They say every dog has its day, and that was proven true last week when nine NFL underdogs managed to beat the spread.
That 9-6 record against the spread (ATS) in Week 6 betting improved dogs to 50-39-2 ATS on the season. With a 56.2 percent cover rate, dogs have provided sharp bettors a distinct edge over the general public through six weeks of pigskin prognostication.
That momentum may change in Week 7 though, as the latest lines posted by online sportsbook Bovada see several favorites enjoying favorable spots.
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The New England Patriots (4-2) have survived their annual September swoon, rebounding from a 1-2 start to put up three straight wins.
During the win streak, Tom Brady has relied on the unlikely running back duo of Sony Michel and James White to spark an offensive revival. In those three victories, the Pats have outscored opponents 119 to 71 – reaching at least 38 points each time out.
That trend may not bode well for New England’s next opponent, as the Chicago Bears (3-2) were just embarrassed by perennial backup quarterback Brock Osweiler. Suiting up on short notice for the Miami Dolphins (4-2) last Sunday, Osweiler tossed for a career high 380 yards – including three touchdowns – to lead a 31-28 overtime win over Chicago.
The Bears suffered from sack artist Khalil Mack having an unusually quiet game, as Osweiler was kept clean all day. If Mack can’t rebound from a minor ankle injury suffered in the loss, Brady and the Pats could have a field day as (-3.5) road favorites in the Windy City.
The Patriots squared off against the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3) in last year’s AFC Championship Game, and while New England looks primed for yet another trip, the struggling Jags need to get in gear quickly if they want a chance at redemption.
Last week’s 40-7 demolition at the hand of the Dallas Cowboys (3-3) represented a nadir for Jacksonville, which shocked the league last season by compiling a 10-6 record.
But they’ll have a great opportunity to get right this week, with the Houston Texans (3-3) heading to the Sunshine State.
This AFC South rivalry will likely decide the eventual division champion, but for now, both Jacksonville and Houston are simply looking to avoid a sub-.500 season.
The Jags dominated last year’s series, winning both games by a combined 74-14 margin, which makes the current line of Jacksonville (-5) look like a steal.
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The Minnesota Vikings (3-2-1) enjoyed a renaissance year in 2017, going 13-3 before the last-second “Minneapolis Miracle” sent them through to the NFC Championship Game.
And while that game didn’t go Minnesota’s way, the Vikings made every effort to get back to the brink of a Super Bowl by signing free agent Kirk Cousins to a massive multiyear deal.
Cousins has done his part, passing for a 71.2 percent completion rate with 12 touchdowns to just three picks – turning Adam Thielen into the league’s top receiver in the process.
Minnesota heads to MetLife Stadium for a date with the New York Jets (3-3) this Sunday, and as (-3) road favorites, Cousins and Thielen may be primed for another offensive outburst. The Jets defense is allowing 272.3 yards per game through the air, so Minnesota may be able to move the ball at will.
The Vikings’ 2017 season came to an end at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles (3-3), who used that victory as a springboard to Super Bowl rings.
Super Bowl MVP and backup legend Nick Foles has since returned the starting role to Carson Wentz. After shrugging off a bit of ring rust, Wentz looked to be returning to form during last Thursday’s 34-13 rout against the New York Giants (1-5)
If that’s the case, Philly’s current status as (-5) home favorites over the Carolina Panthers (3-2) makes perfect sense.