Bring Back Normal Refs? Fans Say Yes, NFL Bettors Say No
After a two-hour first half filled with replay reviews, zebra conferences and blown calls, a crew of replacement officials managed to turn last night’s Monday Night Football game between the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons into the season’s first edition of Tuesday Morning Football.
Justifiably, fans, fantasy footballers and NFL players themselves have spoken out about the need to end the lockout and bring back the regular officials.
However, is the ineptitude among replacement officials equally terrible for all teams across the NFL? Or is there a bias sports bettors can take advantage of?
Using our Bet Labs software, we found that so far this season, home teams have won 61.3% ATS (Against the Spread).
Compare that to the 49% ATS win rate for home teams from 2004-11 and an argument can be made that replacement refs are potentially intimidated by home fans, players, coaches and the environment as a whole.
Two weeks worth of games is still an incredibly small sample size to draw significant conclusions from, but like it or not, games with replacement officials still count.
Just ask John Fox.