Expert NFL Betting Advice: Teams That Could Improve ATS
You can tell the difference between football fans and football bettors by how they view teams. Fans will instantly be able to tell you their favorite teams, the ones they like, and the ones they don't like at all. It's based on emotion, and the lines between the categories are clear. But bettors are less passionate and emotional. They simply like teams that can make them money and dislike teams that don't. Predictable is best, loyalty to teams doesn't exist, and profit is all that matters. And our job here today is to look at all the teams in the league, how they did last year, and which ones could show big improvement - and therefore become the favorites of bettors for now:
Denver Broncos (4-11-1 ATS): The Broncos were just a mess offensively last year, which is what happens when you make a gamble at QB and lose. Well, now they have taken a couple more gambles - adding Case Keenum to start and drafting Chad Kelly to presumably be the second-stringer sooner rather than later because no one can believe in the Paxton Lynch experiment by this point. The big difference between this year and last year, though, is that this year's gambles make sense, and there is a dramatically bigger chance of success this time around. The defense is sound, and there are some pieces on offense. If the team can get even somewhat passable play at the QB position - and we know that Keenum is capable of more than that at his best - then this team will almost automatically be better than they were. As a group last year, the three quarterbacks who played - Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch - threw for 19 touchdowns and 22 picks and averaged just 6.5 yards per attempt. That is just hideous. Keenum, by contrast, had 22 scores and just seven interceptions and averaged 7.4 yards per attempt. The potential for improvement here on that front alone is massive.
Oakland Raiders (5-9-2 ATS): I am not nearly as much on the Jon Gruden bandwagon as a lot of people seem to be right now. And his presence will draw more betting attention from the public - especially early on - than it should. But I also don't believe that the team we saw last year is what this team really is. They should be better on both sides of the ball and significantly better at quarterback. If they return to just their level of reasonable expectations then they will do much better this year. They were 10-6 ATS two years ago, and that is a lot closer to what is reasonable from this team than the debacle that was last season.
Houston Texans (7-9 ATS): The Texans were 5-2 ATS in their first seven games and 2-7 ATS in their final nine. The biggest difference, of course, is that Deshaun Watson was injured in the seventh game and didn't play again. I am a big believer in Watson and think he has a very bright career ahead of him. Coming back from a knee injury is always a bit nerve wracking, and those seven games last year were the only ones of his career, so there is no guarantee that he will advance, but I have faith in him, so I have faith in the improvement of this team.
Green Bay Packers (7-9 ATS): Aaron Rodgers wasn't around this year, and he is around to start this year. And if I need to say any more than that then you obviously didn't watch any of the total train wreck that this team tried to convince us was NFL-caliber last year. I don't like this team as much as some people do, and I don't have a lot of faith in the long-term health of Rodgers, but regardless of all that this team should be different - likely quite different - than last year.
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-9 ATS): The Steelers had three games last year in which they failed to cover by two points or fewer. In other words, a break or two along the way and they were a 10-6 ATS team. The year before they were 9-6-1 ATS, and the difference competitively wasn't dramatic. This year the team is again viewed as an elite contender and should be one of the teams that goes through the season looking reasonably strong from start to finish. Last year's ATS score wasn't representative of what they were as a team, and they should be at least as good as last year - and potentially a little better. This feels like a team with a low-risk chance of solid betting improvement.
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