As anticipation for this weekend’s epic showdown between the Patriots and Broncos reaches a fever pitch, the team at Sports Insights has found that this game may fit a very profitable model.
In a 2003 article, we examined the value of betting on late season underdogs and uncovered a noticeable home field bias between weeks 15 and 17. At the time we discovered that 8+ point home underdogs covered the spread 57.89% of the time — up from a 53.85% winning percentage between weeks 1 and 14.
That data was taken from 1981-2000 and this trend has only strengthened in recent years. Since 2003, home dogs of 8+ have gone 17-8 (68%) against the spread (ATS) including a 6-0 mark since 2008.
This weekend, three games are shaping up to fit this criteria. While the Chiefs are 13.5-point underdogs against the undefeated Packers and the Vikings are 8-point underdogs against the Saints, the Broncos are currently 7.5-point dogs against the Patriots.
While Denver is not currently an 8-point underdog at the market-setting books, the public is betting heavily on New England with 78% of spread wagers going on the visiting Patriots. If that trend continues, it would not be surprising to see Tebow and the Broncos pick up another half-point.
In fact, Bet Macho is currently offering a line of +8 (-120) which once again illuminates the importance of shopping for the best line.