Double trouble for National Football League favorites

Oct 19, 2008 7:23 PM
by Kevin Stott | It’s been quite a year for the double-digit underdogs in the NFL. Heading into play this morning, the underdogs were a perfect 9-0 against the spread with three more on the menu today. The 49ers are a 10½-point underdog at the New York Giants, the winless Detroit Lions a 10-point dog at Houston and the Seattle Seahawks a 10½-point underdog at Tampa Bay.

The first two weeks of this season saw this mega-trend start with the Kansas City Chiefs covering as 16-point underdogs at New England (NE 17-10) and the Chicago Bears getting the money as a 10½-point dog at Indianapolis (Bears 29-13) in Week 1 followed by the Oakland Raiders (+10) covering at Buffalo (Bills 24-23) in Week 2.

Week 3 saw two more big numbers fail to cover when the Giants (-13) only beat the Cincinnati Bengals 26-23, and the Patriots, a 12½-point favorite, getting beat outright by the Miami Dolphins, 38-13.

The Washington Redskins (+400 moneyline), a 10-point underdog at Dallas, also won outright in Week 4, 26-24. Then in Week 5, the Cowboys again fell as a big double-digit favorite (-16) to the Bengals as 16-point chalks (Dallas 31-22).

Last weekend, the trend jumped to 9-0 ATS when the 13-point favored Vikings eked out a last-minute win over the Lions (12-10) in Minnesota and the Redskins, an 11½-point chalk, were upset by the then undefeated St. Louis Rams, 19-17.

One guy all over the trends is GamingToday columnist Andy Iskoe, whose records revealed that over the past six years (2002-2008), there have been 177 instances in the NFL where teams closed as 10-point favorites (Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook). In those 177, Iskoe said the underdog had covered 93 times (52.5%), the favorite 80 times (45%) and four of the games pushed (2.3%).

Iskoe -- who said a lot of professional gamblers will automatically plug in a double-digit dog and just bet them on this mega-trend -- said that he wouldn't be surprised if the double-digit favorites didn’t start doing a little covering of their own and revert back to that statistical mean.

Only time will tell.