Get the best handicapping articles and gambling advice throughout the football, basketball and baseball seasons from the world's top sports handicappers, as well as from Bovada (Bodog) Sportsbook and Casino.
Fourth-Quarter Comebacks Pay Added Dividends
by Bryan Leonard - 12/01/2006
Good handicappers put a circle around a team every time they have an exciting fourth quarter comeback. One betting angle that's worth playing attention to is how a team performs the week after a fourth-quarter comeback. Often times the team's excitement carries over the following week, especially if that team is in the race for a playoff spot or a division title. Simply put, it appears that the good karma carries over at least one week helping that team.
We saw this a few weeks ago when the Chargers came from way back to shock the Bengals, 49-41. The next week the Chargers traveled to one of the most difficult venues at Denver in a key AFC West game. There was no let down, which some might have expected, as the underdog Chargers won straight up with another solid offensive performance.
A few seasons ago there was a three-year trend where teams went 21-6 against the spread the week after coming from 7 points or more down in the fourth quarter to win. It's going to be interesting to watch the Tennessee Titans this weekend against Indianapolis. They are a big home dog, but come off of one of the most exciting fourth quarter comebacks in years, overcoming a 21-0 deficit to stun the Giants, 24-21.
Three weeks ago the Ravens came from 9 points down in the fourth quarter to beat Tennessee 27-26 as QB Steve McNair threw for 373 yards. The next week the Ravens had no let down, spanking Atlanta 24-10, an easy win and cover. Earlier this season Vikings rallied from a 17-3 fourth-quarter deficit to beat Lions with a 23-0 fourth quarter. The next game the Vikings stomped Seattle 31-13 as a 6-point road dog.
Big late rallies appear to add a jolt to a team that often carries over the next game. There has been a lot of talk this week reminiscing about the Tennessee Titans Music City Miracle of 1999, when they stunned the Bills on a last second miracle TD on a kickoff return in the playoffs. Some may forget that there was no emotional let down, as the next week the Titans were a road dog at Indy and won 19-16. The point is the momentum and confidence gained from a comeback appeared to be a contributing element in the team's performance the next week.
The 2001 Chicago Bears might be the poster child for this angle, as they had a remarkable season with several wild comebacks. They fit this angle in consecutive weeks and got a split. The Bears trailed 28-16 at home going into the fourth quarter against San Francisco before pulling out a 37-31 win in overtime. The next week Chicago got the cover in an incredible comeback against Cleveland, rallying from a 21-7 deficit late before getting the win (and cover) on Mike Brown's 16-yard interception return in overtime.
The Bears finally ran out of gas the next week, losing 20-12 to Green Bay as a +3 home dog. Still, dramatic comebacks can provide a team with confidence and fire that can carry over to the next game. That can provide a bettor with excellent wagering opportunities, which the Titans will test Sunday!