The against-the-spread pendulum continued to swing last week, as the top five ATS value plays followed a 4-1 Week 6 with a 1-4 Week 7. Top five ATS value plays are now 17-16-2 (-60) on the season, supporting the theory that apart from heightening games' entertainment value, this is all a big, random, waste of time.
And after delivering major profit and intrigue in the first three weeks of the NFL season by going 8-7 (+2065) on modest to heavy underdog bets, the top five moneyline "value" plays have gone 1-4 for four straight weeks — pretty much exactly what we'd expect of teams with roughly a one in five chance to win.
Probabilities to cover and win are sourced from the 50+ models on The Prediction Tracker. Against-the-spread expected values assume bets to win $100. Moneyline expected values assume bets that risk $100.
I. Against the Spread — Top 5 Value in Week 8
1. BUF +14.0 vs. NEP, -110, 57.2% chance to cover, $10.1 expected return on $100 wager
2. LAR -9.0 vs. GBP, -110, 55.7%, $7.1
3. WAS +0.0 at NYG, -110, 55.2%, $5.9
4. PIT -8.0 vs. CLE, -110, 55.0%, $5.5
5. CAR -2.5 vs. BAL, EV, 52.6%, $5.2
TOP 5 VALUE
Last Week: 1-4 (-340), Season: 17-16-2 (-60)
Last Week: 0-0, Season: 3-0 (+300)
Last Week: 0-0, Season: 6-8-2 (-290)
II. Money Line — Top 5 Value in Week 8
Miami obviously already lost on Thursday Night Football, and I can't imagine anyone actually thinks the Bills have a 23.5% chance to win outright at home against the Patriots, which is how the 50+ models on The Prediction Tracker see it — and why Buffalo has the highest expected moneyline value this week. I said the same thing before the Bills beat the Vikings as 10-to-1 underdogs in Week 3, and they delivered as the number one moneyline value play that week, so who the hell knows. But it seems pretty insane here.
On the other hand, I don't think it's entirely unreasonable to talk yourself into the Jets having a better than 24% chance to win at Chicago, Seattle better than a 43% chance to win at Detroit, or the Jaguars better than a 40% chance to beat the Eagles in London — all of which are the win probabilities implied by current Westgate odds. If you think their win probabilities are better than those, you might see some value there.
1. BUF +800 vs. NEP, 11% prob to win (odds), 23.5% prob to win (models), $111 expected return
2. MIA +290 at HOU, 26%, 35%, $36
3. NYJ +325 at CHI, 24%, 32%, $35
4. SEA +135 at DET, 43%, 47%, $11
5. JAX +150 vs. PHI, 40%, 43%, $8 (London)
TOP 5 VALUE
Last Week: 1-4 (-210), Season: 12-23 (+1220)
All selections have been underdogs
III. Searching for Value in NFL Futures Bets
I'm publishing this late afternoon Saturday, so it's not worth diving into futures when they're going to change in 24 hours. I'll publish earlier next week and we can take a full and proper mid-season look then.
Moneyline odds via the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook (October 27). Point spreads and probabilities via The Prediction Tracker (October 27).