Trends to Watch - September
August 26, 2014
By Marc Lawrence
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It’s official. The pig is in the air.
That means it is now September and with it an array of NFL handicapping team trends are suddenly in play for fans and ‘trendsvestites’ alike.
Listed below are some of the best and worst team performances during the opening month of September. Team breakdowns include records at home, away, as a favorite, as an underdog, and in division games. All results are ATS (Against The Spread) unless noted otherwise.
Remember, as the late, great Howard Cosell once said, “What’s right isn’t always popular. What’s popular isn’t always right.”
Keep an eye on (Good): The Detroit Lions have been fast starters at home with a 27-16 ATS record in the opening month of the season will play host to the New York football Giants (9/8) and Green Bay (9/21).
Keep an eye on (Bad): Here we have home teams that frustrate wagering home fans. Cincinnati is the worst of the bunch at a miserable 13-25 ATS and they will face Atlanta and Tennessee in Week’s 2 and 3.
Jay Gruden will attempt to break the negative cycle in Washington at 15-26 ATS when Jacksonville (9/14) and the Giants (9/25) arrive to face the team without an approved nickname any more.
Arizona will have two shots to better a 13-22 ATS record with San Diego in the desert on the opening Monday night and San Francisco 13 days later.
Bad: It has not mattered if Sam Bradford has been hurt or not or any other Rams quarterback for that matter, St. Louis has been a superior ‘play against’ road team at 14-29 ATS. Because of an early bye on this year’s schedule there is just one chance to bet against the Rams: at Tampa Bay (9/14).
Keep an eye on (Bad): This has been a mystery for years why Pittsburgh has been a bad bet at 14-27 ATS, never quite ready to begin the season. Let’s see how they do a short week at Baltimore (9/11) and 10 days later at Carolina.
As good as Detroit has been at home this month, that’s how bad they are away from home at 16-27 ATS. Keep a watchful eye on them at Carolina (9/14) and two weeks later in the New Jersey vs. the Jets.
Keep an eye on (Good): The defending NFL champions Seattle are moneymakers out of the gate at 27-15 ATS and should be favored all three times against very good competition, facing the Packers, at San Diego and a rematch with Denver in the first three weeks. Given the fact they are 17-1 SU and 13-5 ATS at home the past two seasons behind QB Russell Wilson they will be hard to fade at CenturyLink Field.
Bad: September has been a very bad month for several teams when listed as favorites. Let’s start with Carolina at 7-17 ATS and since they are lacking perimeter playmakers, they could be in trouble during the initial three weeks of the year being anticipated as favorites.
Most likely Arizona (7-16 ATS) will only be favored once and that is the opener with the Chargers. Presuming Sam Bradford can go, the Rams (12-24 ATS) are a Week 1 home favorite versus Minnesota, but Week 3 when Dallas is on the shores of the Mississippi River is up in the air right now.
Keep an eye on (Bad): As mentioned, the Bengals will have two home tilts and will be doling out points and with an 11-21 spread record in that role. You might have to look to the other side.
Good: Especially in the Tony Romo era, betting against Dallas has been profitable. Nevertheless, the Cowboys have been money as underdogs the first three to four weeks of the season at 23-10 ATS. While we don’t know for certain, there is a possibility the Boys could be dogs the entire month facing San Fran (9/7) at Tennessee (9/14), at St. Louis (9/21) and when Drew Brees and company comes to Big D on the final Sunday of September. Watch closely.
Bad: Pittsburgh’s pathetic road record has translated into crummy results as an underdog at 9-20 ATS. Those two away outings to visit the Ravens and Panthers could mean more ‘play against’ opportunities for NFL bettors.
Good: Kansas City has annually fared well against AFC West rivals early with a 22-11 ATS mark and makes the trip to Denver in Week 2 to see if they can make their good fortune continue.
Keep an eye on (Bad): If you think you have seen Cincinnati’s name a lot as a ‘play against’ squad in this treatise you are correct. And they fit again in AFC North action making the trip over to Baltimore on Sept. 7 with a 12-20 ATS record in division action.
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