I’ve always believed that one of the best ways to make consistent profits in NFL betting, and any other sport for that matter, is through the use of systems.
Systems are different from trends. Trends tend to be team specific, thus shorter-lived and riskier to follow. Systems are leaguewide, with a fundamental angle providing reliable predictability.
We all know that nothing in sports betting is a lock, but I feel that systems provide the foundation on which successful sports betting is built. They come with no bias and, if built upon solid principles, typically perform consistently or even spectacularly.
One of the key fundamentals I use in building systems for any sport is the circumstance of extremes and how teams react to them. What I’m specifically looking to find out is how teams fare in the follow-up game when coming off of one of these extreme situations. After all, unusual performances tend to either galvanize teams or shred their cohesiveness.
Before we get too deep into the season and miss out on some golden opportunities, I figured it would be a good time to share some NFL extreme betting systems that I was unable to uncover from studying the last 10+ years of games.
There are 17 systems in this report. In Nos. 10 through 12, you'll find games that fit the system this week.
Huge divisional upsets
1. Teams that lose outright as double-digit favorites to division rivals have bounced back with a 12-2 SU and 11-3 ATS (78.6%) record in the next game since 2015.
Nothing wakes a team up faster than being taken down as a heavy favorite by a division rival. For at least one week, the urgency level is cranked up. Having played as a double-digit favorite the week prior, these are solid teams and can be counted on to rebound. This last happened on Dec. 26, 2021, when Tampa Bay bounced back from a 9-0 loss to New Orleans to trounce Carolina 32-6.
Shutouts are extremes
2. Teams that get shut out have bounced back with a 22-30 SU but 32-18-2 ATS (64%) record since 2012. This includes a 5-3 SU and 7-0-1 ATS mark for teams that were shut out by nonconference opponents.
Most bettors would prefer to stay away from teams that failed to score in the prior game, but that has proven to be a mistake. In fact, we had a winner on this system just last week when Indianapolis upset Kansas City after being shut out by Jacksonville 24-0.
3. Teams off of a home shutout win have been dreadful in the next game. They’re on a slide of 11-16 SU and 8-18-1 ATS (30.8%).
Jacksonville bucked this system last week by following up its shutout of the Colts with a resounding 38-10 defeat of the Chargers. That performance was rare as oddsmakers typically price these teams out and the teams are unable to match the intensity they brought the week before.
Big-time offensive performances
4. Teams that score 45 points or more have followed that up with an 18-13 SU but 11-20 ATS (35.5%) record when favored by 3 points or more at home since 2012.
A team that scored big the previous week and is expected to win at home seems like a good recipe for success. This system is NFL betting in a nutshell. What happens in one week doesn’t necessarily carry over to the next, particularly when the great equalizer, the point spread, is in play. Interestingly, we have yet to see a 45-point performance this season.
5. Similarly to No. 4, teams that gained an explosive 8.75 yards per play or more in any given game are on a 19-18-1 SU but 13-23-2 ATS (36.1%) slide.
The only team that has qualified for this angle in 2022 bucked the system, as Baltimore rebounded from its Week 2 loss to the Dolphins, when it gained 8.76 YPP, to beat New England in the follow-up game. Again, this doesn’t usually happen, as oddsmakers tend to overprice these explosive offenses, and what works one week doesn’t often match the same productivity the next — especially with the next defensive coordinator studying that game film.
Blowouts are red flags
6. Teams that lose by 35 points or more at home or on a neutral field game have been fantastic bets in the follow-up game. They’re on an 8-11-2 SU but 17-4 ATS (80.9%) run.
Typically, bettors look at these teams like they are poison. This is another system that makes the NFL so hard to predict from week to week if you’re not thinking from a contrarian perspective. What happens one week can lead to value opportunities the next when you think outside the box.
7. Alternatively to No. 6, teams that win by 35 points or more at home or on a neutral field have been bad bets in the follow-up game. They’re on an 18-16 SU but 11-22-1 ATS (33.3%) slide.
We have yet to see a 35-point blowout this season, but that won’t last long. When we do see one, if the winning team was playing at home, you’ll most likely want to fade them the next week. If the losing team was the host, you’ll likely want to back them.
8. Teams that beat the point spread by 32 points or more have gone just 16-14 SU and 10-20 ATS (33.3%) when playing at home the next week since 2012.
We have not had this situation arise yet this season. Jacksonville beat the spread by 34 points last week against the Chargers, but the Jaguars are on the road for a second consecutive game. This is another contrarian angle where you have to have the courage to step out against a hot team.
9. Teams that lose on the point spread by 30 points or more are on an 8-17-2 SU but 19-7-1 ATS (73.1%) run when playing as road underdogs of 3 points or more.
Are you catching the pattern? Extreme performances one week usually produce an opposite reaction the next week. Why? Oddsmakers overreact, bettors overreact and teams often return to the norm. The Chargers are road favorites this week, so they don’t qualify despite losing on the spread by 34 points last week.
10. Teams that lose on the point spread by 30 points or more have been nearly automatic when playing as road favorites in the next game, winning their last 13 tries outright while going 11-1-1 ATS (91.7%)!
YES! Finally, one of our systems comes in handy this week, though it’s certainly not a concept most bettors would embrace enthusiastically. The Chargers, who lost by 28 points as 6-point favorites last week, are 5-point favorites in Houston on Sunday. With an average score of 31-15 in this system, continued success would find the CHARGERS winning comfortably against the Texans.
Games with crazy-low scoring command attention
11. Teams that win despite scoring 11 points or less are on a 12-7 SU and 13-6 ATS (68.4%) run.
If this extreme system sounds familiar, it’s because it just happened last week, with Denver edging San Francisco 11-10 on Sunday night. The BRONCOS are a system play Sunday as 2.5-point road underdogs against the Raiders.
12. Similar to No. 11, teams that lose despite allowing 11 points or less are 12-3 SU and 13-2 ATS (86.7%) since 2015.
Although they lost, these teams were able to take some solace from playing well defensively. SAN FRANCISCO fits this system against the Rams on Monday night as 1.5-point home favorites.
Don’t dismiss teams off of dreadful offensive performances
13. Teams that score 7 points or less with 10 first downs or less in a loss are 15-29 SU but 30-14 ATS (68.2%) as underdogs over the last decade.
These are truly bad offensive performances, but these teams tend to rebound. Oddsmakers intentionally overadjust to entice bettors who overreact, and books take home the winnings. This system has already hit once this season, when the Colts rebounded from their shutout loss in which they totaled nine first downs.
14. Teams whose running games were stuffed to the tune of 1.0 yards per rush or less have proven to be great bounce-back teams. They’re on an 11-2 SU and 10-3 ATS (76.9%) run.
Unfortunately, so far this season, the worst per rush yardage that a team has gained has been 2.2. A team gaining 1.0 or less yards per rush attempt will happen at some point however, as it usually does once or twice a season. Almost always, these teams respond big time, against all odds.
Turnovers are key
15. Teams coming off a game in which they turned the ball over five times or more have continued to flounder, going 13-14 SU but 6-20-1 ATS (23.1%) when favored in the next game since 2012.
This is the first of our systems that isn’t contrarian in nature, and it seems odd that this many teams have been favored after turning the ball over at least five times. New Orleans qualified for this system last week, after turning the ball over five times against Tampa Bay, and lost as a favorite at Carolina.
16. Teams coming off a game with a + 6 turnover differential or better have been bad betting options the next week. They’re on a 4-8 SU and 2-9-1 ATS (18.2%) slide.
Turnover luck is usually just that in the NFL: luck. While there are real factors that contribute to a team turning the ball over a lot (pressure on the quarterback, game situation, etc.), for a team to go + 6 in turnover differential is, for the most part, simply good fortune. Bet against these teams the next time out.
17. Teams coming off a game with a -5 turnover differential or worse are on a 3-14 SU and 2-15 ATS (11.8%) slide when playing the next game on the road.
This is a convergence of bad things: having to go on the road after a brutal game with bad turnover luck. The turnover luck often changes, but these teams still don’t win or cover the next time out. Cincinnati fell victim to this system in Week 2, losing at Dallas after posting a -5 turnover differential in a season-opening loss to Pittsburgh.