I have terrible news for Patriots haters, who are probably looking at this game and figuring this is a great spot to bet against New England (they were +3.5 at BetRivers earlier this week) and actually win your bet.
The Patriots looked fine in Week 1 and are justifiable underdogs in Week 2 at Seattle, a team that crushed Atlanta on the road to open their season. But betting the Seahawks here means you are ignoring decades of hard lessons and lost bets, because betting against the Patriots when they are underdogs is basically like setting your money on fire. (Speaking of which, here’s hoping fire and smoke isn’t a handicapping angle here.)
The evidence? For two decades, New England haters have watched oddsmakers make them favorites week after week, year after year. In those rare cases when oddsmakers relent and make them underdogs, those dirty rascals from Boston get pissed off and win anyway. Or at least they cover the spread.
The Pats have been regular-season road underdogs just 13 times since 2010. For comparison sake, the Jacksonville Jaguars have been road underdogs 13 times since the start of the 2018 season. And while you hope that New England backers suffered greatly and lost money on those 13 unlucky games, well, they paid off their loyal followers at a 10-3 ATS rate.
When you apply this ‘Patriots as an underdog’ theory to the month of September, the results are even grimmer for Patriot haters. Go back 20 seasons and you will find only 11 times they have been early-season dogs. The result at the betting window? 9-1-1 ATS. Are you kidding?
And for those who argue that ‘recency bias’ requires proper handicapping to focus on only recent underdog form? Well, the Patriots got you there as well. They are 15-4 ATS in their last 19 games overall as the underdog.