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NFL Week 2 Odds: Historical Trends Favor Underdogs Like Panthers, Cardinals, More

NFL Week 2 Odds: Historical Trends Favor Underdogs Like Panthers, Cardinals, More article feature image
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Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Baker Mayfield.

  • Chris Raybon has identified two trends that value Week 2 underdogs.
  • Coming off some big losses in Week 1, history says a few teams are poised to bounce back this week.
  • Check out Raybon's analysis below.

Week 2 in the NFL is all about overreactions to the opening slate, which means it could be another big underdog week. According to our Action Labs data, underdogs are 145-119-7 (54.9%) since 2005. Of course, there are some specific spots to target to get that win rate even higher.

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NFL Week 2 Betting Trends

Dogs +6 or Fewer Off Straight-Up Loss

When a team drops its opening game, it can be a challenge not to overweight it, given it’s the only data point we have. But when a team loses in Week 1 – but is still deemed good enough to be a short dog – that team is a good bet to be underrated by the market. As such, Week 2 dogs off a straight-up loss have gone 64-32-3 (66.7%) when the line is +6 or fewer since 2005, beating the spread by an average of 1.86 points per game.

Dogs in this spot have cashed at a 60% clip both at home (33-15, 68.9%) and on the road (29-19, 60.4%). They have been profitable every year since 2016 and 14 of 17 years overall during that span.

When the line is 6.5 or greater, favorites in this spot are 32-22-1 (59.2%), though the sample is smaller.

Four games fit this underdog trend this year:

Dogs +6 or Fewer Off Against the Spread (ATS) Loss

In the minds of bettors, an ATS loss can be just as bad as a straight-up loss. So it should be of no surprise that Week 2 dogs off an ATS loss tend to be underrated by the market as well. They’ve gone 56-32-2 (63.6%) since 2005, covering by an average of 1.17 points per game.

Similarly to Week 2 dogs +6 or fewer off a straight-up loss, Week 2 dogs +6 or fewer off an ATS loss have done better at home (26-12, 68.4%), but are also still very good on the road (30-20-2, 60.0%).

Again, one of the big takeaways is that the close games tend to show value, as the market has been a lot sharper in terms of mismatches, to the point where the pendulum ticks toward favorites in this spot when the line is -6.5 or greater (30-21-1).

Five games fit this underdog trend this year:

 

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