Good Teams Win, Great Teams Cover!

by ASA, Inc.

Every week in the NFL it seems like at least one top team is losing a game they should not. The Titans have lost to the Jets and the Texans. The Bills lost to the Jags. The Bucs even dropped a dud against the Football Team. Seeing this along with many other similar games makes people wonder who is actually legit out of the top teams? The gambling answer: Good teams win, great teams cover. 
 
Top records ATS through week 12:
 
Green Bay           10-2-0   
Arizona                 8-3-0
Dallas                    8-3-0      
New England      8-4-0
Detroit                  7-4-0
Buffalo                 6-4-1
Indianapolis        7-5-0      
Tennessee          7-5-0      
 
Essentially this tells us which teams have over performed their expectations. It shows team’s ability to keep games close against quality opponents while not playing down to the level of bad teams. The Packers, Cardinals, and Cowboys top the list and have proven to be the most consistent teams in the NFL against the spread. Other quality teams have struggled with consistency like the Buccaneers (5-6-0) and the Rams (4-7-0). 
 
In 2020, 3 of the teams that made it to conference championship weekend finished with top 5 records ATS during the regular season (Chiefs were the one team not to). Similarly, in 2019, both Super Bowl teams finished in the top 5 which gives a good indicator that being able to cover the spread consistently proves that you are an elite team. 
 
There is still plenty of time for these teams to shift around but currently the Packers and Cardinals seem to be in Control in the NFC while New England and Buffalo control the AFC. This matches both the eye test as well as the ATS rankings. All 4 of those teams rank top 5 in total defensive points allowed and have shown the ability to get big stops when needed. 
 
The Bills and Patriots meet twice in the next four weeks and will determine who wins the AFC East and gains control in the conference. The Titans need to go back to the drawing board during their bye week and figure out what to do without King Henry. Currently both conferences are open for the taking but watch ATS records for a bit deeper look at who is playing better than expected. 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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