Tuesday, August 19, 2008

2-0 and 0-2 preseason teams

There is often discussion by thinking football bettors that it is good to bet against 2-0 teams in the preseason and bet on 0-2 teams in the preseason. The idea is that 2-0 teams don't need a win to feel good, so they have no incentive to win whatsoever. They probably played well in the first two games and they can afford to give their backups more work. Or something to that effect. The reverse is that 0-2 teams need to work harder and want a win.

Has this theory held up? yes and no.

2-0 teams in their 3rd game since 1996 have gone 49-37-4 against the spread.
0-2 teams in their 3rd game since 1996 have gone 46-36-1 against the spread.

These are small sample sizes. While it may be decent news for betting on 0-2 teams, it doesn't look good for betting against 2-0 teams.

Teams this week that are 0-2: CHI, ATL, NE, DAL, GB, CLE
Teams this week that are 2-0: TB, WAS (3-0), DET

What to make of this? I'm not sure, I wouldn't recommend betting any of these teams blindly.