Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck
- The Indianapolis Colts opened as 10-point favorites against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS).
- Using the Bet Labs database, we test whether it has been profitable betting teams after a blowout win.
In Week 10, the Tennessee Titans beat the New England Patriots, 34-10, as 6-point underdogs at home. Marcus Mariota was an efficient 16 of 24 for 228 yards and two touchdowns.
The defense pestered Tom Brady, allowing the future Hall of Fame quarterback to complete only 51% of his passes (21 of 41) for 254 yards and zero touchdowns.
Bettors expected the Titans to carry the momentum into their Week 11 showdown with the Indianapolis Colts. A majority of spread tickets were placed on Tennessee, moving the line from Indy -3 to -1.
We all know what happened. The Colts dominated the Titans, easily winning, 38-10.
This is an example of how recency bias can influence a bettor’s decision-making. Recency bias is the tendency by humans to place too much weight on an event they can remember.
The Titans’ blowout win over a Super Bowl contender made it difficult to imagine the 4-5 Colts winning.
The recency bias that worked against bettors with the Titans last week could burn gamblers with the Colts in Week 12.
Andrew Luck and the Colts have won four straight, including the 28-point victory at home over the Titans. Indy will face a Miami Dolphins team that has lost three of four and will be starting Ryan Tannehill, who missed the past five games with a shoulder injury.
It is hard to conceive a scenario in which the Colts lose this game. The betting line suggests as much. Indy opened as a 10-point favorite (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS).
But NFL teams are never as good or bad as they looked the previous game. Gamblers willing to accept this truth have been able to profit off the public’s recency bias.
Since 2003, fading teams that won their previous game at home by 21 or more points, like the Colts, has gone 246-190-15 (56%) against the spread (ATS) per Bet Labs.
A $100 bettor following this simple strategy has returned a profit of $4,373.
A steam move, which is an indicator of sharp money, was triggered by Sports Insights’ Bet Signals on the Dolphins, moving the Colts from -10 to -9. As humans, our natural instinct is to bet on Indianapolis, but history and smart action is on Miami’s side.
The Colts weren’t the only team that won easily at home last week. The New Orleans Saints demolished the Philadelphia Eagles, 48-7, in the Superdome.
The Saints have now won nine straight and have covered the spread in eight of those games.
According to The Action Network NFL Power Rankings, the Saints are the most overrated team in Week 12. Our NFL simulations agree as New Orleans is projected to win on average by 8.8 points on Thursday.
Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas have made the Saints favorites to win the Super Bowl. New Orleans is likely overvalued and may not cover on Thanksgiving.
Those statements can both be true, even though most gamblers have a hard time believing it.