How tough is it to play the second of back-to-back road games? Not as tough as the betting market believes, which could make the Philadelphia Eagles a tasty NFL pick this week.
Jason's 2015 record as of Sept. 30: 12-7 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 6-9 Total
It's always lovely when you find a good betting trend, but like most things in life, trends break down if you use them too much. You can't let them make your NFL picks for you. We did a good job of sorting the wheat from the chaff last year at this time, when we introduced one of Walter Cherepinsky's tasty trends regarding teams playing the second of back-to-back road games. Those teams are now 410-319 ATS in this situation since 2002.
Actually, make that 411-327 ATS. It's been an awful start to the season for this particular trend; out of nine teams playing their second straight away game, only the Week 3 Atlanta Falcons managed to beat the spread. It was all kinds of ugly for the other eight teams. However, there's at least one club on our Week 4 NFL odds board who looks ripe for the picking.
Down by the River
No doubt you've already guessed who it is, but here are the four games where this week's featured trend comes into play, all of them early Sunday matinees:
Oakland at Chicago (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)
Jacksonville at Indianapolis (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)
Philadelphia at Washington (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX)
Kansas City at Cincinnati (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)
There are some tasty choices on this menu. Andy Reid is 16-6 ATS lifetime in this situation, including 2-0 ATS since joining the Chiefs. Chip Kelly is 2-0 ATS since taking over for Reid in Philly. The numbers are less impressive for Gus Bradley (2-2 ATS) and his Jacksonville predecessor, Jack Del Rio (7-7 ATS), although Del Rio improves to 6-3 ATS when his team is an underdog coming off a loss. That's not in the script this week against the Bears (+3).
The Kelly Criterion
Reid, on the other hand, is 4-1 ATS as a losing dog, and his Chiefs find themselves getting 3.5 points at Paul Brown Stadium this Sunday. That's a friendly half-point above the most magical number in NFL betting. We don't have enough data yet to produce an expanded consensus report on this matchup, but 64 percent of early bettors are on Cincinnati – not the news we were looking for.
Perhaps Philadelphia will be a more enticing play as a 3-point chalk (–120) in D.C. We're looking at 61-percent consensus on the Eagles with over 71 percent of the monies wagered. That's what sharp action is supposed to look like. Kelly doesn't have much of a sample size when it comes to this trend, but if you look at its overall performance since 2002, you'll probably feel more confident if you're betting on Philly this week.