good a team you have, but when it comes to covering on the road, the numbers remain slightly skewed in their favor especially for teams with losing records.
The following is a look at last season’s results in both of these areas as well as a few handicapping tips you can use to take advantage of these trends for wagering on next season’s games.
2012 Total NFL Home and Road ATS Trends
Looking back at the 2012 NFL regular season, 23 of 32 teams (71.9 percent) had a .500 record or better at home SU but this number drops to 17 of 32 teams (53.1 percent) posting a .500 record or better at home ATS.
When it comes to road games, only 15 of the 32 teams (46.9 percent) ended the regular season with a SU record of .500 or better last year. That number jumped up to 18 of 32 teams (56.3 percent) when adding-up which ones had a .500 record or better ATS on the road in 2012. These numbers bear out that the spreads for home teams tend to be a bit more inflated than they should.
This is in direct response to the fact that the Oddsmakers are well aware that the majority of the betting public has a tendency to wager on favorites, especially when they are playing at home. Opening lines for most home favorites will consistently be hedged a bit higher because they know that the majority of the money will still gravitate to that side even if the spread is wider than it should be. This is especially true when a marquee team such as Dallas or New England is playing at home.
This concept preys on the age old notion that everyone likes a winner. If a team is favored on the opening line, the betting public already assumes it is going to win, so the only question in their minds is by how many points? This is the absolutely the worst approach to correctly handicapping a matchup to come up with a probable winner ATS. Always keep in mind, that the spread for a game is always designed to move money from one side to the other, not to predict actual outcomes.
2012 ATS Home Losers and Road Winners
The key to using these skewed lines to your advantage is to track which teams have historically won ATS on the road in recent years as well as which teams have trouble covering as a favorite at home. Looking back at last season’s results, the Philadelphia Eagles (0-7-1 ATS) and the Dallas Cowboys (1-7 ATS) had the worst records at home and the St. Louis Rams (7-1) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-1-1 ATS) had the best records on the road.
These results should come as no real surprise considering that the Cowboys and especially the Eagles came nowhere close to living up to their expectation as winners, while the Rams and the Bucs overachieved in their role as expected losers. In order to successfully wager on the NFL, you have to be able to dispose of all preconceived notions of how a team is expected to play and focus mainly on the matchup at hand in terms of each side’s current form.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.