After posting a ridiculous 12-4 ATS record in Week 1, NFL underdogs continued to bark yesterday, going 8-6 ATS in Sunday's Week 2 slate. Including Thursday night's cover by the Giants, dogs are now 21-10 ATS (67.7%) on the season. Road dogs have been particularly profitable, going 13-4 ATS (76.5%). Going contrarian in heavily bet games has also paid off for brave hazmat bettors. With Baltimore (+ 3.5) beating Kansas City 36-35 last night, primetime dogs are now 4-1 ATS.
Dogs have historically been a smart bet in the month of September when teams are still healthy, optimistic and upsets are more common. But one must wonder if the legalization of sports betting has led to dogs being even more profitable than before. With more than half the country now offering legalized betting, the "public" has never been larger, with many of them betting for the first time. Their biases are saturating the market like never before. As a result, going contrarian and backing dogs may be more valuable than ever as the public is getting bigger each day.
Now we turn our attention to Monday, where bettors have Monday Night Football to sweat along with 12 MLB games. For an updated breakdown of Monday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 1 p.m. ET. I'll also be joining the Lombardi Line at 1:30 p.m. ET to offer a market update and then co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3 to 5 p.m. ET.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the smart money is leaning for tonight's MNF showdown...
8:15 p.m. ET: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
Both of these NFC North rivals are looking to bounce back from Week 1 losses. The Lions (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS) fell to the 49ers 41-33 in last week's opener, although Detroit managed to cover as 9.5-point home dogs. Meanwhile, the Packers (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) got embarrassed by the Saints 38-3, losing straight up as 3.5-point neutral site favorites. This line opened with Green Bay listed as an 11-point home favorite. The public says Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are a great team and must get back on track by rolling the lowly Lions. This lopsided action has pushed Green Bay up from -11 to -11.5. Some shops even reached 12 before some Lions buyback dropped the number back down.
The Lions match several profitable betting systems, most notably a contrarian road divisional dog in a primetime game. Double-digit road divisional dogs are 109-83 (57%) over the past decade. Primetime dogs are 4-1 ATS this season. Monday Night Football double-digit dogs are 26-10 ATS (72.2%) over the past decade. Double-digit dogs are 50-38 ATS (56.8%) in the month of September over the past decade. Also, when two winless teams face off, the dog has been a smart bet (35-25 ATS, 58.3% the past decade).
We've also seen some respected money hit this total. It opened at 49.5 and the public is rushing to the window to take the over. However, despite this lopsided betting we've seen the line fall from 49.5 to 48.5. This signals some sharp reverse line movement on the under, which is also super contrarian in a heavily bet primetime game. Historically, divisional unders that fall at least a point are roughly 54% the past decade. Another reason to look at the under: the weather. The forecast calls for 15-20 MPH winds at Lambeau Field. When the wind blows 10 MPH or more, the under is roughly 55% the past decade. Adrian Hill, the lead ref, has historically favored unders (20-13, 60.6%).