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NFL Week 6 Bad Beat Rankings: Unluckiest Results Include Packers, Bears, More

NFL Week 6 Bad Beat Rankings: Unluckiest Results Include Packers, Bears, More article feature image
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John Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers.

Every week of the 2022 NFL season, we’ll recap how our NFL Luck Rankings fared and take a look at some of the unluckiest results in our new NFL Bad Beat Rankings.

In case you haven’t seen — or as a reminder if you have — we’re reframing the discussion around bad beats, so be sure to check out the science behind our NFL Bad Beat Rankings.

Let’s take a look back at Week 6.

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NFL Luck Rankings: Week 6 Results

Prior to tonight’s Monday Night Football game between the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers, our luck rankings have covered 45 total games, including 30 games where teams had a large discrepancy in luck.

In Week 6, the unluckier team went 7-6 against the spread (ATS) when looking at closing lines. That includes a 2-1 record ATS when looking at teams that have a luck ranking 10 or more places worse than their opponent.

For the season as a whole, if we apply the 10-plus luck difference filter, the unlucky team is 22-8 ATS. That improves to 13-2 ATS when the luck ranking difference is 16 or more places apart. Week 6’s Monday Night Football matchup of Broncos vs. Chargers has a difference of 18 places.

Top NFL Bad Beats of Week 6

Win probability swings indicate the difference in win percentage between how teams actually performed vs. how the final score indicates they performed

1. Green Bay Packers (-7.5)

  • Actual Result: Jets 27, Packers 10
  • Expected Score: Packers 23, Jets 20
  • Swing: 20 points, 56.4% win probability

The Green Bay Packers closed as 7.5-point favorites against the New York Jets but lost by 17 points.

The Jets benefitted from a blocked-punt touchdown that really swung the game in the Jets favor. Overall, though, these two teams were relatively evenly matched, which is reflected in the expected score being a field goal game.

Both teams gained 278 yards. Green Bay won the first-down battle 15-14. Both teams missed a long field goal. Both teams had seven penalties. Green Bay lost the turnover battle 1-0.

All in all, Green Bay was arguably slightly better than the Jets in true performance. Certainly Green Bay was no worse than a coin flip. That makes the 27-10 scoreline quite unflattering.

While the Packers didn’t deserve to cover the spread, the result was a much wider gap than expected.

2. Chicago Bears (+1.5)

  • Actual Result: Commanders 12, Bear 7
  • Expected Score: Bears 21, Commanders 15
  • Swing: 11 points, 49.1% win probability

I think we can all agree the Bears were the better team on Thursday night.

Chicago came agonizingly close to winning the game and covering the spread. Instead, Darnell Mooney caught the ball just short of the goal line, which would have given the Bears the win and cover.

The Bears lost the turnover battle 2-0 and recovered only one of three fumbles. Both of those turnovers were incredibly costly for the Bears.

The first was a Justin Fields interception when the Bears had a high points expectation. Fields threw his pick at the Washington 5-yard line.

The second was Velus Jones’ muffed punt. Washington recovered at the Bears’ 6-yard line and scored a touchdown two plays later.

3. New Orleans Saints (+3)

  • Actual Result: Bengals 30, Saints 26
  • Expected Score: Saints 24, Bengals 17
  • Swing: 11 points, 36.6% win probability

Bettors probably don’t consider the Saints to be unlucky, given the Bengals scored four touchdowns, but that’s part of the issue here.

Long touchdowns aren’t “expected,” so Ja’Marr Chase’s 60-yard score certainly added to the Bengals luck. So while the Saints’ 44-yard touchdown from Rashid Shaheed was also a bit lucky, Chase’s overall helped the Bengals exceed the expected score by a wider margin.

Additionally, the Saints were a bit unlucky to not convert four drives that ended inside the Bengals red zone into touchdowns. Instead, New Orleans settled for four Wil Lutz field goals of 37 yards or shorter.

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