Betting an NFL Public Underdog? Here’s the Sweet Spot

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(Photo by Jamie Lamor Thompson/Shutterstock)
Andrew Doughty @DoughtyBetMGM Nov 11, 2021, 8:06 PM

The Atlanta Falcons capitalized on a Trevor Siemian fumble with a Matt Ryan-to-Olamide Zaccheaus touchdown to extend their lead to 18 points, 24-6, over the New Orleans Saints with 10 minutes remaining in their Week 9 game. In doing so, the Falcons were all but guaranteed to cover +6.5, a spread backed by a majority of the public tickets at BetMGM.

Those tickets cashed when the Falcons won outright, 27-25, to continue an NFL betting trend with a 90-percent cover rate since 2018 and a 74-percent cover rate since 2014.

It was the third game this season in which a majority of public tickets were on an underdog of at least six points but fewer than nine points, i.e., +6 to +8.5. The dog covered in each of those three games:

  • Week 2: Titans (+6.5) at Seahawks
  • Week 7: Bengals (+6.5) at Ravens
  • Week 9: Falcons (+6.5) at Saints

It was the 50th such regular-season game since 2014. And over that time, the public dog is 36-13-1.

The Chicago Bears’ failure to cover +6.5 in a 14-point home loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 7 of the 2020 season is the lone ATS loss since October 2019 and one of just two losses since September 2018. Since the Houston Texans didn’t cover +6 against the New England Patriots in Week 3 three years ago, public dogs between +6 and +8.5 are a staggering 21-2-1.

You can view updated NFL betting odds at the BetMGM sportsbook, and listen to NFL and college football betting analysis on The Lion’s Edge podcast:

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About the Author

Andrew Doughty

Read More @DoughtyBetMGM

Andrew Doughty is a writer for BetMGM and host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Apple Podcasts and everywhere else.

Andrew Doughty is a writer for BetMGM and host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Apple Podcasts and everywhere else.