Promotion Banner

Rovell: The Argument for the Worst 13-Win Team in History

Rovell: The Argument for the Worst 13-Win Team in History article feature image
Credit:

Picture edited by Matt Roembke.

The Minnesota Vikings are the worst 13-win team in NFL history, according to plenty of members of the advanced metrics community.

Our luck rankings — which calculates the value of each play and how fortunate teams are over the long run — show that the purple should have finished with about 10 wins relative to their 13.

That’s illuminated in the Vikings’ 11-0 record in one-score games, an NFL record. They’re the only top 3-seed with a negative point differential. The underlying metrics consider them, effectively, a middling team.

It’s why the Vikings are just -3 home favorites against the Giants this weekend. It’s the shortest line for a 13-win team in playoff history, as oddsmakers are saying, “look, their record is disingenuous.”

It’s why the Vikings are just -3 home favorites against the Giants this weekend. Minnesota is just the fourth Wild Card team with a 75%+ win pct to be -3 or lower at home in the Wild Card round over the last 20 years, as oddsmakers are saying, “look, their record is disingenuous.”

The must-have app for NFL bettors

The best NFL betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

A -3 difference on the spread is typically the standard home field advantage tax, implying that oddsmakers think these teams are even money on a neutral field.

And yet, here are the Giants. They finished the regular season 13-4 ATS, the most profitable team against the spread in the NFL. They were an NFL best 10-2 against the spread as underdogs and were 6-1 on the road.

And that’s exactly why I’m fading them this Sunday afternoon. Teams that are electric against the spread — with deficiencies across the field — typically regress toward the mean, especially under high stakes.

A few other notes: this game is a toss-up, to be fair. The Giants, down the stretch, registered as one of the best offensive teams in the NFL — but with the No. 26 ranked defense in the league.

So, we can’t depend on their defense to get it done on Sunday. Giants bettors are relying on Daniel Jones, who has on paper been a top-15 quarterback this season.

But it’s Daniel Jones, who hasn’t come close to proving his mettle when the moments actually matter.

And in general, first-time starting quarterbacks in the postseason perform horribly.

Quarterbacks making their first postseason start have gone 18-36 (33%) and 17-36-1 against the spread (31%) since 2002.

Go with the relatively proven asset, at home, during the middle of a charmed season — especially in a tossup game.

The moneyline and -1 at -165 is too expensive for me, so I’ll take the alt spread at Vikings -2 at BetMGM at -145.

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.