Phil Mickelson’s NFL Betting Theory: Fade the Super Bowl Champs in Week 2?

Sep 10, 2018 12:00 AM EDT

Eric Sucar-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: PGA tour golfer Phil Mickelson

  • On The Action Network's Golf Podcast, Jason Sobel shared an NFL betting tip from Phil Mickelson that involves betting the defending Super Bowl champion in Week 2.
  • According to Mickelson, there is value betting Super Bowl winners on the road in Week 2 as long as they played at home in Week 1.
  • Using our Bet Labs software, we tested Mickelson's theory to determine if his strategy is correct.

Phil Mickelson likes to gamble. Thanksgiving weekend, Mickelson and Tiger Woods will meet for a winner-take-all match with the victor taking home $9 million.

Lefty’s action isn’t limited to the links. On the latest episode of The Action Network’s Golf Podcast, Jason Sobel shared an NFL betting tip from Phil that involves the reigning Super Bowl champ.

Mickelson’s theory: Fade the defending champs in Week 2 when they’re playing on the road. These teams never cover the spread because it is a letdown game from the hyped-up opener.

Is Phil onto something? To test his theory, I went back through the last 30 NFL seasons to see how the defending Super Bowl champion performed in Week 2 road games.

Since 1988, only 17 champs have played their second game away from home. In those contests, the previous season’s Super Bowl winner has gone 5-12 against the spread (ATS).

Looks like Mickelson knows what he is talking about.

It makes sense too that last season’s title team would experience a letdown in a Week 2 road game. It is hard to go from raising a championship banner one week to playing in a hostile environment.

Taking Lefty’s strategy one step further, Super Bowl champs that covered in Week 1 have gone 2-8 ATS in their Week 2 road game. After the champs cover in their first game, oddsmakers are more likely to inflate their lines the following week.

It is rarely profitable to place a bet based on a small sample. While I can’t recommend blindly following Phil’s system, if you trust the 43-time PGA tour winner, the reigning Super Bowl champion Eagles are on the road Sunday in Tampa after opening the season in Philly.

The Eagles also covered in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons.

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