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NFL Trends & Angles – Week 8

Although we only presented five NFL Trends & Angles in Week 7, the results were still positive as we went 5-3, 62.5 percent ATS on a game-by-game basis with three winning angles and just one losing angle as the fifth angle split.

The final results for the week was underdogs 8, favorites 7, slicing the skinny advantage the chalk has had this year in half as the favorites are now 52-51-3 ATS overall year-to-date, so the books have done a great job as usual as neither side has been profitable. Looking at totals, the ‘unders’ went 8-7 for the week but the ‘overs’ still have the lead this season at 57-49, 53.8 percent overall for a small profit.

So now we move on to Week 8, and those of you that have followed us in the past know that the majority of our angles will be contrarian in nature and not for the feint of heart, as many of them will point to live underdogs and live ‘unders’.

The records for all of our angles will only go back to 2005 going forward the rest of the year as that gives us a large enough sampling for full-season trends without going back too far to games that may pre-date certain changes in the game that may make using older games less than ideal.

Finally, you will occasionally see angles that refer to Good Teams and/or Bad Teams. As a reminder, we are not using those terms subjectively, but rather, Good Teams are strictly defined as teams that have won at least 10 of their last 16 games straight up and Bad Teams are defined as teams that have lost at least 10 of their last 16 games straight up.

We are back to presenting six angles this week, and our leading angle is one of our few that is not contrarian, as it actually points to favorites only. So here are our NFL Trends & Angles for Week 8, with all records being for the last nine seasons since 2005 plus the first seven weeks of this year.

Play on any favorite coming off of a bye week (106-67-5, 61.3% ATS): This is one of our few angles that is not contrarian in nature, but the winning percentage justifies us using it. NFL teams that have had an extra week of preparation time have had a nice advantage in recent years, and prep time aside, the added time off also oftentimes allows any injured players the teams may have some extra recovery time, which is an added bonus. Qualifier: Tampa Bay -2½.

Play on any road underdog coming off of a road loss (159-97-5, 62.1% ATS): It used to be that teams playing consecutive road games were great fades, but as that angle became common knowledge, bookmakers started  to adjust the point spreads for teams playing on the road off of a road game. Well, based on these long-term results, they may have over-adjusted the lines, especially in the case of road underdogs, and this angle also adds in the motivation off wanting to bounce back after a loss. Qualifier: Minnesota +2½.

Play on any conference road underdog coming off of a road game (201-142-6, 58.6% ATS): This one is similar to the previous angle, except that the team coming off of the road game in now facing a familiar conference foe, which lessens the travel effect since the team usually knows how to attack the foe and what to expect on defense, and it also does not matter if the team won or lost its previous road game. Qualifier: Minnesota +2½.

Play against any home favorite of -3 or more that was an underdog in each of its last three games (63-40, 61.2% ATS): This is an oldie but goodie that we have used in one form or another in every sport that we do, be it professional or college. Teams that have been underdogs in their last three games in a row are often not very good teams, and when these clubs are suddenly cast in the favored role, they have tended to wilt under the pressure of now being expected to win. Qualifiers: St. Louis +6½ vs. Kansas City and Buffalo +3 vs. New York Jets.

Bet on any team that has lost at least four straight games ATS (92-64-5, 59.0% ATS): This is a contrarian angle that looks for potentially undervalued teams that most bettors tend to avoid, as they do not like betting on teams on decided ATS losing streaks.. This angle has worked even better if the team on the ATS losing streak is now on the road (50-30-1, 62.5 percent), although we would like to see about 20 more results before presenting that one as a stand-alone angle. Home teams have still been profitable at 41-34-4, 54.7 percent ATS. Qualifiers: Atlanta +3½ and Washington +9½ (Monday).

Play on any Bad Team as a road underdog of +3 or more that was an underdog in each of its last four games (99-70-2, 58.6% ATS): Playing this angle may take some courage as it often points you to the dregs of the league, and on the road no less! But that is precisely the point as these teams often offer great value with no novice bettors wanting any part of them, as evidenced by the nice winning percentage over a rather large sampling. Qualifiers: Oakland +7 and St. Louis +6½.

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NFL Trends & Angles – Week 7

Week 6 will go down as the week of the Pick Six, as the Broncos, Cardinals and 49ers all returned interceptions for touchdowns in the final minute. All three of those interception returns turned ‘unders’ into ‘overs’ and the first two affected the spreads to the disadvantage of the sportsbooks especially the Broncos.

The final tally for the week was only favorites 8, underdogs 7, but the more heavily bet plays went the way of the public this past week. The tale of the tape for the season now has the favorites slightly ahead at 45-43-3 ATS overall, so the books have done a great job as usual as neither side has been profitable. Looking at totals, the ‘over’ is starting to pull away a bit at 50-41, 54.6 percent for the year.

Meanwhile it was a very nondescript week for our NFL Trends & Angles, as we had six angles in all with two of them producing winning records, two of them losing and two splitting.

Now on to Week 7, and those of you that have followed us in the past know that the majority of our angles will be contrarian in nature and not for the feint of heart, as many of them will point to live underdogs and live ‘unders’.

The records for all of our angles will only go back to 2005 going forward the rest of the year as that gives us a large enough sampling for full-season trends without going back too far to games that may pre-date certain changes in the game that may make using older games less than ideal.

Finally, you will occasionally see angles that refer to Good Teams and/or Bad Teams. As a reminder, we are not using those terms subjectively, but rather, Good Teams are strictly defined as teams that have won at least 10 of their last 16 games straight up and Bad Teams are defined as teams that have lost at least 10 of their last 16 games straight up.

We only have five angles this week, as two of the angles from last week have no qualifiers this week, and we have just one new angle that has been successful in the past. So here are our NFL Trends & Angles for Week 7, with all records being for the last nine seasons since 2005 plus the first six weeks of this year.

Play on any road underdog coming off of a road loss (158-96-5, 62.2% ATS): It used to be that teams playing consecutive road games were great fades, but as that angle became common knowledge, bookmakers started  to adjust the point spreads for teams playing on the road off of a road game. Well, based on these long-term results, they may have over-adjusted the lines, especially in the case of road underdogs, and this angle also adds in the motivation off wanting to bounce back after a loss. Qualifiers: Kansas City +4 and New York Giants +6½.

Play on any conference road underdog coming off of a road game (200-140-6, 58.8% ATS): This one is similar to the previous angle, except that the team coming off of the road game in now facing a familiar conference foe, which lessens the travel effect since the team usually knows how to attack the foe and what to expect on defense, and it also does not matter if the team won or lost its previous road game. Qualifiers: Carolina +7, Kansas City +4 and New York Giants +6½.

Play against any home favorite of -3 or more that was an underdog in each of its last three games (62-40, 60.8% ATS): This is an oldie but goodie that we have used in one form or another in every sport that we do, be it professional or college. Teams that have been underdogs in their last three games in a row are often not very good teams, and when these clubs are suddenly cast in the favored role, they have tended to wilt under the pressure of now being expected to win. Qualifiers: Miami +3 vs. Chicago.

Bet on any team that has lost at least four straight games ATS (91-64-5, 58.7% ATS): This is a contrarian angle that looks for potentially undervalued teams that most bettors tend to avoid, as they do not like betting on teams on decided ATS losing streaks.. This angle has worked even better if the team on the ATS losing streak is now on the road (50-30-1, 62.5 percent), although we would like to see about 20 more results before presenting that one as a stand-alone angle. Home teams have still been profitable at 41-34-4, 54.7 percent ATS. Qualifier: New York Jets +10 (Thursday).

Play on any Bad Team in division road games off of a straight up loss by more than seven points (59-40-2, 59.6% ATS): This is an angle that nicely combines several little angles that have been working well for contrarians. For starters, three reasons why the pubic tend to shy away from these teams thus allowing the oddsmakers to shade the line are that, well, they are Bad Teams to begin with, they are probably in bad current form coming off of a loss and they are now on the road, where the public hardly ever backs losing teams. But on the flip side, dregs at the professional level are capable of improvement taking on familiar division foes. Qualifier: New York Jets +10 (Thursday).

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NFL Trends & Angles – Week 6

It was a rather uneventful Week 5 for our NFL Trends & Angles, but at least we did not lose as our plays went 6-5, 54.6 percent ATS on a game-by-game basis. We presented six angles last week and two of them produced winning records while only one had a losing record, with the other three all splitting. And we were rather unlucky on the losing one as Jacksonville should have covered, but Pittsburgh scored a late defensive touchdown.

Looking at the tale of the tape, we were lucky to eke out a winning week since favorites were huge in Week 5 going 10-4-1 ATS. That just about leveled off the performances of the favorites and underdogs for the season, with the favorites now being 37-36-3 ATS overall. Looking at totals, the ‘under’ went 8-7 on Week 5, but the ‘over’ still holds a slight edge for the season at 40-36, 52.6 percent, not enough to overcome -110 juice.

Moving on, those of you that have followed us in the past know that the majority of our angles will be contrarian in nature and not for the feint of heart, as many of them will point to live underdogs and live ‘unders’. That is why we will take any winning record we can get in weeks when favorites do well ATS like last week.

The records for all of our angles will only go back to 2005 going forward the rest of the year as that gives us a large enough sampling for full-season trends without going back too far to games that may pre-date certain changes in the game that may make using older games less than ideal.

Finally, you will occasionally see angles that refer to Good Teams and/or Bad Teams. As a reminder, we are not using those terms subjectively, but rather, Good Teams are strictly defined as teams that have won at least 10 of their last 16 games straight up and Bad Teams are defined as teams that have lost at least 10 of their last 16 games straight up.

We again have six angles this week, but the first two angles from last week have no qualifying plays this time around, so they have been replaced by two other angles that we have had past success with. So without further ado, here are our NFL Trends & Angles for Week 6, with all records being for the last nine seasons since 2005 plus the first five weeks of this year.

Play on any road underdog coming off of a road loss (157-96-5, 62.1% ATS): It used to be that teams playing consecutive road games were great fades, but as that angle became common knowledge, bookmakers started  to adjust the point spreads for teams playing on the road off of a road game. Well, based on these long-term results, they may have over-adjusted the lines, especially in the case of road underdogs, and this angle also adds in the motivation off wanting to bounce back after a loss. Qualifier: Chicago +3.

Play on any conference road underdog coming off of a road game (199-139-6, 58.9% ATS): This one is similar to the previous angle, except that the team coming off of the road game in now facing a familiar conference foe, which lessens the travel effect since the team usually knows how to attack the foe and what to expect on defense, and it also does not matter if the team won or lost its previous road game. Qualifiers: Chicago +3 and Pittsburgh +2.

Play on any team that lost its last game straight up by more than 28 points (85-55-5, 60.7% ATS): This angle combines two concepts, as professional teams in any sport do not like to get embarrassed and oftentimes bounce back strong in their next game, and also bettors tend to shy away from these teams, often leading to added line value. Qualifiers: Minnesota +1½ and New York Jets +9.

Play on any team that failed to cover its last game by more than 25 points (86-58-4, 58.7% ATS): The reasoning behind this angle is exactly the same as the previous angle, i.e., it combines the concepts of teams wanting to bounce back from a bad effort and bettors not wanting to bet on teams that just played so poorly. The difference is that this angle measures the previous margin ATS instead of straight up.  Qualifier: Cincinnati -7.

Play against any home favorite of -3 or more that was an underdog in each of its last three games (61-39, 61.0% ATS): This is an oldie but goodie that we have used in one form or another in every sport that we do, be it professional or college. Teams that have been underdogs in their last three games in a row are often not very good teams, and when these clubs are suddenly cast in the favored role, they have tended to wilt under the pressure of now being expected to win. Qualifiers: Washington +3½ vs. Arizona and Jacksonville +6 vs. Tennessee.

Bet on any team that has lost at least four straight games ATS (90-64-5, 58.4% ATS): This is a contrarian angle that looks for potentially undervalued teams that most bettors tend to avoid, as they do not like betting on teams on decided ATS losing streaks.. This angle has worked even better if the team on the ATS losing streak is now on the road (49-30-1, 62.0 percent), although we are not quite comfortable enough with that smallish sample size to present it as a stand-alone angle. Home teams have still been profitable at 41-34-4, 54.7 percent ATS. Qualifier: Jacksonville +6.

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NFL Trends & Angles – Week 5

Week 4 of the 2014 NFL season was that last week this year that we will use September Trends & Angles only, and our angles sent the month out well going 13-8, 61.9 percent on a game-by-game basis. We had eight separate angles in all, with three of them winning going a cumulative 7-1, four splits and just one losing angle going 1-2. We had that good week despite the favorites going 7-6 ATS overall.

The underdogs have still had the edge this season, but the gap has narrowed with the dogs now 32-27-2, 54.2 percent ATS overall. Also, it was a great week for ‘over’ players as they went 10-3, and the ‘overs’ have now taken over the lead for the season at 33-28, 54.1 percent. Moving on, we are now ready to unveil our season-long trends that will be used for the rest of this season, although you may occasionally also see a few monthly trends pertaining to the month at hand.

Those of you that have followed us in the past know that the majority of our angles will be contrarian in nature and not for the feint of heart, as many of them will point to live underdogs and live ‘unders’. As irony would have it, our leading angle this week actually goes against our normal mode and points to favorites only, but the rest of the angles are the typically ugly ones that most of our past followers have grown to love (we hope). Also, while we went back to 2000 for our September angles for the sake of sample sizes, we will only go back to 2005 going forward the rest of the year as that gives us a large enough sampling for full-season trends without going back too far to games that may pre-date certain changes in the game that may make using older games less than ideal. Finally, you will occasionally see angles that refer to Good Teams and/or Bad Teams.

As a reminder, we are not using those terms subjectively, but rather, Good Teams are strictly defined as teams that have won at least 10 of their last 16 games straight up and Bad Teams are defined as teams that have lost at least 10 of their last 16 games straight up. So without further ado, here are our first season-long NFL Trends & Angles for 2014, with all records being for the last nine seasons since 2005 plus the first four weeks of this year.

Play on any favorite coming off of a bye week (96-58-4, 62.3% ATS): This is one of our few angles that is not contrarian in nature, but the winning percentage justifies us using it. NFL teams that have had an extra week of preparation time have had a nice advantage in recent years, and prep time aside, the added time off also oftentimes allows any injured players the teams may have some extra recovery time, which is an added bonus. Qualifiers: Cincinnati -1½, Denver -7 and Seattle -7½ (Monday).

Play against any favorite of -7½ or more that lost straight up as a favorite in its last game (65-34, 65.7% ATS):Teams that are favored after losing as favorites in their previous game are often overrated teams, and this becomes especially true if they are favored by more than a touchdown the following week, as you can see by the record of this angle with a sampling of just over 100 decisions. Qualifier: Tampa Bay +10½ vs. New Orleans.

Play on any road underdog coming off of a road loss (156-95-5, 62.2% ATS): It used to be that teams playing consecutive road games were great fades, but as that angle became common knowledge, bookmakers started  to adjust the point spreads for teams playing on the road off of a road game. Well, based on these long-term results, they may have over-adjusted the lines, especially in the case of road underdogs, and this angle also adds in the motivation off wanting to bounce back after a loss. Qualifiers: Atlanta +4 and Buffalo +7.

Play on any conference road underdog coming off of a road game (198-138-6, 58.9% ATS): This one is similar to the previous angle, except that the team coming off of the road game in now facing a familiar conference foe, which lessens the travel effect since the team usually knows how to attack the foe and what to expect on defense, and it also does not matter if the team won or lost its previous road game. Qualifiers: Atlanta +4 and Tampa Bay +10½.

Play on any team that lost its last game by 28 or more points (85-54-5, 61.2% ATS): This angle combines two concepts, as professional teams in any sport do not like to get embarrassed and oftentimes bounce back strong in their next game, and also bettors tend to shy away from these teams, often leading to added line value. Qualifiers: Carolina -2.5 & Washington +7½ (Monday).

Bet on any team that has lost at least four straight games ATS (90-63-5, 58.8% ATS since 2005): This is a contrarian angle that looks for potentially undervalued teams that most bettors tend to avoid, as they do not like betting on teams on decided ATS losing streaks.. This angle has worked even better if the team on the ATS losing streak is now on the road (49-30-1, 62.0 percent), although we are not quite comfortable enough with that smallish sample size to present it as a stand-alone angle. Home teams have still been profitable at 41-33-4, 55.4 percent ATS. Qualifier: Jacksonville +7.

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NFL Trends & Angles – Week 4

After a disastrous week for chalk players in Week 2, favorites bounded back somewhat in Week 3 although they hardly overwhelmed going 8-7-1 ATS for the week. Still, that winning record for the favorites was enough for a losing week for the most part for our Trends & Angles, as of the six angles we presented, two had winning records, three had losing records and the other one split 1-1.

Looking at the tale of the tape for the first three weeks of the 2014 NFL season in totality, the underdogs are still 26-20-2, 56.5 percent ATS thus far. Also, the totals are tightening up with the ‘under’ now having just a slim 25-23, 52.1 percent edge in the early going, with that percentage not being enough to turn a profit at -110 odds.

Moving on, we have once again broken up our Trends & Angles into three sections for Week 4, beginning with general September angles for all teams, followed by angles for Good Teams and for Bad Teams.

As a reminder, we are not using either of those terms subjectively. We here at NFL Trends & Angels strictly define a Good Team as a team that won at least 10 of its last 16 games, and a Bad Team as a team that lost at least 10 of its last 16 games.

We have a grand total of eight angles in all this week as we brought back three angles that had had no plays last week but do this week, and also took away one angle that is not in play this week.

As usual, all records in our NFL Trends & Angles are since the 2000 season, except that for the first four weeks of the 2014 season, the records are for September games only during those last 14 years. That means that this will be the last Trends & Angles this season dedicated to September angles only as we will begin using year-round angles next week.

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All Teams – General Angles

Play against September home favorites coming off an ATS loss (88-62-9, 58.7% ATS): Many times, teams that are favored following an ATS loss are favored more because of reputation than because of performance on the field, and that makes the chalk vulnerable in these situations. Of course there will be situations where these teams bounce back well, but as you can see by the September record, the teams have been overvalued much more often than not. Qualifiers: Buffalo +3 over Houston and Philadelphia +5½ vs. San Francisco.

Play on September conference underdogs that were favored in their last game (95-68-9, 58.3% ATS): Novice bettors almost always prefer to bet favorites, and in their minds, when they see a team is an underdog after being favored the prior week, their general feeling is that either the team was overrated to begin the year or the team is now going up against a superior team. Qualifiers: New York Giants +3½ (Thursday), Buffalo +3, Dallas +3 and Philadelphia +5½.

Good Teams – At Least 10 Wins Last 16 Games

Play against Good Teams in September coming off of an ATS loss (75-54-4, 58.1% ATS): Bettors are usually more forgiving when a Good Team fails to cover the spread than when a Bad Team fails to do so, as they believe the Good Teams have a better chance to bounce back stronger next game. However, a lot of times the team is simply not as good as it was the previous year, and the oddsmakers are a tad slow to adjust to that. Qualifiers: Baltimore -3 over Carolina and Kansas City +4 over New England (Monday). Note that Philadelphia and San Francisco would also both qualify, but those two teams are facing each other.

Play the ‘over’ in September when Good Teams are coming off of a straight up double-digit win (68-38-1, 64.2%):There is a direct correlation between winning by 10 points or more and games going ‘over’, and Good Teams are more apt to repeat good performances the following week. This even applied to defensive minded teams as they too tend to go ‘over’ in double-digit wins as their fine defense usually leads to good field position. Qualifying ‘overs’: Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh and Jacksonville at San Diego.

Play against Good Teams as September road underdogs (51-36-7, 58.6% ATS): Sometimes bettors can get too stuck on the previous season and they automatically flock to teams coming off of double-digit-win seasons when they turn up as underdogs early the following year. Oddsmakers are quite aware of this, so when those previous winners turn up as underdogs early, there is usually a good reason for it. Qualifiers: Baltimore -3 over Carolina and San Francisco -5½ over Philadelphia.

Bad Teams – At Least 10 Losses Last 16 Games

Play on the underdog when two Bad Teams face each other in September (54-30-4, 64.3% ATS): This has always been one of our favorite angles and it goes back to the theory we just mentioned in the previous trend, that being that bad teams that are suddenly expected to win often crack. Meanwhile, the underdogs often feel disrespected by being dogs vs. such weak opponents, and they usually use that for inspiration. Qualifiers: Minnesota +2½ over Atlanta and Oakland +4 over Miami.

Play against Bad Teams as September conference favorites (64-41-3, 61.0% ATS): Now when teams that were bad last year are suddenly thrust into the favorite role vs. somewhat familiar conference opponents, it is a totally different mindset. These are teams usually not accustomed to being favored and they often wilt when being expected to win. Qualifiers: New York Giants +3½ over Washington (Thursday), Minnesota +2½ over Atlanta, Buffalo +3 over Houston and Oakland +4 over Miami.

Play on Bad Teams as September road underdogs (122-88-12, 58.1% ATS): Perception is a wonderful thing, and novice bettors almost always shy away from teams that looked awful the previous year when they are road underdogs early on the following season. Thus, the books can pad the lines of these games a bit, inherently giving value to the dirty dogs. This is also a very good winning percentage for this size of a sampling. Qualifiers: Jacksonville +13½, Tampa Bay +7 and Tennessee +7½.

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All Teams – General Angles

Play against September home favorites coming off an ATS loss (87-57-9, 60.4% ATS): Many times, teams that are favored following an ATS loss are favored more because of reputation than because of performance on the field, and that makes the chalk vulnerable in these situations. Of course there will be situations where these teams bounce back well, but as you can see by the September record, the teams have been overvalued much more often than not. Qualifiers: Tampa Bay +6½ at Atlanta (Thursday), Green Bay +1½ at Detroit, Kansas City +4½ at Miami, Minnesota +9½ at New Orleans and Denver +4½ at Seattle.

Play on September conference underdogs that were favored in their last game (94-65-9, 59.1% ATS): Novice bettors almost always prefer to bet favorites, and in their minds, when they see a team is an underdog after being favored the prior week, their general feeling is that either the team was overrated to begin the year or the team is now going up against a superior team. Qualifiers: Green Bay +1½, Tennessee +6½ and Washington +6.

Good Teams – At Least 10 Wins Last 16 Games

Play the ‘over’ in September when Good Teams are coming off of a straight up double-digit win (67-35-1, 65.7%): There is a direct correlation between winning by 10 points or more and games going ‘over’, and Good Teams are more apt to repeat good performances the following week. This even applied to defensive minded teams as they too tend to go ‘over’ in double-digit wins as their fine defense usually leads to good field position. Qualifying ‘overs’: San Francisco at Arizona, Pittsburgh at Carolina, Tennessee at Cincinnati and Oakland at New England.

Play against Good Teams as September road underdogs (50-36-7, 58.1% ATS):Sometimes bettors can get too stuck on the previous season and they automatically flock to teams coming off of double-digit-win seasons when they turn up as underdogs early the following year. Oddsmakers are quite aware of this, so when those previous winners turn up as underdogs early, there is usually a good reason for it. Qualifier: Seattle -4½ over Denver.

Play the ‘over’ when Good Teams are favored in September division games (69-46-2, 60.0%): Just like any other sport, NFL teams are more familiar with division opponents that any other teams on their schedule, and that is not to mention that division games are the most important contests. Truly good teams know how to take advantage of familiar defenses, especially if they are favored, and they usually get up for these games. That often results in higher scoring, especially when the familiar opponents try to keep pace. Qualifying ‘overs’: Washington at Philadelphia and San Francisco at Arizona.

Bad Teams – At Least 10 Losses Last 16 Game

Play on Bad Teams as September road underdogs (120-85-12, 58.5% ATS):Perception is a wonderful thing, and novice bettors almost always shy away from teams that looked awful the previous year when they are road underdogs early on the following season. Thus, the books can pad the lines of these games a bit, inherently giving value to the dirty dogs. This is also a very good winning percentage for this size of a sampling. Qualifiers: Minnesota +9½, Oakland +14 and Washington +6.

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NFL Week 3 Trends & Angles

September 18, 2014

Week 2 was said to be one of the biggest weeks for sportsbooks in NFL history with so many popular teams not only failing to cover but losing outright, and the fact that the kick-offs were scattered with popular teams going down in every timeslot Sunday made the carnage among bettors even greater. Then again, weeks like that are actually good for our NFL Trends & Angles, most of which are contrarian!

Looking at the tale of the tape for the first two weeks of the 2014 NFL season, the underdogs are a whopping 19-12-1, 61.3 percent thus far, and even their 14-18 straight up record has been good enough to make a nice sum playing Money Lines. Also, looking at totals the ‘under’ is 18-14, 56.3 percent in the early going.

Moving on, we have once again broken up our Trends & Angles into three sections for Week 3, beginning with general September angles for all teams, followed by angles for Good Teams and for Bad Teams.

As a reminder, we are not using either of those terms subjectively. We here at NFL Trends & Angels strictly define a Good Team as a team that won at least 10 of its last 16 games, and a Bad Team as a team that lost at least 10 of its last 16 games. Also note that we have only one active Bad Team angle this week because the other two successful ones that we have been using regularly have no qualifying plays for Week 3.

As usual, all records in our NFL Trends & Angles are since the 2000 season, except that for the first four weeks of the 2014 season, the records are for September games only during those last 14 years.

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All Teams – General Angles

Play against September home favorites coming off an ATS loss (87-57-9, 60.4% ATS): Many times, teams that are favored following an ATS loss are favored more because of reputation than because of performance on the field, and that makes the chalk vulnerable in these situations. Of course there will be situations where these teams bounce back well, but as you can see by the September record, the teams have been overvalued much more often than not. Qualifiers: Tampa Bay +6½ at Atlanta (Thursday), Green Bay +1½ at Detroit, Kansas City +4½ at Miami, Minnesota +9½ at New Orleans and Denver +4½ at Seattle.

Play on September conference underdogs that were favored in their last game (94-65-9, 59.1% ATS): Novice bettors almost always prefer to bet favorites, and in their minds, when they see a team is an underdog after being favored the prior week, their general feeling is that either the team was overrated to begin the year or the team is now going up against a superior team. Qualifiers: Green Bay +1½, Tennessee +6½ and Washington +6.

Good Teams – At Least 10 Wins Last 16 Games

Play the ‘over’ in September when Good Teams are coming off of a straight up double-digit win (67-35-1, 65.7%): There is a direct correlation between winning by 10 points or more and games going ‘over’, and Good Teams are more apt to repeat good performances the following week. This even applied to defensive minded teams as they too tend to go ‘over’ in double-digit wins as their fine defense usually leads to good field position. Qualifying ‘overs’: San Francisco at Arizona, Pittsburgh at Carolina, Tennessee at Cincinnati and Oakland at New England.

Play against Good Teams as September road underdogs (50-36-7, 58.1% ATS):Sometimes bettors can get too stuck on the previous season and they automatically flock to teams coming off of double-digit-win seasons when they turn up as underdogs early the following year. Oddsmakers are quite aware of this, so when those previous winners turn up as underdogs early, there is usually a good reason for it. Qualifier: Seattle -4½ over Denver.

Play the ‘over’ when Good Teams are favored in September division games (69-46-2, 60.0%): Just like any other sport, NFL teams are more familiar with division opponents that any other teams on their schedule, and that is not to mention that division games are the most important contests. Truly good teams know how to take advantage of familiar defenses, especially if they are favored, and they usually get up for these games. That often results in higher scoring, especially when the familiar opponents try to keep pace. Qualifying ‘overs’: Washington at Philadelphia and San Francisco at Arizona.

Bad Teams – At Least 10 Losses Last 16 Games

Play on Bad Teams as September road underdogs (120-85-12, 58.5% ATS):Perception is a wonderful thing, and novice bettors almost always shy away from teams that looked awful the previous year when they are road underdogs early on the following season. Thus, the books can pad the lines of these games a bit, inherently giving value to the dirty dogs. This is also a very good winning percentage for this size of a sampling. Qualifiers: Minnesota +9½, Oakland +14 and Washington +6.

Get an advantage this Sunday
Sunday 4:05pm San Francisco vs. Arizona Get this pick free
Sunday 4:25pm Denver vs. Seattle Get this pick free
Sunday 8:25pm Pittsburgh vs. Carolina Get this pick free

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NFL Week 2 Trends & Angles

The first week of the 2014 NFL season was a good week for underdogs as they finished 11-5 ATS and since, as those of you that have followed us in the past know, we are generally contrarian by nature, it means that it was a pretty good Week 1 for our NFL Week 1 Trends & Angles.

We presented six Trends & Angles last week and four of them had winning records. Our final tally on a game-by-game basis was a bit disappointing though at 8-6 ATS, as the record was hurt by a favorite angle going 0-3. If we had we only stuck with our normal contrarian angles…

Moving on, we have broken up our Trends & Angles into three sections for Week 2, beginning with general September angles for all teams, followed by angles for Good Teams and for Bad Teams.

As a reminder, we are not using either of those terms subjectively. We here at NFL Trends & Angels strictly define a Good Team as a team that won at least 10 of its last 16 games, and a Bad Team as a team that lost at least 10 of its last 16 games.

As usual, all records in our NFL Trends & Angles are since the 2000 season, except that for the first four weeks of the 2014 season, the records are for September games only during those last 14 years.

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All Teams – General Angles

Play against September home favorites coming off an ATS loss (84-55-8, 60.4% ATS): Many times, teams that are favored following an ATS loss are favored more because of reputation than because of performance on the field, and that makes the chalk vulnerable in these situations. Of course there will be situations where these teams bounce back well, but as you can see by the September record, the teams have been overvalued much more often than not. Qualifiers: Pittsburgh +2½ at Baltimore (Thursday), Jacksonville +6 at Washington, St. Louis +5½ at Tampa Bay, New York Jets +8 at Green Bay and Kansas City +13½ at Denver.

Play on September conference underdogs that were favored in their last game (90-63-9, 58.8% ATS): Novice bettors almost always prefer to bet favorites, and in their minds, when they see a team is an underdog after being favored the prior week, their general feeling is that either the team was overrated to begin the year or the team is now going up against a superior team. Qualifiers: Pittsburgh +2½ (Thursday), Detroit +2½, St. Louis +5½, Kansas City +13½ and Chicago +7.

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Good Teams – At Least 10 Wins Last 16 Games

Play against Good Teams in September coming off of an ATS loss (72-51-4, 58.5% ATS): Bettors are usually more forgiving when a Good Team fails to cover the spread than when a Bad Team fails to do so, as they believe the Good Teams have a better chance to bounce back stronger next game. However, a lot of times the team is simply not as good as it was the previous year, and the oddsmakers are a tad slow to adjust to that. Qualifiers: New York Giants PICK vs. Arizona, Kansas City +13½ vs. Denver and Minnesota +3 vs. New England

Play the ‘over’ in September when Good Teams are coming off of a straight up double-digit win (64-35-1, 64.6%): There is a direct correlation between winning by 10 points or more and games going ‘over’, and Good Teams are more apt to repeat good performances the following week. This even applied to defensive minded teams as they too tend to go ‘over’ in double-digit wins as their fine defense usually leads to good field position. Qualifying ‘overs’: Seattle at San Diego, Chicago at San Francisco and Philadelphia at Indianapolis (Monday).

Play against Good Teams as September road underdogs (50-35-7, 58.8% ATS):Sometimes bettors can get too stuck on the previous season and they automatically flock to teams coming off of double-digit-win seasons when they turn up as underdogs early the following year. Oddsmakers are quite aware of this, so when those previous winners turn up as underdogs early, there is usually a good reason for it. Qualifier: Indianapolis -3 over Philadelphia (Monday).

Play the ‘over’ when Good Teams are favored in September division games (69-45-2, 60.5%): Just like any other sport, NFL teams are more familiar with division opponents that any other teams on their schedule, and that is not to mention that division games are the most important contests. Truly good teams know how to take advantage of familiar defenses, especially if they are favored, and they usually get up for these games. That often results in higher scoring, especially when the familiar opponents try to keep pace. Qualifying ‘over’: Kansas City at Denver.

Play the ‘over’ when Good Teams are favored over Bad Teams during September (66-47-1, 58.4%): This is a often a case of a favorite being so much better then its opponent that it can name the score, but there are also occasions where the inferior team gets up for these games early in the year while they still have playoff aspirations just like everybody else. Both of these circumstances usually produce higher scoring games. Qualifying ‘over’: Atlanta at Cincinnati.

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Bad Teams – At Least 10 Losses Last 16 Games

Play on Bad Teams as September road underdogs (119-83-12, 58.9% ATS):Perception is a wonderful thing, and novice bettors almost always shy away from teams that looked awful the previous year when they are road underdogs early on the following season. Thus, the books can pad the lines of these games a bit, inherently giving value to the dirty dogs. This is also a very good winning percentage for this size of a sampling. Qualifiers: Atlanta +5, Jacksonville +6 and St. Louis +5½.

Play against Bad Teams as September conference favorites (63-39-3, 61.7% ATS):Now when teams that were bad last year are suddenly thrust into the favorite role vs. somewhat familiar conference opponents, it is a totally different mindset. These are teams usually not accustomed to being favored and they often wilt when being expected to win. Qualifier: Oakland +3 vs. Houston and St. Louis +5½ vs. Tampa Bay.

Play on the underdog when two Bad Teams face each other in September (53-27-4, 66.3% ATS): This has always been one of our favorite angles and it goes back to the theory we just mentioned in the previous trend, that being that bad teams that are suddenly expected to win often crack. Meanwhile, the underdogs often feel disrespected by being dogs vs. such weak opponents, and they usually use that for inspiration. Qualifiers: Oakland +3, Jacksonville +6 and St. Louis +5½.

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NFL Trends & Angles – Week 1

This issue sponsored by www.theparlayculator.com

Well, the preseason has come and gone, meaning that we have reached possibly the most highly anticipated and exciting weekend of the entire year, Kickoff Weekend for the 2014 NFL Season! And although teams have yet to play a single meaningful game, don’t think for a second that there are no profitable NFL Trends & Angles to be found in Week 1, as this is the time of the year when the NFL lines are at their softest.

As usual, we have researched all NFL games since the 2000 season and found some correlations between a team’s record its previous season (or more specifically its previous 16 games) and its performance during September of the following season in certain situations. Thus we have separated the Trends & Angles this week into two parts, one for Good Teams and one for Bad Teams.

As a reminder, we are not using either of those terms subjectively. We here at NFL Trends & Angels strictly define a Good Team as a team that won at least 10 of its last 16 games, and a Bad Team as a team that lost at least 10 of its last 16 games.

So for teams that did not make the playoffs last season, Bad Teams in Week 1 of 2014 are simply clubs that won six games or less last year during the regular season. For playoff teams, only their record in the last 16 games (including playoffs) determines if they qualify as Good Teams, obviously needing at least 10 wins in that span.

Those that have followed this column in the past are aware that we prefer to look for underdogs, and all the Bad Team angles below do that quite well. Conversely, and contrary to our normal nature, the Good Team angles actually have one trend pointing to favorites and two angles pointing to ‘overs’, both of which are against our norm.

As usual, all records in our NFL Trends & Angles are since the 2000 season, except that for the first four weeks of the 2014 season, the records are for September games only those last 14 years.

Get an advantage this weekend
Sunday 1:00pm New Orleans vs. Atlanta Get this pick free
Sunday 1:00pm Oakland vs. New York Jets Get this pick free
Sunday 1:00pm New England vs. Miami Get this pick free

Good Teams – At Least 10 Wins Last 16 Games

Play against Good Teams as September road underdogs (50-32-7, 61.0% ATS):Sometimes bettors can get too stuck on the previous season and they automatically flock to teams coming off of double-digit-win seasons when they turn up as underdogs early the following year. Oddsmakers are quite aware of this, so when those previous winners turn up as underdogs early, there is usually a good reason for it. Qualifiers: Tampa Bay -2 over Carolina, Baltimore -1½ over Cincinnati and Denver -7½ over Indianapolis.

Play the ‘over’ when Good Teams are favored in September division games (67-45-2, 59.8%): Just like any other sport, NFL teams are more familiar with division opponents that any other teams on their schedule, and that is not to mention that division games are the most important contests. Truly good teams know how to take advantage of familiar defenses, especially if they are favored, and they usually get up for these games. That often results in higher scoring, especially when the familiar opponents try to keep pace. Qualifying ‘overs’: New England at Miami and New Orleans at Atlanta.

Play the ‘over’ when Good Teams are favored over Bad Teams during September (65-47-1, 58.0%): This is a often a case of a favorite being so much better then its opponent that it can name the score, but there are also occasions where the inferior team gets up for these games early in the year while they still have playoff aspirations just like everybody else. Both of these circumstances usually produce higher scoring games. Qualifying ‘over’: New Orleans at Atlanta.

Get an advantage this weekend
Sunday 4:25pm Carolina vs. Tampa Bay Get this pick free
Sunday 4:25pm San Francisco vs. Dallas Get this pick free
Sunday 8:30pm Indianapolis vs. Denver Get this pick free

Bad Teams – At Least 10 Losses Last 16 Games

Play on Bad Teams as September road underdogs (115-81-12, 58.7% ATS):Perception is a wonderful thing, and novice bettors almost always shy away from teams that looked awful the previous year when they are road underdogs early on the following season. Thus, the books can pad the lines of these games a bit, inherently giving value to the dirty dogs. This is also a very good winning percentage for this size of a sampling. Qualifiers: Buffalo +7, Cleveland +7, Jacksonville +10, Minnesota +3½, Oakland +5½ and Washington +2½.

Play against Bad Teams as September conference favorites (62-39-3, 61.4% ATS):Now when teams that were bad last year are suddenly thrust into the favorite role vs. somewhat familiar conference opponents, it is a totally different mindset. These are teams usually not accustomed to being favored and they often wilt when being expected to win. Qualifier: Carolina +2 vs. Tampa Bay.

Play on the underdog when two Bad Teams face each other in September (53-26-4, 67.1% ATS): This has always been one of our favorite angles and it goes back to the theory we just mentioned in the previous trend, that being that bad teams that are suddenly expected to win often crack. Meanwhile, the underdogs often feel disrespected by being dogs vs. such weak opponents, and they usually use that for inspiration. Qualifier: Washington +2½.

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College Football Week 2 Preview

Week 1 of the college football season didn’t bring many surprises as both No. 1-ranked Florida State and second-ranked Alabama survived somewhat lackluster performances and won early season tests over Oklahoma State and West Virginia, respectively. Georgia’s 45-21 rout of Clemson may have been the biggest surprise of college football’s first weekend. Look for much of the same in Week 2 as most teams continue their non-conference schedules.

No. 14 USC @ No. 13 Stanford
It’s an early season Pac-12 rivalry game featuring the Cardinal, who own the nation’s longest home win streak, and the Trojans, with new head coach Steve Sarkisian. USC had little problem with FCS UC-Davis a week ago. QB Cody Kessler looked good, throwing for 394 yards and 4 TDs, good enough to earn him Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. Kessler did, however, suffer a toe injury, that kept him out of practice early in the week. He should be ready by Saturday. Stanford, which has won 18 straight at Stanford Stadium, has the dominating defense and powerful running game that can make it 19. Kevin Hogan is back at QB and head coach David Shaw’s defense has an array of talent that should lead them to contend for the Pac-12 North once again.
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No. 7 Michigan State @ No. 3 Oregon
If there is a defense that can slow down the high-octane offense of Oregon, it is that of the Michigan State Spartans. Last year’s Big Ten champions have one of the stoutest defensive units in the country. In last week’s 45-7 win over Jacksonville State, the Spartans gave up just 22 rushing yards. If Mark D’Antonio’s defense can pull the same at Oregon on Saturday, good things will happen. The problem for MSU begins with Ducks QB Marcus Mariota. Regarded by many as the nation’s best, Mariota is a much improved passer and can run all day if allowed. Oregon has plenty of weapons in Byron Marshall and Royce Freeman. Marshall rushed for 90 yards and caught eight passes for 138 more in the Ducks win over South Dakota last week.
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Florida Atlantic @ No. 2 Alabama
After a somewhat lackluster performance against West Virginia a week ago, second-ranked Alabama entertains Florida Atlantic. The Tide should have no problem against FAU, a 55-7 loser to Nebraska last week. The Cornhuskers set a Big Ten record for total offense in the win. The Tide might do the same. The game will give head coach Nick Saban some time to evaluate Jake Coker, the Florida State transfer who is expected to see some time this Saturday. Blake Sims started and played the entire game in the victory over West Virginia. The Tide should win easily this week and next when they face Southern Miss before getting into the SEC schedule.
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Michigan @ No. 16 Notre Dame
It will be the final matchup, at least for a while, of two of college football’s most respected programs. Both teams were impressive in their openers facing inferior teams. Michigan took care of Appalachian State, the school it lost to in 2007, rather easily winning 52 14. QB Devin Gardner threw three TD passes to WR Devin Funchess in the first half alone and had two running backs (Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith) go over 100 yards. The Irish welcomed back QB Everett Golson in their 48-17 win over Rice. Golson threw for 295 yards and two TDs in the victory and gives the Irish a slight edge at home.
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Virginia Tech @ No. 8 Ohio State
Ohio State had its troubles defending the triple option of Navy in last week’s opener, and the offense is still trying to overcome the loss of star QB Braxton Miller, who is out for the season. J.T. Barrett, a freshman from Texas, stepped in for Miller and played admirably in his first start. He completed 12-of-15 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed nine times for 50 yards. Barrett will have to continue to improve and will face a much better defense against Virginia Tech. The Hokies are perennially one of the nation’s top defensive units. In last week’s win over William & Mary, the Hokies gave up just 193 total yards. The question for Virginia Tech is, “Can QB Michael Brewer move the Hokies offense against a very good Ohio State defense?” The Buckeyes gave up some yardage to Navy last, but all things considered, have one of the top defensive units in the nation this year.
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NCAA Football Trends & Angles – Week 1

We have reached the beginning of the 2014 NCAA Football season, as while there is one mostly unlined game between Georgia State and Abilene Christian on Wednesday night, the action starts getting much heavier on Thursday night and it will be a long weekend with games right through Labor Day Monday.

As usual, while there are a few conference games on this opening weekend, the vast majority of games are non-conference affairs, as will be the case for the first three weeks of the season or so. Therefore, our first NCAA Football Trends & Angles of the 1014 season focuses only on those non-conference contests.

Those of you who have followed us in the past know probably know that most of our Trends & Angles point to underdogs, but Week 1 non-conference games are notable exceptions except for the ACC, as many big-name schools from the other power conferences like to open up with cupcakes to get some easy wins. And these favorites are oftentimes not bashful about running up the score either.

Now, since 2006, blindly playing all NCAA Football Week 1 non-conference favorites has gone just 156-139-4, 52.9 percent overall, which is just a smidgeon over the 52.3 percent required to break even at conventional -110 odds. However, the bigger winners have been double-digit Week 1 non-conference favorites of -10 or more, as those teams are a lucrative 104-81-2, 56.2 percent ATS over this eight-year span!

While that angle applies to all teams for Week 1 only, we will now take a look at how each of the five major conferences has done in non-conference games over the last eight years. Note that these angles are actually applicable for the entire season for each conference’s non-conference games.

SATURDAY
Arkansas vs. Auburn

Once again, the ACC is the only one of the five major conferences that does not have favorable ATS trends as favorites, so if you have to play at least some underdogs in Week 1, fading ACC favorites could be a place to look.

ACC
The ACC might still be the weakest major conference, but it may get better this year with the addition of Louisville. The ACC would have had a losing ATS record out of conference since 2006 by a considerable margin, but now that we add the Cardinals into the mix, all current ACC teams are a non-descript 223-213-8 ATS out of conference overall and 129-128-5 ATS as non-conference favorites. We did not find any great subsets either that would have yielded profitable plays for Week 1, so we do not recommend anything here.

SATURDAY
Fresno State vs. USC

Big 12
The Big 12 is 154-135-5 ATS out of conference the last eight years  for just 53.3 percent overall, but all Big 12 favorites have been especially strong going 125-100-3, 55.6 percent ATS since 2006. Furthermore those same favorites are 24-16, 60.0 percent in Week 1 overall with no filters necessary. We hope you have a strong stomach because this week’s qualifiers are Oklahoma -37½ and Texas -24½ on Saturday and Baylor -33 on Sunday.

Big Ten
On the surface, you would think that there is not too much to see here as the Big Ten is 220-228-7, 49.1 percent in all non-conference games the last eight years, including going 148-165-4, 47.3 percent ATS as a favorite out of conference. However, a closer look reveals that one nice subset has been the very big favorites of -20 or more, as these are 63-51-2 55.3 percent out of conference overall including 14-10-2, 58.3 percent in Week 1. Qualifiers: are Minnesota -26½ on Thursday and Michigan -34½ and Nebraska -23 on Saturday.

SATURDAY
SMU vs. Baylor

Pac-12
The Pac-12 is 163-146-2, 52.8 percent ATS out of conference overall since 2006, but that improves to 105-88, 54.4 percent ATS as a favorite and, most importantly, to 78-59 56.9 percent when favored by -7 or more. Qualifiers: Washington State -8 on Thursday, Arizona -23½ on Friday and USC -21, UCLA -21 and Washington -16½ on Saturday.

SEC
The best conference in the land may be only 236-204-3, 53.6 percent ATS in non-conference games the last eight years with many of those lines being shaded against the SEC teams, but the conference is 195-158-2, 55.9 percent as a non-conference favorite. Qualifiers: Mississippi -10 and Vanderbilt -14 on Thursday, Alabama -24½, Florida -36½, Georgia -7, LSU -4½ and Mississippi State -30½ on Saturday and Tennessee -6 on Sunday.

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