With the NFL finally coming to its senses and replacement referees no longer the lead story on ESPN, we move into the second-quarter of the 2012 season.
With that, we open the history book to find how teams have fared during the month of October in five key situational roles, namely: Favorites, Dogs, Home, Away and in Division.
Listed below are the good, bad and ugly team trends in games played since 1990.
By following this list closely the only thing you’ll be looking to replace by the end of the month will be the batteries in your remote. Enjoy the games.
Keep an eye on: Don’t worry about the Pittsburgh Steelers 1-2 start. Through the years, Pittsburgh has been a notoriously slow starter who gets rolling starting in October. This is particularly true at home where the Steelers are 27-14 against the spread. The Pittsburgh franchise has longed worked to peak at the right time, which is later in the season. This month is the time they start building.
Bad: Maybe it will be different this time, but Seattle has not been kind to its backers in October when leaving the Northwest. The Seahawks are a miserable 14-30 ATS away from Coffee Town and have long history of poor results in the Eastern Time Zone. This is not good news since Hawks will be playing in Carolina and in Detroit this month.
Except for the Tony Dungy and John Gruden years, Tampa Bay has a long, lost history of failure. For those betting football it shows up this month on the road where the Buccaneers are a money-draining 13-28 ATS. Fortunately, Tampa Bay has just one roadie in Minnesota on Oct. 25. Here is a mind-blowing fact on the Bucs that qualifies for a mention in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Tampa would have to win 123 games in a row (over seven straight seasons), just to even up their all-time record at .500. Chew on that for a while.
Keep an eye on: The Bill Belichick era has certainly been a bonus not only to New England, but sage followers. When the Pats hit the road, they are 26-15 ATS in October, which fits in line with zebra-hunting Belichick’s 25-12-2 ATS snapshot as an away underdog in his career. The Patriots will have two visiting assignments this month.
Good: Even without the three years Cleveland did not have a NFL team (locals might question if it still is a professional team), in the last 21 years, no club has been a favorite as few a times in this trick-or-treat month. At least the Browns have delivered treats with an 8-4 spread record in this role. The only possible such role could be hosting in-state partner Cincinnati.
Bad: Besides the scary aspect of Halloween, October has also been a part of some the worst single one day falls on the stock market. The Cincinnati Bengals fit right in with an 8-17 ATS record when handing out points. This could occur a couple of times.
Keep an eye on: St. Louis is a very positive 19-11 ATS when in this role, but with home games against Arizona, Green Bay and New England, we are not certain they will wear the favorite’s hat. Seattle is the polar opposite at 12-20 ATS and the only potential faves roles are at Carolina and home to the Brady Bunch.
Good: What is sure to place a smile on any football bettors face is whipping out the I-phone and finding the Giants or Steelers as underdogs. The G-Men are 19-9 ATS when receiving points from oddsmakers and Pittsburgh is even better at 20-7 ATS, 74 percent! New York would be presumed to catching digits at San Francisco and at Dallas, while the men from the Steel City might only see points coming their way once on Oct. 21 at Cincy.
Keep an eye on: San Diego is the kind of mutt you don’t want to even have eye contact with at 11-21 against the number. Possibly a date at New Orleans will have the Bolts as underdogs. NFL bettors would just like to see Cam Newton continue what came before him with Carolina 24-13 ATS when obtaining points. The Panthers will be underdogs at Chicago at the end the month and could be catching points at home vs. Seattle and Dallas also.
Good: The New York Giants do not need a costume to frighten NFC rivals in October; they just have to show up at the door. New Jersey is 22-11 ATS in the division and the last two games of the month are against Washington and at Dallas.
Bad: Until the last several years, Cincinnati and New Orleans were moribund franchises well acquainted with losing regularly. These bad habits happened all the time, including within their respective divisions. Backing the Bengals in division play is foolhardy, as a gruesome 11-27 ATS record proves. Contests with the Browns and Steelers could be frightful.
The city of New Orleans has been known for is jazz music, but the Saints have frequently been off-key with their 10-23 ATS showing vs. division foes. With all the issues for Drew Brees and the boys this season, a trip to Tampa could be troublesome.
Keep an eye on: Chicago is a sharp 22-11 ATS and has Detroit in the Windy City on a Monday night. The NY Jets are 22-12 ATS and finish the month at New England and with Miami. Pittsburgh is 23-13 ATS and will spend a Sunday night in Cincinnati. When Peyton Manning was in Indianapolis, the Colts were often overvalued favorites playing a part into their 12-22 ATS mark. That will not be the situation heading to Tennessee on the last Sunday of the month. Seattle is 13-25 ATS in division action and will have an important affair on a Thursday night in San Francisco.