The Baltimore Ravens failed to cover a 3-point spread in a loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in the 2021 season opener. It was the fourth loss against the spread (2-4) and third outright loss (3-3) for road favorites in Week 1, which set the stage for another year of early-season struggles for road favorites in NFL betting.
Six days later, the Ravens were on the other side of the trend, covering +3.5 in an outright home win over the Kansas City Chiefs. And in Week 3, they flipped back; they beat the Detroit Lions on Justin Tucker’s 66-yard field goal but failed to cover -8.
Those Ravens’ games accounted for three of 10 ATS losses for road favorites in the first three weeks of the season. And with only eight ATS wins for road favorites, it was the 11th time in the last 12 seasons road favorites finished .500 or worse against the spread through the first three weeks.
ZAY JONES WALKS IT OFF pic.twitter.com/CzQtUfqnwL
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) September 14, 2021
The ATS record of 78-107-3 over that time has produced an ROI of -16.4%. If, for example, you bet $100 on the road favorite in each of those 188 spots over the last 12 years, you would’ve lost more than $3,000.
Road favorites haven’t been much better against the moneyline in early-season games. They went 11-7 in 2021 but finished in the red (-11.5% ROI) for the ninth time in the last 12 seasons. Betting another $100 on the moneyline in each of those spots would’ve resulted in a loss of nearly $2,500.
The Ravens are once again a road favorite to open the 2022 season. As of July 5 at the online sportsbook, they are -5.5 against the New York Jets in one of 10 season openers with a road favorite:
|Ravens at Jets||Ravens -5.5||Ravens -225, Jets +175|
|Saints at Falcons||Saints -5.5||Saints -225, Falcons +185|
|Browns at Panthers||Browns -2.5||Browns -150, Panthers +125|
|49ers at Bears||49ers -6.5||49ers -275, Bears +220|
|Eagles at Lions||Eagles -4.5||Eagles -190, Lions +190|
|Colts at Texans||Colts -7.5||Colts -375, Texans +290|
|Chiefs at Cardinals||Chiefs -3||Chiefs -160, Cardinals +130|
|Packers at Vikings||Packers -2.5||Packers -135, Vikings +110|
|Bucs at Cowboys||Bucs -2.5||Bucs -135, Cowboys +110|
|Broncos at Seahawks||Broncos -4.5||Broncos -225, Seahawks +180|
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