NFL Handicapping: Teams with Chance for Best ATS Improvement
by Trevor Whenham - 8/20/2013
There were only 15 teams in the NFL last season that at least broke even for bettors who bet on them in every game they played last year. That means that 17 teams lost faithful bettors money. Some lost a little. Many lost a whole lot.
That ratio of winners to losers is about what we can expect most years — there were 14 profitable teams last year, and 17 the year before. Each year we see a few teams that were losers one year become profitable the next year. Those teams are the best friends of bettors.
If you can spot those teams before the betting public does then you can cash in on their improvement. Here are three teams that were losers last year that stand a good chance of improving their betting performance significantly this year:
Kansas City Chiefs (5-11 ATS)
The list of things the Chiefs did well last year was very short. In fact, it’s pretty hard to think of any at all. This year there are obviously so many reasons to be more optimistic. Even without the changes they have made, they are quite possibly going to be better just because they aren’t likely to be as hard hit with injuries as they were. Beyond the turns of fate, though, they are going into the season with two massive improvements. Alex Smith may struggle early on to adjust to the new system because other quarterbacks certainly handle change better than he does, but he is about a million times the player that Matt Cassel ever was for the Chiefs. More significantly, Andy Reid is the best coach the team has had in far too long, and he seems reborn with the change of scenery and the scaled back responsibilities. The team failed to win or cover their last four games last year when the writing was on the wall and all hope was lost. Reid won’t let that happen this year, and the team should be in a more positive state of mind at that point this season. Talent has never really been the problem with the Chiefs outside of the QB position, and we should see a solid step forward. Public expectations are reasonably high because of Reid, but the team should still be able to cover more spreads than they did last year.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-12-1 ATS)
It’s hard to really know what to expect from the first year of the Chip Kelly era. He has so much to overcome — a new league and style of play, personnel that isn’t yet what he would ideally like, a quarterback that will be a compromise for him, and crushing public expectations. While I expect it to take at least a year or two for Kelly to build a true contender in Philadelphia, there is one thing I know for sure — Kelly would die, or kill someone, before he would accept lackadaisical performance from a team that is required to wind up 3-12-1 ATS. Kelly isn’t going to let this team quit or lose focus for even a second. He’s going to be able to score a whole lot of points, too, and that comes in handy when it comes to covering spreads — especially as underdogs. This team will draw more public support than it likely should this year because of the hype surrounding Vick, and that will make it hard for them to be a profitable team for bettors. They won’t be anywhere close to as bad as last year, though.
San Diego Chargers (7-9 ATS)
The Chargers land on this list for just one reason, but it is a huge one — Norv Turner has left the building. Turner had managed to beat the heart and soul out of this team, and management just let him keep doing it. You knew that the team was either going to be slow out of the gate or they would stumble at the end of the year under Turner, and it certainly wasn’t impossible for both to happen. He made it impossible to trust his team, and if you did you often regretted it. Mike McCoy is a much-needed breath of fresh air for this team. He’s young and energetic, and will have this team playing with a step and enthusiasm that we haven’t seen for too long. He’s also a former quarterback and a very good mentor of quarterbacks. Philip Rivers has fallen out of favor in the eyes of football fans and bettors — another legacy of the Turner era. He’s very talented, though, and McCoy and his staff could help get better play out of him. That would have an immediate effect on the betting fate of this team. The team is almost a forgotten squad because of their struggles and continuous disappointment over the last couple of years. That will keep the spreads reasonable, and it will make it easier for them to cover.
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
Most Recent NFL Handicapping
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 12 Opening Line Report and Picks
- College and NFL Football Biggest Line Moves for Nov. 21-22
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 11 Opening Line Report and Picks
- 2021 Super Bowl Predictions
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 10 Opening Line Report and Picks
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 9 Opening Line Report and Picks
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 8 Opening Line Report and Picks
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 7 Opening Line Report and Picks
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 6 Opening Line Report and Picks
- 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds and Expert Betting Predictions