Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM
Hot & Not Report - Week 6
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Week of October 7th
Mixed results so far from last week's isolated scenarios, as the 'unders' for teams coming off 40-point performances took a hit with a 2-0 O/U record so far this week with Cleveland's result pending tonight.
Going against those 40-point performers against the spread the following week as brought a 1-1 ATS record officially, but if you were willing to just take Seattle ML instead of the “dreaded” hook on -1.5, a betting record of 2-0 is possible. Again, Cleveland's result is still pending tonight, but it's already on toe Week 6 for the most part.
And Week 6 this year is the first time we've got more then two teams on a bye week, and the first time we get a division rematch game as well (Carolina/Tampa Bay). It's not a true home-and-home since they will be playing in London, England, but you know the new-look Panthers with Kyle Allen under center would love to get some revenge.
It's these divisional games that become the focus for this week's piece though,as there are four of them in total – Carolina/Tampa, Cincinnati/Baltimore, San Francisco/LA Rams, and Detroit/Green Bay – and they've all got interesting aspects involved from both the specific and broad view.
Road teams in NFL Divisional games
15-9 ATS – 11-6 ATS as road underdogs of any number
Not the greatest run in terms of it being 75%-plus or something like that, but these early season division games have been dominated by the road team. A blind 15-9 ATS overall is quite the run in general, and considering road teams only had a losing week in divisional games back in Week 4 (2-4 ATS for road teams), it's something that's proved to be an angle to go back to.
Breaking it down to road underdogs record as well is important because three of the four divisional games this week have road dogs listed, and all are currently getting more than a FG. Depending on how early action shakes out over the next 48 hours or so, these division road dogs could see their spreads drop even lower.
Detroit has already seen a bit of support for their MNF game in Green Bay next week, seeing an opener of 5.5 get bet down to +5 and even some +4.5's, while the initial line on San Francisco that's sitting in the same range, is more stagnant simply because the 49ers still have to play this week. A strong outing from San Fran tonight and you know that number will drop on them next week.
However, the winless Bengals have seen their line go the other way, as it's all been early Baltimore love next week. The Bengals looked awful on MNF against the Steelers, were the first team to lose to Arizona, and have still yet to win a game. I get it, tough to like a team like that and that initial move could be more of simply getting ahead of the masses in general, but I'm not sure what there is to like about Baltimore's spot laying all those points?
It's the third straight division game for the Ravens, after getting waxed by Cleveland, and escaping Pittsburgh with a win. Eventually all that emotional energy is tough to replace, and even though it is the Bengals coming to visit, having Cincinnati winless has to take some of the fear of losing this game out of the equation for Baltimore. The Ravens also have a road trip to play a very good Seattle team on deck, and given the success of division road dogs this year, that sure does look like a lot of points to cover for the Ravens next week.
Betting 'overs' in Divisional games
6-18 O/U in 2019
A run like this for 'under' bettors in divisional affairs isn't all that surprising given the general strength of 'unders' cashing in general this year, but to hit at a 75% clip in a broad isolated scenario like division games is quite the run.
Now this would be a run I'd be a bit more hesitant to blindly ride, as Week 5 saw division games finish with a 3-1 O/U record as some regression to the mean was bound to be on the horizon. We still may have not seen the full brightness of said horizon which makes these 'unders' a little harder to back without digging deeper. But having a place to start is never a bad thing.
With the Carolina/Tampa game actually being a division rematch game already, and being played in London, it will be interesting to see where this total shakes out. Early money has been all about the 'over' as an early 46.5 now sits at 48.5, as the trend of those overseas games being an 'over' bettor's haven continues to have some validity after the Raiders and Bears sailed 'over' their number on Sunday.
But there is film on these two teams already, and most of it wasn't pretty. Granted, Carolina won't be having Cam Newton under center this time around, and the players definitely want to put on a show for their overseas fans, but if this number continues to climb, all of that can still happen and the 'under' can still cash. Like the Ravens ATS early support, this quick move does have some signs of simply being one that's trying to stay ahead of the masses, so keep your eye out for that as the week goes on.
As far as the other possible 'unders' go in divisional games in Week 6, if you are of the mindset of the Ravens being in a potential flat spot because of level of opponent, fatigue, or otherwise, there is a case to look low on that total as well. Three straight divisional 'overs' would be quite the new feat for this Ravens franchise, and if the Bengals are going to hang around and either win SU and/or ATS, chances are with the limited offensive weapons they've got, it's not going to be a high-scoring game. But like Carolina/Tampa, this Bengals/Ravens game has already seen the total get bumped as well.
With the 49ers/Rams game still in limbo as Week 5 finishes, the Detroit/Packers game has also seen an early bump in the total too. Green Bay has started to find things offensively while taking a predictable step back defensively these past two weeks, and the Lions have had two weeks to prepare for this game.
That initial move does make a lot of sense for sure, but depending how high that total gets a week from now, this division 'under' trend is worth monitoring.