For Late Season NFL Bettors, There’s No Place Like Home

NFL Betting Late Season Value
For Late Season NFL Bettors, There’s No Place Like Home

In 2003, Richard Borghesi published a paper called, “Price Predictability: Insights from the NFL Point Spread Market.” In this paper, Borghesi analyzed Week 15 through the playoffs from 1981-2000 and found that, after Week 14, there is increased value in NFL betting when isolating large, home underdogs.

Last season, we updated this analysis to see if the trends Borghesi found had continued to be profitable. As we near Week 15 of the 2012 NFL season, we used our Bet Labs software to revisit this analysis.

Rather than start with Week 15, we took advantage of Bet Labs’ Game Month filter to isolate only games (regular and postseason) played in December and January.

To perform this analysis, we first researched all home dogs, then added the Spread filter to isolate home underdogs at various point spreads.

The table below displays the against the spread (ATS) results of late season NFL games for home underdogs at two different point-spread levels since the start of the 2003 season.

Record Win Percentage Units Won ROI
All Home Dogs 130-118 52.4% +5.32 +2.1%
Home Dogs 2+ pts 120-103 53.8% +10.15 +4.6%
Home Dogs 8+ pts 30-10 75.0% +18.08 +45.2%

Home dogs have produced a win rate of 52.4% ATS, which is also the break-even point for spread bettors (assuming a vig of -110). However, as we focus on larger underdogs, ATS win percentage increases, especially at the 8-point level.

In just over nine seasons, home underdogs of 8 or more points have won 75% ATS for a profit of +18.08 units and a robust 45.2% return on investment (ROI).

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  • Steve
    12/06/2012 at 5:00 pm

    What question/hypothesis started this specific analysis?

    What is the reason large home underdogs have performed better late in the season?

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