Hot & Not Report – Week 10

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Week of November 4th

Admittedly it was nice to take a minor step back from the chaos that is football season the past two weeks with looks at what was going on in the MLB and NBA. Last week's piece dealt with the two teams that squared off in the NBA Finals last year and discussed how both the Warriors and Raptors will likely be great long term fades this year.

Since that piece went up, Toronto's posted a 2-1 record both straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS), while the Warriors went 1-3 SU and ATS. Not exactly the best results, but not exactly the worst results either on a blind theory that can be continually used and considered for the next few months.

Today it's back to the football field though, as the NFL dominates this industry and that's where people want to ingest their information. And while it would be easy to include the fact that home teams on US soil have gone a perfect 12-0 ATS in Week 9, that's not where I'm going at all. That's not really actionable information going forward in my view, and you've got to trust the Giants to continue that run tonight on MNF. Not something I'm interested in.

Instead, it's a look at a couple of trends that should at least be considered for a few games over the next two weeks in the NFL, as it deals with teams in the following game after a trip to London. There is always a lot of chatter about theories for what to take for those London games, but never much about the return trip home. Hopefully these streaks can help you break down those return games a little better.

Who's Hot

Taking 'overs' for NFL teams in their first game back after a London game: 8-2 O/U last two years; including 4-0 O/U this season.

Taking 'overs' in London games tends to be a popular refrain, but it's actually the following game for these teams that is the better time to look that way. The 'over' is 8-2 in post-London games the past two years, with the average total points being scored clocking in at 53.9 points per game. Not one of those games has finished with fewer than 42 points in that span, and if you are looking for team totals, the post-London team averages 24 PPG themselves in this role. In eight of those 10 games they've put up at least 23 points as well.

You can break it down even further in terms of being home or away in these post-London games as well, with teams at home going a perfect 3-0 O/U the past two years, and road sides going 5-2 O/U. In Week 10 we've got one team that fits each scenario, as the Cincinnati Bengals are at home hosting a Ravens team that's coming off a huge SNF win over New England, while the Los Angeles Rams are out on the road visiting Pittsburgh. And we can't leave out in Week 11 that Houston's on the road in Baltimore, while Jacksonville's on the road against Indianapolis. So we might see a few more Ravens game sail 'over' the number in the coming weeks like last night's win over the Patriots did.

In terms of finding tangible reasons why these 'overs' after a London game are coming in, the most obvious would be that these teams are rested and prepared as they are coming off a bye in every instance.

Having two weeks to prepare for a team in the NFL is a distinct advantage as long as coaching staffs and players make the most of their time, and generally speaking it will show up on the offensive end. After all, the name of the game is to score more points then the other guy, so you might as well spend more of your prep time trying to do that.

In terms of this year's numbers alone, three of the four teams coming off a London game have seen their next contests finish with 60+ points, and only the Carolina Panthers managed to put up fewer then 23 points themselves. However, even with these high point totals and teams scoring 24 points per game on average, that doesn't necessary equate to SU or ATS wins the following game as...

Who's Not

NFL teams in a post-London game are 3-6-1 SU and ATS the past two seasons; 0-3 ATS at home and 0-4 ATS in 2019

This was the more surprising part of the findings when backtracking this stuff, as you would think a post-bye scenario would lead to teams putting up more wins they they are. The fact that not one of these post-London teams has come close to covering the spread this year was very surprising, but still not as bad as the fact that three of the four of them had lost that following game by double-digits. Chicago got smoked at home by New Orleans (36-25), Oakland got smoked by Green Bay (42-24), and Carolina got smoked by San Francisco (51-13). If that pattern holds true in Week 10, you've got to figure that Cincinnati Bengals fans should probably get into the hard liquor rather early next Sunday with Baltimore coming to town.

Furthermore, if you take the push out of the equation (Jacksonville's 29-26 loss @ Indianapolis last year as +3 road dogs), all the other nine games are correlated in that the point spread hasn't mattered. Pick the SU winner and the ATS victory follows, and all three of the SU and ATS winners closed as either pick'em or underdogs – Seattle at (+3) in Detroit in Week 8 of 2018, LA Chargers at (pk) in Seattle in Week 9 of 2018, and Tennessee (+4.5) at Dallas in Week 9 of 2018 as well.

Only the Bengals are underdogs this week and it's tough to see them winning SU vs Baltimore, especially when all three of those previous winners were out on the road. That's where the Rams find themselves this week, but they are currently laying chalk (-4), but keep this in mind for Week 11 when the Jaguars and Texans are both out on the road and likely both catching points against Indy and Baltimore respectively.

Do with this information what you will, but don't be surprised if these four post-London games over the next two weeks have some points being put up.

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