NFL Betting Odds: Predicting the Five Worst Against the Spread
by Trevor Whenham - 9/6/2011
What do the Panthers, Browns, Cardinals, Vikings, and Broncos have in common? They were better than any other teams in the NFL last year at wasting the money of bettors that backed them. They were the five worst teams against the NFL point spread in the league, and it’s no mystery why — none of them were any good, and they all gave up considerably more points per game than they scored.
History has taught us that at least a couple of those teams will be considerably kinder to bettors than they were last year. I bet that the Browns and the Cardinals will be those teams. That means that there will be other teams that will take over the responsibility of being incredibly frustrating for bettors. Here are my picks for the five worst ATS teams in the NFL against the betting odds:
Carolina Panthers - They were the worst team in the league last year, and I don’t think it will be a different story this year.
I have heard some people saying that they are optimistic about Cam Newton this year, but I‘m not. He is a huge talent who knows how to win, but he has to completely change everything he knows about football, and he has to do it with shortened practice and under a first-time head coach. It’s not going to go well for them.
They have worked on upgrading their talent, but they still aren’t nearly good enough. Their offense was horrific last year, and I don’t expect them to be a whole lot better this year. Maybe one day they will return to respectability, but this is not the year.
Cincinnati Bengals - If you have read what I have written about the NFL at all in the past then you know the one thing I am really sure of when it comes to the NFL — Marvin Lewis is the worst coach in the league, and it’s not even close. He has wasted a whole lot of talent in the past. This year he doesn’t have much talent to waste.
Andy Dalton has a chance to be a very good QB, but this year he is just being thrown to the wolves. His receiving talent is suspect. The offensive line is suspect. His running game is suspect. This is just not a very good team. In fact it’s lousy.
They are going to struggle to score points, and they are going to give up a lot of points. They will be underdogs a lot, but oddsmakers just won’t be able to give them enough points often enough for them to cover spreads with any frequency.
At this point this is probably the worst team in the NFL — and given how bad I expect Carolina to be that’s really saying something.
Kansas City Chiefs - I can’t just pick all the really bad teams to pick on here. The Chiefs are a pretty solid team, and they are expected by some to take another step forward this year. While that is possible, there are a lot of clues that they could be in for a frustrating season.
The preseason was terrible. While I don’t really worry about that in most cases, there are reasons to be concerned here.
The offense looked confused and frustrated at times, and given that they are breaking in a new offensive coordinator that’s not comforting.
Matt Cassel enters the season banged up, and his security blanket — tight end Tony Moeaki — is out for the year.
There seems to be a good chance that they will be disappointing compared to expectations. I’m not saying that they will be contending for the No. 1 pick in the next draft, but they might not make it to .500 if things don’t go their way.
I respect Todd Haley as a coach, but I’m not sure if he has what it takes to handle a whole lot of adversity with this team.
Seattle Seahawks - I keep hearing that the Seahawks are on their way back, but I’m not buying it.
The decision to ditch Matt Hasselbeck in favor of Tarvaris Jackson has a chance to go down as one of the worst decisions in recent football history. In a league where the QB is so important I just don’t like the option of going into battle behind Jackson. I also don’t really trust a lot of the other changes that the team has made.
Pete Carroll has a massive reputation as a football coach, but that reputation has not been built in the NFL. Until he proves that he can excel in the league I can’t trust him.
I think that chances are very good that this squad will perform well below expectations.
Washington Redskins -There is really only one thing I need to say about this squad — after an intense battle Rex Grossman won their QB battle. If Grossman is the best chance you have at winning then you don’t have much of a chance of winning.
They haven’t exactly built a powerhouse team around him, either, and it’s hard to get excited about much that this team has done. They just aren’t good enough to be competitive — especially not since they play in such a strong division.
It will be another frustrating year to be a Washington fan, and a frustrating year to bet on them regularly as well.
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