Sage Advice: “Smart” Teams Go 9-1 ATS Week 1
This story originally published on ScoutNFLNetwork.com
Eli Manning
Eli Manning
Cold, Hard Football Facts
Posted Sep 10, 2013


Cold, Hard Football Facts Insider with Scout.com breaks down every NFL game against the spread through the prism of our cutting-edge Quality Stats. CHFF Insiders have gone .500 or better ATS in 72 percent of NFL weeks since the start of 2009. CHFF Insiders with Scout.com also get access to betting trends, key prop plays, inside interviews with Vegas bookmakers and detailed team stat profiles.

We told you last week about the Intelligence Index and its high correlation to winning against the spread the last three seasons.

Smart teams that play well in situational football win games against the spread. Dumb teams that play poorly in situational football consistently lose against the spread. In fact, they are 52-106-2 (.331) ATS since 2010.

Week 1 of 2013 did nothing to shake that notion.

The top 10 teams on our Intelligence Index through one week went 9-1 vs. the number, and obviously the bottom 10 went 1-9. The only team that didn't cover was Indianapolis, ironic in that the 2012 version was an Intelligence Index outlier, going 11-5 vs. the spread despite subpar yards-to-points smarts.

Here's the Week 1 Intelligence Index, which is the difference between a team's Bendability (yards allowed/points allowed; or Yards Per Point Allowed) and Scoreability (yards/points; or Yards Per Point Scored) through a week.

Keep in mind that it's only one week of data. And history proves that all our stats grow more valid and much better guides to onfield results as we get more data under our belts.

 

CHFF INTELLIGENCE INDEX THROUGH WEEK 1 2013

 

TEAM

BEND

SCORE 

INTELL.

vs. spread

1

Kansas City

89.0

10.39

78.61

1-0

2

Miami

29.1

11.96

17.14

1-0

3

Indianapolis

21.88

13.05

8.83

0-1

4

Tennessee

21.67

14.31

7.36

1-0

5

Dallas

15.42

9.19

6.23

1-0

6

Buffalo

18.74

13.62

5.12

1-0

7

San Diego

14.48

9.39

5.09

1-0

8

Denver

14.56

10.41

4.15

1-0

9

Seattle

34.71

30.83

3.88

1-0

10

New Orleans

21.59

18.22

3.37

1-0

11

Chicago

16.19

13.46

2.73

0-0-1

12

St. Louis

16.25

13.56

2.69

0-1

13

Tampa Bay

16.89

14.71

2.18

0-1

14

Green Bay

14.53

13.75

0.78

0-1

15

Philadelphia

14.15

13.42

0.73

1-0

16

Minnesota

13.79

13.75

0.04

0-1

17

Detroit

13.75

13.79

-0.04

1-0

18

Washington

13.42

14.15

-0.73

0-1

19

San Francisco

13.75

14.53

-0.78

1-0

20

N.Y. Jets

14.71

16.89

-2.18

1-0

21

Arizona

13.56

16.25

-2.69

1-0

22

Cincinnati

13.46

16.19

-2.73

0-0-1

23

Atlanta

18.22

21.59

-3.37

0-1

24

Carolina

30.83

34.71

-3.88

0-1

25

Baltimore

10.41

14.56

-4.15

0-1

26

Houston

9.39

14.48

-5.09

0-1

27

New England

13.62

18.74

-5.12

0-1

28

N.Y. Giants

9.19

15.42

-6.23

0-1

29

Pittsburgh

14.31

21.67

-7.36

0-1

30

Oakland

13.05

21.88

-8.83

1-0

31

Cleveland

11.96

29.1

-17.14

0-1

32

Jacksonville

10.39

89

-78.61

0-1

 

Because it's been easier to both identify and make money betting against the bottom feeders on this list, we'll start with the bottom five teams that suggested a case of gridiron Gomer Pyle-ism.

No. 32 Jacksonville -78.61.

Likelihood for betting success: Fair.

The problem with Jacksonville is that they're bad, everyone knows they're bad, and as a result they're rarely overrated by Vegas. Teams that have terrible years against the spread tend to have front-line talent that doesn't translate to on-field point production. Jacksonville has no such problem.

No. 31 Cleveland -17.14

Likelihood for betting success: Fair.

It's too early to judge the Browns, but a -17.14 number definitely puts them on the watch list. They've been very vanilla vs. the spread and on the I.I. the last three years.

No. 30 Oakland -8.83

Likelihood for betting success: High.

It's a good thing for gamblers that Oakland had a surprisingly strong showing in Week 1 at Indy. They were 5-11 vs. the spread last year with a terrible -6.18 number on the Index, and they showed no signs of having turned that around. It'll be interesting to see how they do against Jacksonville, both on the field and on the Index. A big win over what looks like a terrible Jags team could mean ripe pickings in the early going.

No. 29 Pittsburgh -7.36

Likelihood for betting success: High.

If we had to identify one team most likely to be worst against the number in 2013, it's the Steelers. They're a team with an oversized fan base, expectations are always high, and the "They can't be that bad" was money in the bank last year with Philly and KC last year (31 and 32 on the I.I., 8-23-1 vs. the spread).

New York Giants -6.23

Likelihood for betting success: Interesting.

The Giants have trended up the last three season on the Index, getting all the way up to +4.57 last year. A six-turnover game isn't something you expect to see a lot of, but finding teams that set unexpected trends is where the money is made. We're watching, Big Blue.

Intelligence Index Pick of the Week

We're really early here, so we don't want to jump to quick conclusions. But as we noted, the bad teams on the I.I. tend to establish themselves early, and do horribly against the spread.

It's an interesting schedule, in that four of the five best teams on the Index square off (Miami-Indianapolis, Dallas-Kansas City). Same goes at the bottom, where Jacksonville plays Oakland and Cleveland (31st) plays Baltimore (25th). 

Denver (No. 8) is giving points at the Giants (No. 26), but we're not ready to ignore the Giants' +4.57 number from a year ago. Ditto for Tennessee (No. 4) vs. Houston (No. 26) -- Houston has been right across the middle for three years running, and Tennessee trended down each year three years running.

So there's only one logical choice: Cincinnati to cover -6.5 points at home vs. Pittsburgh. The Steelers were -1.8 last year and Cincy was +2.37, and there's little reason to believe the Bengals will stay on the dumb end of the spectrum.

Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is trending that way, from +4.36 in 2010 to +0.82 in 2011 to -1.8 a year ago.

Cold, Hard Football Facts Insider with Scout.com breaks down every NFL game against the spread through the prism of our cutting-edge Quality Stats. CHFF Insiders have gone .500 or better ATS in 72 percent of NFL weeks since the start of 2009. CHFF Insiders with Scout.com also get access to betting trends, key prop plays, inside interviews with Vegas bookmakers and detailed team stat profiles. Become a CHFF Insider with Scout.com today.  

 



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