NFL Home Underdogs Providing Late Season Value

  • As NFL seasons wind down, the betting public has seen the majority of the year and “knows” which teams are good and which are ready to pack it in. As a result, after Week 14, you see larger point spreads and very lopsided games, in terms of NFL Spread Betting Trends.

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 betting large, home underdogs.

Our research analysts went through our archived NFL data, which begins in 2003, to find if these trends continued and how contrarian bettors should approach the final weeks of the NFL season.

To begin, we first analyzed our entire database of NFL home underdogs from 2003-2011 (not including the 2011-2012 season).

2003-2011 All Home Dogs Home Dogs 2+ pts Home Dogs 8+ pts
Weeks 15-17 69-68 (50.4%) 59-52 (53.2%) 17-8 (68.0%)
Playoffs 7-9 (43.8%) 6-7 (46.2%) 1-0 (100%)
Overall 76-77 (49.7%) 65-59 ( 52.4%) 18-8 (69.2%)

As you can see, the win percentage for home underdogs against the spread (ATS) increased with the point spread and betting dogs of eight points or more has been extremely profitable.

Next, we analyzed how home underdogs have performed in recent years. The table below includes data from 2008-2011 (not including the 2011-2012 season).

2008-2011 All Home Dogs Home Dogs 2+ pts Home Dogs 8+ pts
Weeks 15-17 22-21 (51.2%) 22-17 (56.4 %) 6-0 (100%)
Playoffs 6-4 (60.0%) 5-4 ( 55.6%) 1-0 (100%)
Overall 28-25 (52.8%) 27-21 (56.3%) 7-0 (100%)

Since 2008, we’ve seen the same correlation as ATS win percentage increased with the amount of points a home underdog receives.


Our analysis backs up Borghesi’s initial findings, indicating there is value with large NFL home underdogs from Week 15 through the playoffs.

Last week, our NFL Marketwatch article selected Kansas City, getting +14.5 points (at the time of publication), at home against Green Bay. As the lone home underdog of eight or more points in Week 15, the Chiefs ended the Packers’ perfect season with a straight-up victory.

Kansas City’s ATS win improved home underdogs of eight or more points to 19-8 (70.4%) since 2003 and 8-0 since 2008, when applying this NFL Betting System.

At the time of publication, there are only three home underdogs, with the largest being Indianapolis +6.5 against Houston, so we don’t anticipate any games fitting in Week 16.

However, be sure to track all NFL Week 16 line movement on your Live Odds page and going forward this NFL season for home underdogs of eight points or more.

* Pinnacle’s lines were used to determine ATS records.

Daniel Fabrizio

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