1: Indianapolis Colts – The Colts went 7-1 ATS last season at Lucas Oil Field, and they are clearly going to be one of the top ATS teams at home once again this year. It felt as though the season went on and the games got bigger and bigger, the results got better and better. The consummate game of the year was when the Texans came to town in Head Coach Chuck Pagano’s first game back after his fight with leukemia. It would be impossible to think that the team is going to be able to cover seven games this year, but Colts fans are some of the most educated fans in the league, and they not only know how to make life a living hell on the opposition, but they know how to keep quiet when QB Andrew Luck and the offense are on the field as well.
2: Seattle Seahawks – CenturyLink Field is notoriously one of the best places to watch a football game… unless of course, you’re the opponents of the Seahawks. The 12th Man flag flies high over this stadium, and Mother Nature may as well be the 13th Man at times when the weather gets rainy and nasty. Parlay all of that with the emergence of QB Russell Wilson as a bona fide superstar in this league, and the makings were there for a fantastic ATS season at home at 7-1. Now, Seattle has a lot to live up to this season, and it would love to find a way to get some home games in the playoffs. The problem? It has to get past the 49ers first, and that’s a quest that is going to be nearly impossible to pull off.
3: Denver Broncos – The Broncos went 11-5 ATS last season, and a lot of their success came thanks to the fact that they were overlooked at the start of the year. The common thought was that there was no way that QB Peyton Manning was going to be able to come in and play like the old Peyton Manning that we were used to from the start of the campaign with a brand new team and a whole new system. The common thought was most certainly wrong. Manning always dominated at home in his time with Indianapolis, and he did the same in Denver as well. For anyone that wants to dog him for losing that game to Baltimore in the playoffs, just remember that he put enough points on the board against a fantastic defense that should have won that game by at least two TDs. Manning doesn’t play defense. Going 6-3 ATS at home in totality was amazing for bettors.
4: Minnesota Vikings – Playing at the Metrodome is always hard for opponents, and the man that just could not be stopped last year in this building was RB Adrian Peterson. Peterson averaged 132.5 rushing yards per game last season, including when he rumbled for 199 yards and a score against the Packers in Week 17 to get Minnesota into the playoffs. The problem though, is going to be living up to the challenge of repeating that success this year, and we have the feeling that unless “All Day” is running all over the place again at the Metrodome, that it might not end up happening.
5: Washington Redskins – QB Robert Griffin III knew that he had to play out of his mind last season to win games with the Redskins, and he was able to do just that, especially at FedEx Field. It’s true that Washington ended up losing its playoff game at home, dropping to 5-4 from an ATS standpoint at home last season, but take absolutely nothing away from what it was able to accomplish. The fans in DC are some of the best in the league, and the hogs are going to be out in full force once again now that the Redskins have their franchise superstar for presumably the next decade.
6: Cleveland Browns – We’ve spoken about hogs, and now we’re going to talk about some dogs! The Dawg Pound, in fact, is one of the best stadiums in the NFL. There isn’t much glitzy or glamorous about the place, but Cleveland Browns Stadium is a perfect representation of what the city of Cleveland is all about. Knowing that there is only one team on this list from the AFC North, you’d figure that any of the other teams could be amongst them. Alas, it was the Browns who went 5-3 ATS last season, while the rest of the teams in the division went a combined 9-13-2 ATS in front of their respective crowds.
7: Houston Texans – Reliant Stadium came alive in 2013, and the fans in the Lone Star State got more excited about their Texans than they had been about any team in Houston since Warren Moon was slinging the ball all over the place. Technically, Houston went 6-3 ATS last season at home after beating the Bengals at home in the first round of the playoffs, but the team is a bit further down on this list, knowing that the task is going to be even tougher next season. The Texans have a brutal first place schedule to play, and they have a lot of nasty opponents coming to town this year.
8: Green Bay Packers – The Packers always play well in front of the loyal Packers fans, and why not? After all, the city technically owns the team! Green Bay went 5-3 ATS last season at home, and it covered its first round home game against the Minnesota Vikings with ease. The Pack were dominating at times on the Frozen Tundra, beating six of its last eight foes by at least nine points. The only teams that weren’t beaten by at least a full TD were the Saints in Week 4 (won by 1) and the 49ers in Week 1 (lost by 8).
9: Miami Dolphins – At 4-3-1 ATS, the Dolphins were definitely rock solid in 2012 at home. You’d think that Miami would be taking advantage of Mother Nature providing some tremendously hot games, especially for these northern teams, but in the end, it was in November and December in which the Fins really showed the rest of the league that they were for real. Miami covered its last four home games of the season, including beating the Seahawks (who hardly ever lost after that) and nearly beating the Patriots (who went on to the AFC Championship Game). There is work for QB Ryan Tannehill to do, but if he progresses through 2013 the same way that he did through 2012, perhaps Miami can be one of the best ATS teams at home again with this campaign.
10: San Francisco 49ers – The 49ers are going to be tough to play wherever the game is being held, and that’s due to the fact that they can do just about everything well. This is a team that can throw it, it can run it, and it can run it out of the spread option with QB Colin Kaepernick to boot. The team went 4-4 ATS in the regular season, and it dominated in its first playoff game as well against the Packers to finish up at 5-4 ATS. The last four foes that came to the Stick last year all were beaten by at least 13 points, and that’s the type of production that is going to lead to covers in the future in a season in which no one is taking this team for granted.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.