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3 Profitable NFL Betting Systems for Late-Season Games

Nov 30, 2018 8:02 PM EST
  • NFL bettors can take advantage of team motivation late in the season.
  • Using the Bet Labs database, we offer three profitable systems that provide late-season betting value.

In Week 13, the calendar flips to December. This is the time of the season in which winning teams make their playoff pushes, while the rest beginning planning their winter vacations.

As motivation for each team changes, this is a perfect time to share some of our most profitable late-season betting strategies.

Using Bet Labs, we will explore how bettors should approach elite teams, big underdogs and cold weather games from December throughout the playoffs.

Fade Elite Teams

The New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs are the best teams in football. Each is +350 or better to win the Super Bowl.

Winning squads, like the Saints, Rams and Chiefs, attract a disproportionate amount of recreational action, which leads to lopsided betting. In Week 13, all three teams are receiving at least 70% of spread tickets.

Oddsmakers know the public will bet on these elite teams and therefore inflate lines for the NFL’s top tier. Contrarian bettors can profit by wagering against the league’s best late in the season.

Since 2003, betting against teams that have won more than 80% of their games late in the season (December through the playoffs) has gone 123-95-2 (56.4%) against the spread (ATS).

If we eliminate games in which two elite teams play each other and focus on just teams getting less than 50% of spread bets, fading elite teams has gone 93-65-2 (58.9%) ATS for a profit of +21.88 units.

Games that match:

  • Detroit Lions (+10) vs. Los Angeles Rams (Dec. 2, 1 p.m. ET, FOX)
  • Oakland Raiders (+15.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Dec. 2, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)

Large Home Dogs

Home-field advantage is overrated. Teams playing in friendly confines late in the season (after November) are 626-633-33 (49.7%) ATS since 2003. But big home underdogs have howled as the playoffs approach.

From September through November, home underdogs of seven or more points are 79-73-1 (52.0%) ATS since 2003. In December and January, these same teams are 63-44-4 (58.9%) ATS.

In our 111-game sample, 97 of the teams that were home dogs of at least seven points had losing records. Late in the season, elite teams are overvalued and teams that look like they are out of the playoff race are undervalued.

Games that match:

  • Detroit Lions (+10) vs. Los Angeles Rams (Dec. 2, 1 p.m. ET, FOX)
  • Oakland Raiders (+15.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Dec. 2, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)

Jack Frost Nipping at Your Nose

It’s the holiday season and temperatures are beginning to drop. Casual bettors believe that freezing temperatures lead to low-scoring games, but that’s not true.

Since 2003, the over is 139-119-5 (53.9%) in all NFL games when the temperature is 32 degrees or below. The win rate improves if you look at games with low totals.

This may seem obvious, but it’s easier for a game to go over if the teams playing have to score fewer points.

Unfortunately, there are no game matches for this system in Week 13, though the early forecast for Week 14 shows freezing temperatures for Titans-Jaguars, Bears-Rams and Packers-Falcons.

Credit:

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford

Follow John Ewing on Twitter
@johnewing

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# BETS
-6.5
42.5
-7
43.5
44.5
-4
45.5
-2.5
44
-3
43.5
+1
47.5
-8.5
46.5
-7.5
46.5
-5
45
-5.5
38
PK
39.5
-2.5
46.5
-3.5
46
-3
44
-9
44
-10
44
-9.5
44.5
-7.5
47
-3
47.5
-3
36
-8.5
36
-7.5
-5.5
44.5
-3.5
44.5
-1
52.5
-3
54
54
-9.5
52
-12.5
-7
54
-6.5
50.5

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