Friday, January 11, 2008

NFL Divisional Round: the ATS record of favorites

In the sports betting forums, posters sometimes post false facts or incomplete facts. Over the past few days, I've seen several posters mention that the second-round of the NFL playoffs is dominated by the home team, even against-the-spread. It all depends how far back you want to go with the records, but the word "dominating" is definitely an overexaggeration.

Here are the records for NFL home teams in the second round:

last ten years: 1997-2006:
Straight-up record: 30-10 or 75%
Against-the-spread record: 19-19-2 or 50%

The average line in these games was home -6.8.

Those numbers look like the market is doing a good job of pricing this round of the playoffs. It is a very small sample size.

If you see anyone tout the favorites this week (DAL -7.5, NE -13.5, GB -7.5 and IND -9) and they throw out the "home teams in this round dominate ATS", you may want to be skeptical of their handicapping skills.