NFL System of the Week

by Al McMordie

Sunday, Jan 07, 2024
It's the final week of the 2024 NFL regular season, and there are a lot of things still to be decided with regard to the Playoffs, so the games will certainly be entertaining.  As a sports handicapper, I try to approach the final week much as I do any other week, though there are exceptions, of course.  One of the things I look for when handicapping the NFL is to find good situations to take teams off losses, or go against teams off wins.  Obviously, it's not quite that simple, as I look for well-defined situations.  But many of my best systems involve -- at their core -- playing on teams after a bad game, or going against a team after a good game.  For our NFL System of the Week, we're going to look at one such situation.

Last week, the Arizona Cardinals played their best game of the season.  They were an 11-point underdog at Philadelphia, and upset the Eagles, 35-31.  Most impressive was the fact that Arizona outyarded Philly, 449-275.  That was the most yards that Arizona's offense gained all season, as well as its biggest yardage differential (+174).

In the NFL, teams that pull huge upsets like this tend to underperform the following week.  And that leads us to our NFL System of the Week.  What we want to do is:  Play against any team that won outright as a 10.5-point (or greater) underdog the previous week.  Indeed, dating back to 1991, NFL teams in this adverse situation have gone 36-69-4, 34.2% ATS!

And, although there's nothing wrong with 69-36-4, we can improve our numbers by focusing on home underdogs (or PK) off upset road wins.  These powerless pups have gone just 6-24 ATS, including a woeful 0-8 ATS in division games.

This Sunday afternoon, the Arizona Cardinals have been installed as a home underdog vs. division rival, Seattle, so all of the criteria for our main system, and these subsets, are met.

Good luck, as always,
Al McMordie

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