Gambling Lessons – NFL Week 18

Handicapping the last week of the season is always tricky. You have to deal with playoff situations, resting starters and inflated betting lines.   It’s important to keep in mind these are professional players.  The majority of them need to prove their value each and every week if they want to stay in the league, no player wants bad tape.  

Personally, unless there is some egregious fuckery going on, I don’t buy into tanking theories.  This isn’t the NBA, NFL teams play to win each week.    A perfect example is today’s results.   With the #1 pick on the line… Jacksonville curb-stomped Indy then Detroit took down the NFC #1 Seeded Packers.

NFL Gamblers Adages 

  • Just because a team must win doesn’t mean it will win. 
  • If a team was good enough to automatically win a must-win game, it wouldn’t be in this situation to begin with.

Indianapolis Colts -15 at Jacksonville

All Indy had to do was beat the Jags to reach the playoffs.  Jacksonville was the worst team in the league and nobody gave them any chance of winning.  The Colts were favored by 15.5 points and ended up losing by 15.    Hindsight: Indy hasn’t won in Jax since 2014… they play there once per season. 

Arizona -5.5 vs Seattle

Seattle, with nothing to play for, beat the Cards and cost them the NFC West title + #2 seed. 

NFL Week 18 Betting Stats:

  • Favorites finished 9-7 straight up
  • Underdogs went 10-6 ATS
  • Home teams were 8-8 straight up and 8-7 ATS
  • Overs cashed in at 11-5

NFL Season Totals:  

  • Betting favorites went 167-99-1 Straight up
  • Underdogs finished 139-125-3 Against the spread (52.7%)
  • Home teams eked out a 136-132-1 record straight up
  • Road teams were 140-126-3 against the spread (52.6%)
  • Under bets went 146-124-2 (54.1%)

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