Countdown to kickoff for NFL Week 17: Top trends and systems info

December 27, 2022 04:08 PM
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A couple of weeks ago I put together an article recalling all of the trend and system information I’ve compiled this season that was in play for NFL Week 15. I received a very good reaction to that article, particularly after Bill Adee published the highlights in one of the morning newsletters that week. Since then, I did a late-season systems piece. However, a number of VSiN readers requested that I do full-season recall thing more often as they insisted it gets difficult to remember all the best info from week to week. In the process, we can miss valuable betting opportunities. I know this because I miss them myself, although prepping for my appearances on the Countdown to Kickoff show with Brent Musburger each Sunday helps.

I love to share this info with viewers, and many parts of it, particularly the bye-week and rematch systems, have once again been very successful in 2022. With that in mind, I am paying tribute to Brent’s show by titling my article in the show’s name this week as we get ready for a huge Week 17 slate of action. Enjoy the analysis and good luck with your Week 17 wagers.

NFL Extreme Stats Next Game Systems

NFL teams that lose on a point spread by 30 points or more in any given game have rebounded nicely the next week when playing as road underdogs of 3 points or more, going 8-17-2 SU but 19-7-1 ATS (73.1%) in their last 27 tries.

Extreme performances in one week usually produce an opposite reaction the next week. This comes as a result of returns to norms and from oddsmakers’ and bettors’ overreactions. Denver applies for this system in Week 17 after its ugly 51-14 loss as a favorite at the Rams. The Broncos will take on Kansas City after firing their head coach as well.

NFL teams that lost, scored seven points or fewer and had 10 or fewer first downs in a game have performed admirably as underdogs in the next game, 15-29 SU but 30-14 ATS (68.2%) over the last decade.

These are truly bad offensive performances, and like anything else in the NFL (Not For Long), the pattern doesn’t tend to last long. Oddsmakers intentionally over-adjust to draw in bettors who overreact, and books take home all the winnings. This has already happened a couple of times this season and both teams bounced back well. For this week, the Jets will try to rebound from their ugly loss to the Jaguars last Thursday when they travel to Seattle. New York will also try to reignite its offense by turning back to Mike White at quarterback. 

NFL Systems for Prime-time Games

Home underdogs on “Thursday Night Football” have really struggled of late, going 4-14 SU and 6-12 ATS (33%) in their last 18, scoring just 14.7 PPG. In terms of totals, 14 of the last 16 (88%) TNF games featuring a home dog went UNDER.

This week’s Thursday night game will be the fourth straight featuring a road favorite, with Dallas opening as a double-digit favorite at Tennessee. In the last three weeks, the hosts are 1-2 SU and ATS and all three games went Under.

An unusual stat angle: The best defensive teams in the league, or those allowing less than 19 PPG, have gone just 4-16 SU and 6-14 ATS (30%) against worse defenses on “Sunday Night Football” since ’19.

This angle will be in play for the Sunday night game featuring Baltimore and Pittsburgh. The host Ravens are allowing 18.1 PPG while the Steelers yield 21.3 PPG. Thus, this system suggests playing against the Ravens as the favorite facing their fierce division rival. However, note that the Ravens are on SNF runs of 5-1 SU and 5-2 ATS while the Steelers are just 2-8 ATS in their last 10 SNF games.

In the last 12 “Monday Night Football” games featuring a home underdog, UNDER the total is 10-1-1 (91%), with games producing just 35.1 PPG.

Blowout wins have been great momentum builders for road MNF teams, as those coming off wins by 20 points or more have gone 9-1 SU and ATS (90%) in their last 10 tries.

This week’s MNF game features two of the top teams in the AFC, with Buffalo installed as a 1.5-point favorite at Cincinnati. The Bengals are on a 4-1-2 Under the total run on MNF, scoring just 15.1 PPG. The Bills qualify for the second angle, coming off a 35-13 win at Chicago on Saturday.

NFL True Home Field/Road Field Performance Indicators

From my consecutive week articles in early November highlighting the best and worst NFL teams in terms of their true home/road field performance levels:

Using my formula comparing how much teams have won by at home compared with how much they were supposed to win by based on average power ratings, the top teams for TRUE HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE in the NFL over the last 3 1/2 seasons have been:

1.    Buffalo +4.8

2.    Dallas +4.5

3.    Baltimore +3.7

4.    Green Bay +3.1

5.    New England +3.1 

Of these teams, three are at home in Week 17, with Baltimore hosting Pittsburgh, Green Bay hosting Minnesota, and New England hosting Miami. 

The teams with the worst TRUE HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE ratings in all of pro football based on their home performances over the last 3 1/2 seasons have been:

1.    L.A. Chargers -3.7

2.    Arizona -2.9

3.    Carolina -1.8

4.    N.Y. Jets -1.1

5.    Jacksonville -1.0

Only one of these five teams is at home this weekend, the Chargers, who host the Rams in the battle of L.A.

Using my formula comparing how much teams have won on the road compared with how much they were supposed to win by based on average power ratings, the top teams for TRUE ROAD PERFORMANCE in pro football over the last 3 1/2 seasons have been:

1.    Baltimore +3.7

2.    Buffalo +3.6

3.    Kansas City +2.9

4.    New Orleans +2.9

From this group, Buffalo travels to Cincinnati for a Monday night game, while New Orleans visits Philadelphia on Sunday.

The teams with the worst TRUE ROAD PERFORMANCE ratings in all of the NFL based on their road statistics over the last 3 1/2 seasons have been:

1.    Pittsburgh -5.3

2.    N.Y. Jets -4.5

3.    Detroit -4.4

4.    Cleveland -4.3

5.    Jacksonville -4.1

We have a good opportunity to fade four of these teams on Sunday. Pittsburgh is at Baltimore, the Jets are in Seattle, Cleveland goes to Washington, and Jacksonville takes on Houston in a road divisional game.

Handicapping NFL rematch games

The following betting angles come from my Week 11 article detailing the performance level of teams in rematch games. There are a season-high seven rematches on the card for Sunday.

Carolina at Tampa Bay: Carolina won the first game 21-3

Chicago at Detroit: Detroit won the first matchup 31-30

Denver at Kansas City: K.C. won the initial meeting 34-28

Jacksonville at Houston: Houston won the first time 13-6

Minnesota at Green Bay: Minnesota won in Week 1 23-7

Miami at New England: Miami won the season opener 20-7

Pittsburgh at Baltimore: Baltimore won the first meeting 16-14

Best NFL rematch team lately

-       Detroit: 10-1 ATS run in rematches

Worst NFL rematch teams lately

-       Carolina: 11-18 SU and 9-20 ATS in rematches since ‘14

-       Chicago: 1-10 ATS in last 11

-       Denver: 2-14 SU and 5-11 ATS in last 16 tries

Worst NFL ROAD rematch teams lately

-       Denver: 10 straight outright road rematch losses (2-8 ATS)

-       Jacksonville: ugly 2-16 SU and 7-11 ATS road rematch skid

Worst NFL REVENGE teams lately

-       Chicago: 3-16 SU and 5-13-1 ATS in last 19 revenge tries

-       Green Bay: 1-6 SU and ATS in last seven revenge attempts

-       Pittsburgh: 4-7 SU and 3-8 ATS in last 11 revenge, including 0-4 SU and ATS last four

Worst NFL teams in rematches after winning last game lately

-       Carolina: six straight outright losses, 2-11 ATS in last 13

High-scoring rematch teams

-       Kansas City: 11-3 OVER run

-       Minnesota: OVER in last seven rematch games

Rematch System

-         Teams that lost the prior game to an opponent but now have a record 20% or better outright have gone 36-12 SU and 31-17 ATS (64.6%) in the rematch

This system details a situation in which one team’s season has progressed a lot more favorably than the other despite the earlier loss. This says a lot about the power of momentum in the NFL, as well as how the additional revenge factor can motivate a superior team. This angle will be in play on Sunday for the Jacksonville-Houston game.

Top Coaching Trends in various Post-Thanksgiving Day Situations

Of the 15 top head coaching post-Thanksgiving trends I listed in my Week 12 article, eight are in play this weekend:

* Bill Belichick (New England) is 30-16 OVER the total (67%) vs. conference foes.

The Patriots welcome Miami to Foxboro on Sunday.

* Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh) is 16-16 SU and 12-20 ATS (34%) vs. AFC foes.

The Steelers travel to Baltimore for a Sunday night game.

* Dan Campbell (Detroit) is 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS (100%) in divisional games.

The Lions square off with Chicago on Sunday in Detroit.

* Matt LaFleur (Green Bay) is 6-1 SU & ATS (83%) as a favorite of 1 to 7 points.

The Packers are field goal favorites at home versus the Vikings on Sunday.

* Ron Rivera (Washington) is 10-3 SU and 9-3-1 ATS (75%) vs. AFC foes.

The Commanders host Cleveland in a key playoff-implicating game on Sunday.

* Doug Pederson (Jacksonville) is 13-4 OVER the total (79%) in road games.

Jacksonville travels to Houston on Sunday for a divisional game.

* Sean McDermott (Buffalo) is 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS (100%) as a road favorite.

Buffalo is a small favorite on Monday night in Cincinnati.

* Dennis Allen (New Orleans) is 1-12 SU and 4-8-1 ATS (22%) as an underdog.

New Orleans travels to Philadelphia on Sunday.

Top NFL Quarterback Betting Trends

These are my starting quarterback betting trends in play for this weekend: 

* Jared Goff (DET) is 10-18 SU but 19-9 ATS (68%) with current head coach Dan Campbell.

The Lions host the Bears on Sunday.

* Jalen Hurts (PHI) is 9-1 SU nd 8-1-1 ATS (89%) as a home favorite. 

Hurts missed Saturday’s game at Dallas but could be available for a potential top seed-clinching game versus New Orleans on Sunday. 

* Joe Burrow (CIN) is 6-7-1 SU and 12-2 ATS (86%) as an underdog of 7 points or fewer.

Burrow and the Bengals figure to be home dogs vs. the Bills on Monday night.

* Joe Burrow (CIN) is 14-4 SU and ATS (78%) vs. non-divisional conference foes.

Following up last week’s win at New England, Burrow takes on Buffalo on MNF this week.

* Derek Carr (LV) is 13-24 SU and 13-23-1 ATS (36%) vs. NFC foes.

The Raiders host the red-hot 49ers on Sunday.

* Justin Fields (CHI) is 4-16 SU and 6-14 ATS (30%) in Sunday games. 

The Bears travel to Detroit for a divisional game on Sunday.

* Sam Darnold (CAR) is 5-15 SU and ATS (25%) as a road underdog.

The Panthers did win their last game as a road dog, at Seattle, and face Tampa Bay with a potential division title on the line.

* Patrick Mahomes (KC) is 20-1 SU and 8-12-1 ATS (40%) in his last 21 games as a favorite of more than 7 points.

The Chiefs are near 2-TD favorites at home versus the Broncos.

* Mac Jones (NE) is 0-8 SU and ATS (0%) as an underdog of 7 points or fewer.

The Patriots have lost back-to-back games as small underdogs and could face that situation again this week versus the Dolphins, pending the injury news on Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa.

Betting systems for the NFL’s final three regular-season weeks

Finally, from my piece last week detailing the top betting systems that have formed in the season's final three weeks over the last decade, here are some systems in play for this week:

-         NFL home teams favored by double digits in divisional games have gone 38-3 SU and 26-14-1 ATS (65%) in the final three weeks of the regular season since 2012.

In most cases, these double-digit home favorites are playing for playoff positioning against teams they are much better than. Add the motivating factors of playing at home and against a division rival and the result is success. In Week 17, the Chiefs host the Broncos.

-         NFL home divisional underdogs of 3 points or more are on a run of 10-6 SU and 13-3 (81%) in their last 16 tries in the final three weeks of the regular season.

I suspect that a lot of these games feature home underdogs that may still be in the playoff hunt but need big performances to keep those hopes alive. Either that or they are in a position to spoil things for their biggest rivals. The latter is the case for the Texans vs. the Jaguars on Sunday, and these small home dogs have been great wagers lately.

-         NFL home teams having lost at least their last three games outright have gone 37-48 SU but 51-33-1 ATS (60.8%) in the final three weeks of the regular season since ’12, including 34-17 ATS (67%) versus divisional foes. 

This system generates a couple of trains of thought for me. First, with most of these final three weeks’ games being divisional games, there is typically no shortage of motivation to end a losing streak. Second, teams on losing streaks typically get sided by oddsmakers, and we all know anything can and does happen on any given NFL week. There are currently seven teams on losing streaks of at least three games, and of them, Seattle, Atlanta and Tennessee play at home this weekend. None of them is hosting a divisional foe. Atlanta is the only one favored. 

-         NFL road teams having lost at least their last five games outright and playing as dogs of 6 points or more have gone just 3-15 SU and 6-12 ATS (33.3%) in the final three weeks of the regular season since ’12. 

Steve’s thoughts: Things are going badly for a team and to make matters worse they have to go on the road against a far superior foe. It typically doesn’t turn out well. This system will be in play this weekend for the Denver game at Kansas City. 

-         Monday night games in the final three weeks of the regular season have gone UNDER the total at a 13-2 (86.7%) rate since ’15. 

Changing routines late in the season can have an impact on rhythm. On top of that, many of these Monday night late-season games are affected by cold temperatures, snow or other weather factors. Higher stakes in these games also lead to conservative coaching. Monday’s Chargers-Colts game went Under the total by more than 20 points, and this week’s crucial game between Buffalo and Cincinnati shows a lofty total of 49.5. 

-         NFL home teams that are favored but own a lesser record than their opponent have gone 28-19 SU but just 17-29-1 ATS (36.9%) in the final three weeks of the regular season since ’13. 

It’s clear that these hosts are not good enough to be trusted to be laying points. In fact, by won-lost records alone, they may be fortunate to be favored. Dallas won on this system last week against an injury-hampered Philly team. For Week 17, we have one game qualifying, Green Bay hosting Minnesota.

-         NFL road teams scoring less than 17 PPG have gone 5-34 SU and 12-25-2 ATS (32.4%) in the final three weeks of the regular season since ’12, producing just 13.9 PPG on average. 

If you ask me, it’s taboo to bet the NFL’s worst offenses in late-season road games. This system proves that. After qualifying and losing big-time at the Rams on Sunday, Denver gives it another try at Kansas City this week. 

-       NFL home teams allowing 18.5 PPG or less have gone 40-18 SU but just 21-35-2 ATS (37.5%) in the final three weeks of the regular season since ’12. 

These are the league’s best defensive teams in action on their home fields. However, it is typically elite offenses that are better and winning in the chalk role. These good defenses win games, but covering big numbers is a different story. For 2022, four teams are currently meeting the points allowed criteria, Buffalo, Baltimore and San Francisco. Only the Ravens are at home this week, hosting Pittsburgh as 3.5-point favorites.

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