Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM
Hot & Not Report - Week 12
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Week of November 18th
Last week's piece touched on a few different live scenarios that were out there in the NFL this past weekend, and for the most part the runs those specific spots were on didn't hold up quite as well. Bad teams coming off a win like Cleveland, Atlanta, and the NY Jets all got their first against the spread (ATS) victories the following week in the past few days, while the offenses that had had a decent time bouncing back after sub-10-point efforts finished the day 1-2 ATS.
Hopefully some of you were able to catch (and play) the friendly reminder on fading teams post-London, as Houston and Jacksonville both got run out of the building in their respective games, to push that situation to a perfect 0-8 ATS this season. And all eight of those losses after a London game come post-bye week as well. Maybe that suggests we all put too much stock into bye weeks as it is, and it will be interesting to see if it holds up for the Chargers and Chiefs in a couple of weeks after their MNF game in Mexico this evening.
This week I'm sticking with the NFL as there are two specific divisions that have generally done well either going against or playing on their teams in non-division games, a situation that you'll see most of them in this week.
So let's get right to it:
NFC West teams are 19-10 ATS in non-division games overall – on a 11-5 ATS run since October 1st
In what is a loaded NFC conference at the top, it's the NFC West division that leads the way in terms of a depth argument in that conference. San Francisco and Seattle are neck-and-neck right now for the division title, while the defending champion Los Angeles Rams are trying to hold strong to stay in the Wildcard race. With Arizona improving as well, venturing into playing a NFC West opponent has not gone well for most that are outside of the division.
The Cardinals are actually tied with the Rams for the best non-division ATS record in the NFC West at 6-2 ATS, with San Francisco (4-2 ATS) and Seattle (3-4 ATS) coming in behind them. Given that the 49ers and Seahawks each have an ATS loss that's been by a point or less since the start of this great run for the division since October 1st, that number could be sitting much better then it already is.
Heading into Week 12, we've got the Arizona Cardinals off on their bye week, but the rest of this division is all up against non-conference foes. Seattle travels east to face an Eagles team that is trying their best to keep both avenues (division title and wildcard) to the playoffs open as long as possible, while San Francisco and the L.A. Rams both get the NFL prime time treatment at home, with the 49ers hosting the Packers on SNF, and the Rams hosting the Ravens on MNF. All three of these games have lines where the favorite is essentially laying just 3 points or less right now, so they are all expected to be close.
If that's the case, maybe we see this great run for NFC West teams in non-division games hit a bit of a road block. Yet, it will be interesting to see where the support lands on these contests as the week goes on, because one specifically ties into the next streak, and that is...
NFC East teams are 10-18 ATS in non-division games overall – on a 7-11 ATS run since October 1 – Not one of the four teams have a winning ATS record in non-division games in 2019
The NFC East is a division is nothing more then a two-horse race between Dallas and Philadelphia, with the loser likely missing out on the playoffs entirely. The Giants and Redskins are two of the Top 5 worst teams in the league, so fading them as a good thing isn't too surprising, but the fact that this entire division struggles against the rest of the league does say something about how mediocre the level of football this division plays that they pass off as good.
Now to be fair, Philly is one of those two teams fighting for this division crown, and do own the best non-division record in the NFC East at 4-4 ATS. But that's as close to a winning record as any of these four teams get after Week 11, as the Cowboys are 2-4 ATS while Washington and the NY Giants are each 2-5 ATS outside of the division. The records of the latter two teams are likely to continue to get worse before they definitively get better, while the team that does better in their remaining non-division games between the Eagles and Cowboys is likely the one that rides that success to a division crown. But it's Week 12 brings some interesting games for all four of these teams, as they are all stepping outside of the division as well.
The Giants are on the road catching about a TD currently in Chicago and the Redskins are catching a FG at home against the Lions. Both of those teams are facing teams with QB concerns from a health standpoint right now, so it will be interesting to see what kind of movement they end up seeing.
Dallas finds themselves in New England to take on a great Patriots team, a game Eagles fans are hoping New England can win. Dallas finds themselves catching about six points early on, and given that it's under that key number of -7 and this being a spot where fading NFC East teams has been profitable, seeing if the Patriots ever touch -7 again will be interesting as well.
And finally there are the Eagles, at home and laying about two points, to a team that's already been mentioned in this piece; the Seattle Seahawks.
The 2019 history of non-division games for teams from the NFC West and NFC East suggest that backing Seattle against the number is the only way to look here. You are backing the Seahawks in a “hot” role, fading the Eagles in a “cold” role at the same time, and getting points with the better team. Very hard not to like Seattle this week, for many other reasons as well.
And while the other three games featuring NFC East teams will be intriguing from a reactionary standpoint in terms of where their point spreads line up, this Seahawks/Eagles game is one where you've got to be proactive if you are already leaning towards the Seattle side. This line is far more likely to sniff the 'pick'em' range then it will getting to Philly -3, so getting down action on Seattle sooner rather then later is probably the best course of action here.