Friday, 21 September 2018

Golden Browns, Never a Frown

After 19 games without a win, and just one win in their last 37 , the Cleveland Browns finally won again last night beating the New York Jets 21-17. A loss for the Small Road 'Dogs, but a win for the Vanilla Thursday Unders.  

Looking ahead to the weekend and the opening line for the Minnesota Vikings v Buffalo Bills game has the home team favoured by 16.5 points, an unusually high spread for a Week 3 game, only the fifth at this level in the first three weeks of a season in the last 29 years. 

As a general rule, oddsmakers tend to wait until around Week 5 to really start setting these huge lines. It makes sense: Five weeks is a pretty fair point in the season to begin trusting a team’s results to tell us what they truly are. Before that, though, it’s difficult to filter out which performances are real and which are just early season flukes. That’s why, on average, the NFL sees a game with a 15-point spread in the first three weeks of the season only once every five or so years.
Written in 2013, had this to say about favourites struggling to cover big lines in the NFL:
No favourite has lost a game straight up when favoured by 16 points or more since 1995, and while overall the underdogs getting 16 points or more cover the spread 51.4% of the time (37-35-1), when the line is from 16 to 17 points, the favourites cover 57.7% of the time. 

And when the big line appears in the first three weeks of the season, favourites cover 80% of the time. Go Vikings.

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