Every September and October there’s at least one team you can pick on and target often to fade and some of these games don’t even come close to the number. A lot of times it’s a team with terrible coaching – sometimes a team that had coaching problems the year before held on to their head coach for whatever reason. Or the talent level on the team is so bad or the new coach is inexperienced and he’s not ready to manage an NFL game. Some of these teams are known by the public to be bad before the season starts and yet they still lost against the number.
The Jets were a disaster last year and it was obvious even in August. Adam Gase should’ve been fired 2 years ago but the Jets had to give him more rope because that was the year Darnold had mono and the Jets season was done before it even started. Yet every week for the first two months of the year you didn’t need to overthink it – just bet against the Jets and you’d make money. 1-7 ATS and not ONE game did they come within a field goal of the number. They lost ATS by 11, 17, 10, 13, 14, 6 (at +20), and 3.5.
The Texans were another team last year. 1-7 ATS to start the season and had one game that they came within a field goal of the spread. If you were betting against them you were barely sweating in the first half of the season.
The 2019 Dolphins started 0-4 ATS and lost against the number by 25 one game and 42 in another.
The 2019 Bengals started the season 3-6 ATS and lost three games ATS by more than 20 points.
The 2021 Lions look like that team that’s going to lose against the number early consistently no matter what the number is. That’s not news to you that they’re bad, but how bad are they relative to the number is what’s important and the opening numbers still don’t look high enough. CG Technology opens lines for every game of the season well before Week 1 so you can see the lookahead lines: Lions +7.5 vs 49ers Week 1, Lions +8 at Green Bay Week 2 on MNF, Lions +7.5 vs Ravens Week 3
This is a bad roster. This team last year gave up 21 more touchdowns on the season than they scored. Their net points was -142 and only the Jags and Jets were worse. Their linebackers were horrible in coverage all year and their preseason game vs Pittsburgh the other night nothing changed. The Lions top 2 wide receivers are Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams – Perriman’s career high in receptions in 5 seasons in 36 and Williams is a deep route receiver who’s topped 700 yards only once in 5 seasons. Dan Campbell’s antics speak for themself. Unless that cold brew from Starbucks gives him the ability to manage a clock in the 4th quarter I don’t think this is going to be a good start for the Lions.
On paper 7.5 and 8 look like too much to lay. Then when it moves a half point or a point and your instinct’s telling you to pass because you’re getting the worst of the number. Do we really think Dan Campbell is going to be in a one score game with Kyle Shanahan in his first game? Or Week 2 when they go to Lambeau and have to keep up with Rodgers and Davante Adams. And then Week 3 the Ravens have made a habit of blowing out bad teams. I can’t see Scott Hansen calling an exciting play by play in the 4th quarter of any of these games. And I think you can cover at least two of these games comfortably if not all three and you can obviously mix in some teasers with this and have near PKs.
September and October is when you have to take advantage because the books adjust as the weeks go on and then the window to fade these teams gets closed.