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The Under and Underdogs the story so far in NFL
A look at betting trends as the NFL enters Week 4
It is early in the NFL season, but a few interesting betting trends have emerged as we enter Week 4.
Operation Fade the Favourites has, for the most part, been a successful strategy for bettors wagering on NFL point spreads through the first three weeks, with underdogs going an impressive 29-18-1 against the spread.
Underdogs had a big impact on Week 3 action, including a couple of significant straight up wins for teams like the Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars against the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers.
The hot start for the underdogs this season also mirrors the success underdogs had against the spread early on in the 2021-22 campaign.
Favourites playing on the road have also had a difficult time covering, at just a 40% success rate.
The Bills are once again favourites on the road this week, as they visit the Baltimore Ravens in a highly anticipated AFC matchup. Both teams are 2-1 and have explosive playmaking ability on offence, particularly with Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson at quarterback.
As of Thursday, the Bills were three-point road favourites. The Over/Under was 51.0 on Thursday after opening at 53.5 on PlayNow.com.
There have been a few exceptions, but the Under has mostly dominated, hitting in more than 60% of games this season. That has included a number of ugly, low-scoring games in prime time, although the Over finally came through to hit twice in prime-time last week (on Thursday between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, and Monday between Dallas and New York).
The Dolphins have certainly surprised a few people early on. They have been money so far, with a perfect 3-0 record against the spread and straight up through three weeks. That includes two big wins as underdogs against Baltimore in Week 2 and the Super Bowl favourite Buffalo Bills the following week.
Tua Tagovailoa was a huge question mark for the Dolphins entering the season. Miami took massive steps to give Tagovailoa as much help as possible in the receiving game with the addition of Tyreek Hill. So far, Tagovailoa has answered his critics with his play, even entering the MVP conversation.
Tougher task for the Dolphins in Week 4, with some injury concerns on a short week against the reigning AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals.
Three other teams remain undefeated against the spread.
The Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans and Detroit Lions likely won’t factor too much into the playoff conversation as the season continues, as they sit at the bottom of their respective divisions right now, but they are all currently a perfect 3-0 against the spread.
Not only are the Lions perfect against the spread, but they’ve been one of the few teams to consistently reward those who have wagered on the Over through three weeks. The Over has hit in all three Lions games this season, although their Week 3 contest against Minnesota was a squeaker as the Over was successful by just a half point.
The Lions host the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4, with Detroit currently a four-point home favourite. Yes, it’s not every week you see the Lions as a favourite, but the Seahawks could once again find themselves outmatched as the rebuild continues.
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