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Who's Hot and Who's Not

Week of October 8th

Well, that trend of teams going 'over' the total when coming off a TNF home game continued this week with the Rams 33-31 win in Seattle. That's a perfect 4-0 O/U so far in 2018 and this week we've already got the perfect candidate for a popular 'over' play there as the New England Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs. If that's a trend you are looking to follow, it's probably best to get your play in sooner rather than later this week.

Regarding last week's streaks, the Sun Belt East Division teams ended up finishing the week with a 1-0-2 against the spread (ATS) mark as Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State were off, while Troy and Georgia State played one another. That 1-0-2 ATS mark is the best possible outcome for the Sun Belt East last week, so even when they play one another they aren't a bad ATS bet...

Over in the MAC East games, backing the 'over' once again proved to be the way to go as only the Ohio/Kent State divisional matchup was able to cash an 'under' ticket in any of the four games played involving teams from that division. You'd have to believe that a run like that should eventually dry up, but we might have to wait until the weather takes a turn before MAC East 'under' bets can be considered.

This week it's back to the NFL as there are a few things I want to touch on there.

Who's Hot

Tight games involving the Cleveland Browns – All five Cleveland games have been decided by 4 points or less

We may be nearly 40 years removed from the 1980 Cleveland Browns known as the “Kardiac Kids” in Cleveland, but the 2018 Cleveland Browns are definitely young and definitely know how to make games close the entire time. Cleveland is looking at a 4-1 ATS record vs the closing numbers this year, but that one ATS loss could be graded as a push or even win as their number was +3 or higher for the bulk of the week prior to playing Oakland.

After all last season stories coming out about the “sharps” backing Cleveland each week and usually paying the oddsmaker, it's looking like those bettors were just a year early in their support for the Browns, as this team has been competitive every week and been paying off their backers basically every time. To have the first five games decided by no more than four points every time is quite remarkable, but may be even more remarkable is the fact that Cleveland's first SU win in nearly two years came when they won and covered as a small favorite with that four-point margin. All those years of bad luck appear to be reversing themselves every week for Cleveland in 2018.

This week the Browns and their ATS run are going to be put to the test as they are in the pick'em/+1 range hosting the L.A Chargers. It's an early body clock game for L.A there and that does favor the Browns, but the oddsmakers look like they want to really test the support of Browns backers here. There will be no more Browns SU losses/ties and paying out spread tickets this week. At this number it's Browns win the game or not.

It's too early in the week to really know which way I want to lean there, but if what we've seen from Cleveland already this year, chances are it will be a one-possession game regardless. Teasers anyone?

Who's Not

NFL Road Favorites – 0-4 ATS in Week 5, 2-9 ATS last three weeks

Betting road favorites in the NFL can tend to be a tricky proposition in general, but these past few weeks it's just been a bankroll burner. On Sunday we saw four teams that close as road favorites (Denver, Baltimore, Tennessee, L.A Rams) go 0-4 ATS, and you can even throw Green Bay into that mix as well as they were -1.5 on the road all the way until Sunday when the line flipped and Detroit was finally laying a point at home. Only one of those teams – Rams – actually won the game outright, as these home underdogs are ones you definitely want to look at right now.

Not only was Week 5 bad ATS-wise for road favorites, but Week 4's 2-2 ATS record for road chalk only got two wins because of Houston's OT gift, and Kansas City's 4th quarter comeback to beat Denver and win by the hook (vs closing line). With a 0-3 ATS record in Week 3 for road chalk, the last spot any NFL team wants to be in right now is expected to win on the road.

So what does that mean for Week 6?

Well, the week starts off with the Philadelphia Eagles laying a FG on TNF against the Giants. TNF has already been a rough spot for road teams this year (0-4-1 ATS), and now you've got the poor road favorite role attached to the Eagles as well. Not the greatest spot for the defending champs to say the least.

After that, there are currently six other road favorites on the Week 6 betting board. We've got Seattle (-3) in Oakland, Chicago (-3) in Miami, L.A Chargers (-1) in Cleveland, L.A Rams (-7) in Denver, Jacksonville (-3) in Dallas, and Baltimore (-3) in Tennessee. All six of those squads probably won't fail to cover their respective spreads, but I know I wouldn't be that confident in my card if a good majority end up on my betting board.

That's not to say you should avoid these teams or look to blindly bet the other way, just tread carefully with these teams in that road chalk role, because it's really only added money into the oddsmakers pockets this year.

Check out more NFL Odds (-105) and Props at!

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