Bucs, Bengals, Giants looking like the teams to fade
November 07, 2017 3:06 AM
by Ian Cameron
Bridging the pointspread gap between the haves and the have nots in the NFL seems to be a tougher task in the modern era of NFL betting and the last two weeks of results have certainly proven that to be true.
Favorites have dominated at the betting window in the NFL over the course of the last two weeks cashing tickets for their backers at a 13-7-2 ATS clip and going 18-4 SU in those games in the process. As we enter November, I usually start to identify teams that appear to have their effort and intensity being in question.
Three teams that stand out are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals and New York Giants. All three of those teams showed a definitive glass jaw when the game started to get away from them on Sunday. The Bucs, Bengals and Giants combined to go 0-3 SU and ATS this past weekend and they have a combined losing pointspread record of 7-16-1 ATS on the season. Tampa Bay lost QB Jameis Winston to injury in their 30-10 loss at New Orleans but they still showed signs of quit once that game got away from them in the early stages of the second half.
Cincinnati had a dismal second half against Jacksonville getting outscored 10-0 en route to a 23-7 loss and for the game, the Bengals were outgained 407-148 by the Jaguars with Jacksonville averaging 5.2 yards per play compared to just 4.0 yards per play for Cincinnati. Jacksonville didn’t have RB Leonard Fournette due to suspension but the duo of Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon stepped up for a combined 110 yards on the ground in spite of it.
Tampa Bay and Cincinnati both showed waning levels of effort once the game started to get away from both of them but nothing compares to the flat out ‘lay down and die’ routine we saw from the New York Giants on their home field on Sunday. The LA Rams completely dominated the lifeless G-Men in a 51-17 blowout win. The Rams outgained the Giants 473-319 but most of the 319 total yards for the Giants came in garbage time after they had already fallen behind 48-10. LA owned a massive 7.8-4.8 yards per play edge in the game as well.
There is no denying the Bucs, Bengals and Giants are likely to fall in the power ratings of most bettors and oddsmakers after Sunday but any and all adjustments may still not be enough to make up for the fact these are three teams that had playoff aspirations before the season and now those goals will not be met. The effort level for these teams moving forward and the ability to keep “fighting the good fight” for these teams is a legit question right now. That is what could make it more difficult for these squads to be profitable at the betting window in the weeks to come even if the pointspread value starts to come their way.
This past weekend, we may have seen the end of any realistic national championship hopes for the Big Ten conference as a whole. Ohio State and Penn State are almost assuredly gone from the playoff race with each team now sitting on two losses each.
Wisconsin is undefeated but due to an extremely weak strength of schedule so far, the Badgers are probably going to need to run the table and emerge victorious as Big Ten champions in order to gain a spot in the Top 4 for the College Football Playoff.
The Big Ten is hanging on barely to any presence whatsoever in the playoff while the ACC and SEC continue to dominate the top of the playoff rankings. It leads me to believe the Big Ten conference may be one lacking a dominant team this season which makes it increasingly difficult to lay points with some of the better teams in the conference on a weekly basis in the future.
We could be on our way to seeing two downtrodden programs this season in Conference USA being resurrected to the point of a spot in the C-USA title game possibly coming down to a head-to-head meeting coming up in weeks between these two teams – the resurgences of the Florida International Golden Panthers under first year head coach Butch Davis and the Florida Atlantic Owls under their first year head coach Lane Kiffin.
FAU is 5-0 in conference play sitting first in the East Division of C-USA with FIU right behind them by one game with a 4-1 record in conference play. Florida Atlantic has been a money maker for their backers at 6-3 ATS this season including a 4-1 ATS run in their last five games. The only non-cover was their last game against Marshall in controversial fashion when Kiffin instructed his team to take an intentional safety in the dying seconds of the game trimming a late 7-point lead down to an eventual 5-point win with the Owls laying 6.5 points.
FIU is also on a streak of 3 straight ATS covers winning outright as underdogs each time against Tulane, Marshall and UTSA. These are two streaking pointspread squads in Conference USA and two teams worth keeping an eye out for future betting opportunities to cash some tickets on them in upcoming weeks.