NFL Betting Advice: Teams That Could See ATS Decline
It is much easier to figure out which teams are going to be competent in the NFL at this point in the summer than it is to figure out which teams are going to be successful against the spread. It is easier to win games than to cover spreads. Strong teams don't always cover spreads, and teams can cover lots of spreads while losing a lot of games. All we can do is speculate - and the better that speculation is, the more money we will make during the season. Here is a look at five teams that were strong for bettors last year that have a good chance at being less effective this year:
New England Patriots (11-5 ATS): The Patriots tied the Vikings as the best betting team in the league last year. And while they are viewed as a virtual lock to win their division this year because of the widespread incompetence of the rest of the AFC East, it is hard to believe that they are going to be quite as sharp as they have been lately. Tom Brady is going to look his age at some point, and he doesn't have anything close to the best group of receivers he has had to play with. And to like this roster you have to have a whole lot of faith in the power of Belichick and company, because in less-accomplished coaching hands this would be a team with some concerning holes. I still think that this is a playoff team but perhaps a less effective one than we have seen recently from them. They are currently Super Bowl favorites, but I'm not buying it.
Philadelphia Eagles (10-6 ATS): The Eagles are seen as a serious threat to repeat as champions - currently they are the third team in Super Bowl futures betting and second in the NFC. And they have had a good offseason. But there are a couple of things to remember here. First, repeating is very tough for any team, and it's not like this team had a whole lot of playoff experience to draw on prior to last year to keep them grounded. They will be a hunted team this year, and the egos in the room will surely be bigger than they were before a title win. And then there is the question of the quarterback position. Last year they had almost impossibly good luck - MVP play from one guy, and incredible play from his backup when needed. But now they are dealing with a guy coming back from a serious injury, another guy who has a different view of his value than he would have at this point last year, and the potential for a distraction. And on top of all that, the team is now a very public team - a likeable champion with a loaded roster. They will be bet early and often, and that could be a challenge for them to cover spreads at the rate they did last year.
Kansas City Chiefs (10-6 ATS): Alex Smith wasn't the most exciting or popular quarterback in the league, but he was stable. Some might say boring. Now he is gone, and Patrick Mahomes takes over. I'm not necessarily the believer in Mahomes that some are, but even if he turns out to be fine he's still a new starter, and he's on a team that is solid but far from flawless. It could turn out very well for him, but the chances of some growing pains are high. Combine that with a division that should be tougher this year than last, and it seems quite likely that the team won't be quite as strong for bettors.
New York Jets (9-6-1 ATS): It looks like Sam Darnold is carrying himself well in camp and should see real playing time reasonably early on. But Darnold is a rookie. And as talented as he is, he was also far from consistent at USC. It's going to be a work in progress for him and for the team around him as well. Last year they were as successful as they were for bettors because they were a bad team that people assumed would be a really terrible one. They struggled, but not as much as they could have - a pathetic yet effective way to turn a betting profit. Now, though, expectations are probably a bit more realistic, so betting results should be a bit more muted.
L.A. Rams (9-7 ATS): The Rams are the second choice to win the Super Bowl behind only New England, and obviously the top choice in the NFC. That is a heavy weight to place on a young team. They have massive upside in so many places, but there is lots of opportunities for challenges, too - a lot of guys have failed to continue developing at the stage that Jared Goff is at, running backs don't stay on top of their game forever, the receivers might not work out, the defensive line might not gel and be the sum of the ridiculous parts, and so on. A lot of people like this team, and they are definitely likeable, but the added attention this year could make them a challenging betting team.
Want free NFL picks? Doc's has you covered. New clients can take advantage of this great offer of $60 in free Doc's Sports members' picks for any handicapper on Doc's Expert Handicapper list. Just check out these guys' pages and see what great work they have done making money for themselves and their clients over the years. Get $60 worth of premium members' picks free . Also, get three handicappers for the price of one when you sign up for a full-season football package! Click Here for details . Get free NFL picks weekly on Doc's Sports free football picks page.
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
Get all of this Weeks NFL picks
Get all of this Weeks Guaranteed Expert NFL Picks