The folks in Vegas are having a difficult time judging NFL home-field advantage in a league where road teams are covering and winning outright at a record pace.
According to Oddsshark.com, road teams are 64-39-2 (.620) against the spread and 58-46-1 (.557) straight up through seven weeks. Those are the highest numbers in the site’s database, which goes back to 1984.
Home favorites are 25-45-1 (.357) against the spread and only 38-33 (.535) straight up. The winning percentage against the spread is second-lowest behind the 1999 season, when home favorites were 19-43-3 (.306) through seven weeks.
And now here comes Week 8. All but two home teams currently are favored, and that will increase by one when the line is set for Seattle’s game in Atlanta. Only the Chiefs, who aren’t expected to have Patrick Mahomes when they face the Packers, are underdogs at home.
Five home teams are favored by 10 1/2 points or more this week. The biggest home favorite? The Vikings at 16 1/2 points against Washington tonight.
If that point spread looks a tad familiar and unsettling, it’s because it’s darn near what the Vikings were favored by last year when they lost 27-6 at home to the Bills. Favored by 17 that day, the Vikings were down 17-0 by their 10th offensive snap en route to the biggest upset loss by an NFL team in 23 years.
But don’t worry. That’s not happening again.
Here are this week’s picks:
Redskins plus-16 1/2 at Vikings: Vikings 35, Redkins 14
Despite everything said above, there appears to be little to no chance the Vikings whiff against a 1-6 team at home on a short week. This one should be over early.
Record picking Vikings: 5-2.
Seahawks off at Falcons: Seattle by 14
Buccaneers plus-2 1/2 at Titans: Titans by 7
Chargers plus-4 at Bears: Bears by 7
Cardinals plus-10 1/2 at Saints: Saints by 14
Eagles plus-1 1/2 at Bills: Bills by 3
Bengals plus-13 at Rams: Rams by 14
Browns plus-13 at Patriots: Patriots by 17
Jets plus-6 1/2 at Jaguars: Jaguars by 10
Panthers plus-6 at 49ers: 49ers by 3
Broncos plus-5 1/2 at Colts: Colts by 7
Raiders plus-6 1/2 at Texans: Texans by 10
Giants plus-7 at Lions: Giants by 3
Dolphins plus-14 at Steelers: Steelers by 10
Packers minus-3 1/2 at Chiefs: Chiefs 24, Packers 21
Funny how quickly things change in the NFL. Suddenly, the Chiefs have lost two straight at home and are missing the most dynamic player in the league. And now they’re playing a one-loss Packers team that couldn’t be playing any better. Sure seems like a certain third straight loss at home for K.C. Too certain. #itsacrazyleague.
Last week’s pick: Falcons 34, Rams 28. Actual score: Rams 37, Falcons 10. Record: 3-4.
Last week / Vs. spread: 8-5 / 8-5
Overall / Vs. spread: 52-34 / 38-47