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Double-Digit Trends

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It's well known in handicapping circles that the NFL is the most difficult sport to beat and this year's regular season backs up that statement, at least for the betting public.

Through three weeks of action, underdogs have produced an overall record of 28-19-1 (60%) against the spread, which includes an eye opening 11-5 (69%) mark in Week 3. So what should bettors expect going forward?

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VegasInsider.com handicapper Marc Lawrence explains that you should always expect the unexpected in the NFL.

He said, "You're never as good as you are in your best win and at the same time never as bad in your worst loss."

Put simply, NFL teams have good and bad weeks and the margins should never be emphasized. Unfortunately, most pundits in television and radio put a lot of stock into blowout victories and losses, which often misleads the betting public.

With the help of Lawrence, we broke down the first 48 games and found some intriguing results when it comes to double-digit victories.

After three weeks, we've seen 14 wins by 10 or more points.

In the following game, the team that has lost by double digits has produced a 12-2 straight up record. For betting purposes, those clubs have gone 10-3-1 against the spread. 

Double-Digit Losers - Week 1
Outcome Week 2 Result
Team Week 1 Loss SU ATS
Tennessee 13-34 vs. New England L L
Miami 10-30 @ Houston W W
Kansas City 24-40 vs. Atlanta L L
Indianapolis 21-41 @ Chicago W W
Buffalo 28-48 @ N.Y. Jets W W
Cincinnati 13-44 @ Baltimore W P
Pittsburgh 19-31 @ Denver W W
Double-Digit Losers - Week 2
Outcome Week 3 Result
Team Week 2 Loss SU ATS
Chicago 10-23 @ Green Bay W W
Jacksonville 7-27 @ Houston W W
Kansas City 17-35 @ Buffalo W W
N.Y. Jets 10-27 @ Pittsburgh W W
Tenneessee 10-38 @ San Diego W W
Oakland 13-35 @ Miami W W
Dallas 7-27 @ Seattle W L

And if you delve deeper into the above table, you could take out the results from the Buffalo-Kansas City matchup in Week 2 since both teams were coming off double-digit losses. If you do that, the numbers are 11-1 SU and 9-2-1 ATS.

While it's safe to say that the league as a whole has rebounded from rough losses, it's also fair to say that teams have had trouble duplicating big wins. According to Lawrence, clubs off double-digit wins are 5-9 SU and 6-8 ATS. And if you take out the matchups where two teams meet off wins by 10-plus points, the number dips to 3-7 SU and 4-6 ATS. (Denver-Atlanta, Green Bay-Seattle). 

Double-Digit Winners - Week 1
Outcome Week 2 Result
Team Week 1 Win SU ATS
Chicago 41-21 vs. Indianapolis L L
N.Y. Jets 48-28 vs. Buffalo L L
New England 34-13 at Tennessee L L
Atlanta 40-24 vs. Kansas City W W
Houston 30-10 vs. Miami W W
Denver 31-19 vs. Pittsburgh L L
Baltimore 44-13 vs. Cincinnati L W
Double-Digit Winners - Week 2
Outcome Week 3 Result
Team Week 2 Win SU ATS
Green Bay 23-10 vs. Chicago L L
Miami 35-13 vs. Oakland L L
Houston 27-7 at Jacksonville W W
Seattle 27-7 vs. Dallas W W
Pittsburgh 27-10 vs. N.Y. Jets L L
San Diego 38-10 vs. Tennessee L L
Buffalo 35-17 vs. Kansas City W W
Will these trends continue?

Only time will tell but the below table lists the 12 teams that were involved in the six decisions from Week 3 that were decided by more than 10 points. Of those 12, we'll have two matchups where a team that lost by double digits will be facing a team that won by double digits. Carolina will visit Atlanta, while Philadelphia hosts the N.Y. Giants.

Week 3 Double-Digit Winners & Losers
Loser Week 4 Opponent Winner Week 4 Opponent
Carolina @ Atlanta N.Y. Giants @ Philadelphia
St. Louis vs. Seattle Chicago @ Dallas
San Francisco @ N.Y. Jets Minnesota @ Detroit
Cleveland @ Baltimore Buffalo vs. New England
San Diego @ Kansas City Atlanta vs. Carolina
Philadelphia vs. N.Y. Giants Arizona vs. Miami
Chris David can be reached at cdavid@vegasinsider.com

  
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