Small NFL road dogs flourishing

By Steve Makinen  (VSiN.com) 

November 9, 2021 08:46 PM
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Hopefully by now you’ve caught wind of the amazing season that single-digit road underdogs are enjoying in the NFL. If not, hopefully it’s not too late. I know some of my VSiN colleagues have been turning readers’ attention to this phenomenon for much of the season, but as they often say, sometimes you can’t just tell people, you have to show them. With that in mind, I thought I’d break down some of the details of what has been a remarkable run by small road underdogs this year, and explain some of the reasons for why I believe it is happening.
Overall, for the season, single-digit road underdogs or those catching between 1 and 9.5 points, boast an eye-opening record of 35-34 SU and 47-21-1 ATS (69.1 percent). The separation of the double-digit underdogs is noteworthy, too, as those teams are just 4-9-1 ATS this season, so clearly there is something to this. But how unusual is this 69.1 percent point spread winning rate? Take a look at this list below detailing the single-digit road underdog records for each NFL season since 2000, sorted by ATS winning percentage: 
Season: Overall single-digit road dog records SU & ATS (percent)
2021: 35-34 SU & 47-21 ATS (69.1 percent)
2000: 60-92 SU & 84-63 ATS (57.1 percent)
2015: 60-94 SU & 82-65 ATS (55.8 percent)
2006: 65-84 SU & 80-65 ATS (55.2 percent)
2002: 53-101 SU & 83-68 ATS (55.0 percent)
2012: 53-88 SU & 75-62 ATS (54.7 percent)
2019: 53-83 SU & 73-61 ATS (54.5 percent)
2009: 48-84 SU & 69-58 ATS (54.3 percent)
2018: 49-99 SU & 75-64 ATS (54.0 percent)
2020: 52-82 SU & 72-62 ATS (53.7 percent)
2011: 52-87 SU & 71-62 ATS (53.4 percent)
2014: 55-103 SU & 82-73 ATS (52.9 percent)
2010: 56-93 SU & 76-70 ATS (52.1 percent)
2004: 57-102 SU & 80-74 ATS (51.9 percent)
2016: 57-107 SU & 79-77 ATS (50.6 percent)
2008: 50-98 SU & 73-72 ATS (50.3 percent)
2003: 52-114 SU & 79-80 ATS (49.7 percent)
2007: 47-91 SU & 62-69 ATS (47.3 percent)
2001: 46-96 SU & 64-73 ATS (46.7 percent)
2017: 43-90 SU & 59-69 ATS (46.1 percent)
2005: 44-112 SU & 66-85 ATS (43.7 percent)
2013: 37-106 SU & 62-80 ATS (43.7 percent)
 
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