- The Los Angeles Rams have started the 2018-19 NFL season with a 9-1 record, but are just a pedestrian 4-6 against the spread.
- Dating back to 2003, this is the first time a team this good has had such a poor ATS record.
- Historically, teams that get off to great starts do not fare well ATS down the stretch.
The Los Angeles Rams are a good football team. Hell, they were undefeated just 10 days ago. BUT, they are costing bettors money!
You all know the saying, “Good teams win, great teams cover.” If you take that adage to heart, the Rams are nowhere close to being great.
While writing about the Rams’ latest Super Bowl odds, I realized that they haven’t covered very much as of late.
In fact, using Pinnacle’s closing line, they are just 1-5 against the spread (ATS) in their past six games. Despite having a 9-1 record overall, the Rams are also just 4-6 ATS on the year.
Naturally, I wondered how that compared to other great teams in history. NOT GOOD.
Since 2003, there has never been a team to win at least nine of its first 10 games and have a losing record ATS, per Bet Labs. That’s right.
This is perhaps the first time in the history of mankind that we’ve seen a team this good be this bad against the spread.
Here are all of the teams since 2003 to have at least nine wins through 10 games, along with their ATS record at the time as well as how they finished the season.
The low-water mark before this season was 60% ATS for a team with at least nine wins in its first 10 games.
You’ll also notice that these teams aren’t exactly cashing bets left and right down the stretch. I took the liberty of adding up their ATS records through 10 games, and then through the final six games.
- First 10: 196-66-8 (74.8% ATS)
- Final six: 64-85-11 (43.0% ATS)
Holy cow. Initially I was just going to dump on the Rams, but little did I know that I’d stumble on the fact that these great teams are terrible ATS down the stretch.
Perhaps the Rams will flip the script considering they have about 3.5 fewer covers than fellow 9-1 and 10-0 teams have had historically.
If I extend the sample size out to include every team with at least a .900 win rate in games 11 through 16 (rather than through just 10 games) there still hasn’t been a team with a losing ATS record, with the worst cover rate being 55%.
In fact, in what is perhaps the most shocking stat of them all, there has never been a team with this good of a record AND a losing ATS record past Week 3.
There have been four 3-0 teams that started 1-2 ATS. After that, there’s never been an undefeated team or one with a .900 winning percentage or better to have a losing record ATS.
Time to start covering, Rams. I mean, taking on the Chiefs in Mexico City should be a layup, right?