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NFL Week 2 Betting Angles
Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season is officially in the books now, and there were some interesting results across the board.
History suggests there are some loose conclusions we can come to going forward into this week and the NFL futures market based on Week 1's results, and I'll get to that in a minute.
It was nice to see that last week's “Hot” trend continued to stay that way, as that 18-4-1 SU run by playoff vs non-playoff teams coming into this year ending up going 5-2 SU again this year with the late Monday game still pending.
But it's all about staying ahead of the game in this industry and as Week 2 always gets hyped up for being “overreaction” week, in that good or bad starts for any particular team shouldn't be too concerning long term, historically there isn't a whole lot of truth to that at least in terms of teams that did lose in Week 1.
Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS), Over-Under (O/U)
Backing Week 2 underdogs against a favorite that lost SU in Week 1 is 14-7 ATS the past three seasons, including 5-1 ATS a season ago.
You'll hear time and time again this week that one poor showing in Week 1 doesn't mean the sky is falling on that specific organization, and in a general sense that is true.
There is still 15 games in the year to make up for that one defeat, but if those teams are a 'chalk' in Week 2, I wouldn't want to be laying any wood with them.
Week 2 underdogs that are playing against a favored 0-1 SU team went 5-1 ATS a season ago, and has not posted a losing record in any of the three most recent seasons.
It was 5-1 ATS in 2019 with Tampa, Seattle, San Francisco, Jacksonville, and Denver all covering their underdog lines and three of those five won the game outright. The lone outlier? Cleveland's 23-3 win as road chalk against the New York Jets last year.
Furthermore, within that 14-7 ATS run for these Week 2 underdogs vs an 0-1 SU team, not one of those years has posted a losing record. It went 5-1 ATS last year, 4-4 ATS in 2018, and 5-2 ATS in 2017. Not a bad blind system to at least begin your handicapping with this week.
So who does it apply to in Week 2?
It starts with the Cincinnati Bengals catching +6 in Cleveland on Thursday Night Football after the Browns got beat down in Baltimore on Sunday.
From there, at least based on current lines from Draft Kings, it would suggest plays on the LA Rams (+1) vs Philadelphia, the NY Jets (+7) vs San Francisco, Minnesota (+3) vs Indianapolis, Atlanta (+5) vs Dallas, Carolina (+9) vs Tampa Bay, and potentially Denver (+6.5) vs Pittsburgh and Jacksonville (+10.5) vs Tennessee should the Steelers and Titans lose on MNF.
That's quite the card build already for those that would prefer to follow. Three years is far from a great sample size though, as it never hurts to simply use these things as support for your own weekly methods.
Since realignment in 2002, only 8 teams (of 36) have gone on to make the Super Bowl that year after starting out 0-1 SU
For much of the lead-up into the year we heard a lot about Tampa Bay and Dallas getting so much love for Super Bowl futures, if this history is any indication, those tickets may want to start to be ripped up.
Odds to win Super Bowl 55
Look, there is a lot of football left, and of those 8 teams to make a Super Bowl after starting the year 0-1 SU, four of them did end up hosting the Lombardi Trophy. Problem with that is they were only two specific franchises – New England (2003, 2014) and the New York Giants (2007 and 2011).
With quarterback Tom Brady in Tampa Bay this season, all those Bucs futures may have a bit more hope then futures on other 0-1 SU teams – including my own on the Minnesota Vikings to win the NFC – but it's still a severe uphill battle against history in that regard.
The funny thing about those four seasons with the Patriots and Giants winning those Super Bowls after starting out 0-1 SU is that all four of those Super Bowls had some wild finishes to them.
New England's two victories in those years came thanks to a tie-breaking FG with 4 seconds left over Carolina, and them picking off Seattle's 1-yard pass in that 2014 shocker. The Giants two wins came over New England and I probably don't need to get into those finishes with the wild catches David Tyree and Mario Manningham made late in those contests.
Needless to say, had we had those four games finished just slightly differently, this trend would be sitting at 100% in that no 0-1 SU team has won the Super Bowl that year.
So how is this actionable?
You can look at the flip side of this and say that 28 of the last 36 teams to be involved in the Super Bowl did so after starting that season 1-0 SU. I'm not going to list all the teams that won this week, but if you are a big believer in history, and like to get down on some futures tickets – to win conference or Super Bowl – you probably want to limit your choices to those 16 squads.
The odds on those teams probably took a slight hit (as of now) after starting out with a win, but this is something to keep in mind long down the road. Futures price shopping every week can be done if you keep that list of the 16 teams that started the year 1-0 SU handy.
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