The run for the underdogs cannot be denied. This season, recent trends, everything ... it all seems to point away from the favorite. ("Seems" is the operative word here.)
This season, when the spread is less than a field goal, favorites are covering 52.6% of the time, compared to a 34.4% rate when favored by more than a field goal.
That trend is even more interesting when you take into account others. From 2018 to '21, teams favored by less than a field goal cashed tickets 44.1% of the time while teams favored by over a field goal came through 47.4% of the time. So yeah, while favorites have been, on the whole, much worse ATS this season than the past four seasons, they are much more successful in those close games, and that is notable as we enter a Week 8 slate that has more than a few games that opened in that "close game" zone. Fading the favorites has been profitable this season; just be careful if you plan on doing it for the week ahead.
Thursday, 8:15 p.m.
Baltimore Ravens (-1.5, 45) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ravens ATS: 2-4-1
What we know about the Ravens: Seven of Baltimore's past 10 road games have gone under the total. In seven of those 10 games, the final total has been at least 11 points different than the projected total.
Buccaneers ATS: 2-5
What we know about the Buccaneers: The Bucs are 0-3 ATS at home this season, after covering six of their final seven home games last regular season.
Sunday, 9:30 a.m.
Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars (-3, 39)
Broncos ATS: 2-5
What we know about the Broncos: Since the beginning of 2020, Russell Wilson-led teams are 7-12 ATS and 12-7 to unders when playing on the road.
Jaguars ATS: 2-5
What we know about the Jaguars: The Jags were a great story early on (they were 61.5 points better than the spread projected in Weeks 2-3), but they've now failed to cover four straight, falling short of 21 points in three of those games.
Sunday, 1 p.m.
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-4.5, 42)
Panthers ATS: 2-5
What we know about the Panthers: The Panthers are 3-8 ATS on the road since the beginning of last season, but you already knew that. What you may not have known is that the first six of those games went under the total, while each of the past five have gone over.
Falcons ATS: 6-1
What we know about the Falcons: The Dirty Birds have covered all three of their home games this season, not a bad run after failing to cover their final five home contests last season.
Bears ATS: 3-3-1
What we know about the Bears: Five of Chicago's past seven road games have gone over the total.
Cowboys ATS: 5-2
What we know about the Cowboys: The Cowboys have covered the spread in each of the past four games that have gone under the projection.
Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings (-3.5, 49)
Cardinals ATS: 4-3
What we know about the Cardinals: The Cards game went over on Thursday night last week thanks in large part to a pair of defensive touchdowns that flipped everything. That was their first over since Week 1. This week, they search for consecutive overs in the same season for the first time since Weeks 13-14 of last season.
Vikings ATS: 2-4
What we know about the Vikings: The Vikings are returning from their bye and are winners of four straight, but don't tell bettors that, as they've covered just one of those games.
Miami Dolphins (-3, 50.5) at Detroit Lions
Dolphins ATS: 3-4
What we know about the Dolphins: Four straight ATS losses for the Fins with four of their past five going under the toal.
Lions ATS: 3-3
What we know about the Lions: The season opened with three straight covers and four straight overs for the Lions, but it has been three straight ATS losses and two straight unders since.
Patriots ATS: 3-3-1
What we know about the Patriots: This will be the fifth time the Pats play on short rest in the post-Tom Brady era; they've covered three of the first four, with three of four also going over the total.
Jets ATS: 5-2
What we know about the Jets: Willing to buy the Jets? They are 3-7 ATS and unders are 7-3 in New York's past 10 home divisional games.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles (-10.5, 43.5)
Steelers ATS: 3-3-1
What we know about the Steelers: The Steelers have covered consecutive games, their first covers since beating the Bengals 23-20 as a seven-point underdog in Week 1.
Eagles ATS: 4-2
What we know about the Eagles: Philadelphia fans may not like Santa Claus, but they sure do like points. Seven of their past eight home games have gone over the total.
Las Vegas Raiders (-1.5, 48.5) at New Orleans Saints
Raiders ATS: 3-3
What we know about the Raiders: Over the past 13 months, the Raiders are 1-4 ATS on the road when the game goes under the total (3-2 ATS when it goes over).
Saints ATS: 2-5
What we know about the Saints: Back-to-back-to-back-to-back overs for the Saints, all of which went over the projected total by at least 11 points.
Sunday, 4:05 p.m.
Tennessee Titans (-2, 40.5) at Houston Texans
Titans ATS: 4-2
What we know about the Titans: The Titans are 7-2 ATS in their past nine divisional road games, and seven overs have come through over that stretch as well.
Texans ATS: 3-2-1
What we know about the Texans: Believe it or not, the Texans are 4-1 ATS over their past five divisional home games with an average cover margin in those four games of 9.5 points.
Sunday, 4:25 p.m.
New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks (-3, 45)
Giants ATS: 6-1
What we know about the Giants: What a difference a year makes. To close the 2021 season, the Giants failed to cover their last four games that went under the total. This season? A perfect 5-0 when unders come through.
Seahawks ATS: 4-3
What we know about the Seahawks: The Hawks are 6-2 ATS at home the last eight times under tickets have cashed. If you think this one will be ugly, backing the home team might be the play.
San Francisco 49ers (-1.5, 43) at Los Angeles Rams
49ers ATS: 3-4
What we know about the 49ers: The 49ers have covered each of their past five games against the division rival Rams, with under tickets coming through in four of those games.
Rams ATS: 2-4
What we know about the Rams: The Rams covered in Week 6 before going on their bye last week. They are seeking consecutive regular-season covers for the first time since Christmas.
Washington Commanders at Indianapolis Colts (-3, 39.5)
Commanders ATS: 3-4
What we know about the Commanders: In 12 of Washington's past 15 games, the spread has been within nine points of the final score (each of the past three have been within a touchdown of the spread).
Colts ATS: 3-4
What we know about the Colts: If you like Indy to cover, you're probably penciling in the under as well, as under tickets have cashed in five of their past six covers.
Sunday, 8:20 p.m.
Green Bay Packers at Buffalo Bills (-10.5, 47.5)
Packers ATS: 2-5
What we know about the Packers: The Packers are 55 points worse this season than projected by closing lines, their worst mark through seven games since the 1997 season.
Bills ATS: 4-1-1
What we know about the Bills: Nobody is ever shy about projecting points in Buffalo games, and maybe that's the problem. Week 2 was the last time a Bills game went over the total, and even then, it was by a single point.
Monday, 8:15 p.m.
Cincinnati Bengals (-3, 47.5) at Cleveland Browns
Bengals ATS: 5-2
What we know about the Bengals: These two teams met in Week 18 last season in a game that meant nothing and saw starters benched. In the eight meetings prior to that, over tickets cashed every single time.
Browns ATS: 3-4
What we know about the Browns: Four straight Cleveland home games have gone over the total by at least eight points, so if you're a fan of trends, this total is one to exploit, given the Bengals trend from above.