Aug 22, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) is forced out of the pocket by New England Patriots outside linebacker Dont'a Hightower (54) during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots vs Seahawks SNF Pick

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.

Why the Patriots Will Cover

We just outlined plenty of scary reasons why you should not mess with fading the Patriots as underdogs. And their Week 1 performance on both sides of the ball indicates not much has changed with the Pats, even though Cam Newton is now running the offense. They can still win and cover on any given Sunday against any given team.

Newton gave the offense a seldom-before-seen element of the scrambling QB. And one who is big enough and fast enough to punish defenses. In theory, this opens up even more options for the offense and puts more pressure on a revamped Seahawk defense that gave up yards aplenty in Atlanta last week.

Why the Seahawks will cover

All the talk in this article about the Patriots ATS dominance as an underdog ignores the fact that Seattle has been dominant as home favorites. That is especially true for early-season games. Since 1998, the Seahawks are a profitable 20-8-1 ATS as home chalk in September.

And Week 1 provided some glimpses of how HC Pete Carroll may take the training wheels off Russell Wilson early in games and early in the season. Too many running plays and too little Wilson creativity has led to criticism in years past, but not in Week 1.

Patriots Seahawks Pick

So if the Patriots never lose as September underdogs and the Seahawks never lose as September home favorites, what is the pick? We are gonna chicken out and look at the total in this Sunday Nighter. And we lean on recent trends to guide our football betting strategy again.

The last five meetings between Seattle and New England all went OVER the total. And when the Seahawks play teams from the AFC East, the result is overwhelmingly OVER (17-4 past 21 times).

So two potentially explosive offenses combine with two explosive OVER trends to make our pick OVER 45. And this could be one of those games where each team goes OVER that total by themselves. Let’s say 51-49 Seattle.

Trend Dummy (not his real name) is a veteran sports betting writer, who really should be a lot smarter by now. Starting with a betting trends fascination in 1993, Dummy has been chasing trends, patterns, streak and mathematical anomalies ever since. A serious data miner with real databases and betting acumen, he sometimes stretches stats to fit a narrative, but the data is legit. You decide if the trends have handicapping value.