This list should really be named in honor of the Titans. Tennessee was tied as the worst team against the spread in the NFL last year. They were outright the worst the year before, and they were far less than profitable the year before that. They have been disastrous to bettors - but a total joy to bet against. But will they again be a terrible betting team, or will they finally turn a corner this year? And will the other bad betting teams from last year improve this year or again be in the cellar? Here's a look at the six worst ATS teams in the league last year - the five worst plus a tie:
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Tennessee Titans (4-11-1 ATS): The Titans won only three games last year. They were bad. That wasn't too far from expectations - people might have hoped for a couple more wins, but they are very young and have holes to fill. Now Marcus Mariota is in his second year, and things should slow down for him a fair bit. They have also invested heavily in their running game, and the combination of new additions Demarco Murray and Derrick Henry means that they should certainly be able to gain yardage. Beyond Henry, a solid draft ads talent on both sides of the ball, too. This is still the weakest team in their division - at BetOnline they are at +900 to win the AFC South, with Jacksonville the third choice at +350 - but they should be improved and should be better suited to cover spreads as well. I don't expect them to be among the league leaders in ATS performance, but they shouldn't be worst in the league, either.
Dallas Cowboys (4-11-1 ATS): Can Tony Romo finally stay healthy and play a full year? If he can't then can Dak Prescott recreate his preseason magic when games really matter? Can rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott live up to the massive expectations he faces (he's a -140 favorite to win the offensive rookie of the year)? Can this team finally get out of their own way and live up to their potential, or will the Cowboys just be the Cowboys all over again? There is no reason that they should be this bad for bettors, but then again they shouldn't have been this bad last year, either.
Miami Dolphins (5-11 ATS): The Dolphins have had some decent talent, but they have been mired in bad coaching the last few years - well, the last decade, really. Who knows for sure if things will change with this latest regime, but there is a lot to like so far, and the early tone is positive. They are absolutely not going to win the AFC East, but then neither are the Jets or the Bills. There is a decent chance, though, that they could finish second. I think Adam Gase was a very strong hire, and I think the team can improve quickly and dramatically if they improve their mental game. I am not optimistic that they will be a great betting team, but they shouldn't be back on this list next year.
Baltimore Ravens (5-9-2 ATS): Joe Flacco had an injury-riddled year last year, and pretty much nothing else went right for the team. It was a rough season. They should be able to bounce back reasonably well, though. The challenge is that the division is tough - the Browns are horrible, but Pittsburgh should be very good, and the Bengals are always consistent until the postseason. Like the other three teams we have discussed so far, I don't necessarily expect the team to be great this year, but they should be good enough to move off of this list by next year.
Cleveland Browns (6-10 ATS): Wow, this team is bad. There is a chance that RGIII could be great, but not a good one, and he certainly isn't helped by the lack of talent around him. It's a directionless team, and the new coaching staff would have to work miracles to pull off anything close to respectability this year. They are going to be a bad bet, and they are the early favorites to be at the top of this list next year.
Atlanta Falcons (6-10 ATS): I just don't really care about this team. They have talent, but they have always found a way to underperform. The coaching change last year was much needed, but it hasn't yet had the impact that it seemed like it should - they are still virtually guaranteed to make a brain dead mistake or two per game. They aren't going to win their division, and they aren't going to be particularly exciting. They could have a similar ATS record, or they could be a little better. Hard to tell. Harder to care.
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