NFL ATS Betting: Potential Studs and Duds for 2015
by George Monroy - 9/1/2015
ATS, or against the spread, wins and losses should be the major concern of all sports bettors. We can breakdown all the stats that we want, but if a team is not covering the spread, they are not important to us in this industry. In sports, a squad can have the perception of being a winning and popular team, but as bettors we need to look beyond the media representation to see if they are actually covering bets. The 2015 NFL season is a little more than a week away, so let's make a few predictions about which teams will be ATS studs and duds during the upcoming football year.
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ATS Stud: Indianapolis Colts
Three-Year Record: 34-19-1, 64 percent
Indianapolis has a simple offensive scheme-let Andrew Luck drop back and pass the ball. Opponents know what's coming because of the team's lack of a ground game, yet most of them can't do anything to stop it. The Colts have fallen into this weird zone where they are not an actual Super Bowl contender, at least not in my eyes, yet they are still an excellent team. The current AFC South champs have covered 64 percent of their games during the Luck era, and there isn't much reason to believe that excellent streak will not continue in 2015. Indianapolis has one of the best offensive systems in the league and is always looking to stay aggressive during most situations. Expect another great ATS year for the team.
ATS Dud: Washington Redskins
Two-Year Record: 10-22
Washington's coach, Jay Gruden, may have put the final nail in the coffin of the RGIII era when he announced that Robert Griffin III would be relegated to the backup role and the Redskins would be "Kirk Cousins' team". The trouble for Gruden is that Griffin may have been the team's best chance to succeed in 2015, because up until this point Cousins has shown no signs that he can be an NFL-level quarterback. Washington is still undefeated during the preseason, but do not let that record fool you, the team is a mess on offense and will probably end up with another 5-11 or 6-10 ATS record.
ATS Stud: Minnesota Vikings (as an underdog)
Three-Year Record: 23-12
Minnesota has shown surprising value as an underdog over the last three seasons. And with Adrian Peterson finally returning to the lineup, another solid ATS record may be on the horizon. The team has talent, an emerging quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater and potential on the defensive end. The beauty of the situation, however, is that the Vikings are still underrated and will probably not be noticed by the general public until deep into the season. A few NFL experts think Minnesota could contend for a playoff spot if Bridgewater can be a consistent force behind center. Regardless of how the team performs straight up, expect the Vikings to be an underdog for most games and have a great shot at covering on a weekly basis.
ATS Dud: Tennessee Titans (on the road)
2014 Record: 2-6
Tennessee improved during with the draft, particularly at the top when the team selected potential superstar Marcus Mariota. Bettors, however, should not get caught up in the hype of a single player, because history has shown that rookie quarterbacks struggle in the NFL. Even Peyton Manning needed a couple of seasons to become Peyton Manning. Coach Ken Whisenhunt might be building something in Tennessee, but the truth of the matter is that the team went 2-14 last season. And even if it improves this season, the squad will still struggle on the road with an inexperienced roster.
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