Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 3:00 PM
My goal is to always stay on top of developing stories for you here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. Lessons are more meaningful if we cans see how they apply to the real world as we “read and react” through the course of the season. Watching the NY Jets beat the Atlanta Falcons outright earlier this week convinced me that I need to talk about the surprising dominance the AFC has had this year vs. the NFC.
It wasn’t just that game. It’s been a story since early September. Probably the single best example is the fact that the Indianapolis Colts…an AFC team that was supposed to be a borderline playoff contender this year…are 2-0 straight up as underdogs against Seattle and San Francisco…the two most popular NFC choices to play in the Super Bowl before the season started. That wasn’t supposed to happen!
Let’s review all the Interconference results so far. Note that the AFC team is listed first in all of the examples below…
NY Jets (+4) beat Tampa Bay 18-17
Cincinnati (+3) pushed in a loss at Chicago 24-21
(1-1 straight up, 1-0-1 ATS)
San Diego (+8) beat Philadelphia 33-30
Buffalo (+3.5) beat Carolina 24-23
Kansas City (-3) beat Dallas 17-16 (non-cover)
Denver (-3.5) beat the NY Giants 41-23
(4-0 straight up, 3-1 ATS; 2-0 straight up as underdogs)
Kansas City (+3) beat Philadelphia 26-16
Cleveland (+7) beat Minnesota 31-27
New England (-7) beat Tampa Bay 23-3
Cincinnati (+3) beat Green Bay 34-30
Miami (-2.5) beat Atlanta 27-23
Indianapolis (+10) beat San Francisco 27-7
Jacksonville (+19) lost to Seattle 45-17 (non-cover)
Pittsburgh (+2.5) lost to Chicago 40-23 (non-cover)
(6-2 straight up, 6-2 ATS; 4-2 straight up as underdogs)
Pittsburgh (-3) lost to Minnesota 34-27 (non-cover)
Houston (+1.5) lost to Seattle 23-20 in overtime (non-cover)
Kansas City (-4) beat the NY Giants 31-7
San Diego (+2) beat Dallas 30-21
Oakland (+3.5) lost to Washington 24-14 (non-cover)
Denver (-11) beat Philadelphia 52-20
New England (+2) beat Atlanta 30-23
Miami (+6.5) lost to New Orleans 28-17 (non-cover)
(4-4 straight up, 4-4 ATS; 2-3 straight up as underdogs)
Jacksonville (+11) lost to St. Louis 34-20 (non-cover)
Indianapolis (+3) beat Seattle 34-28
Denver (-7.5) beat Dallas 51-48 (non-cover)
Houston (+5) lost to San Francisco 34-3 (non-cover)
NY Jets (+9) beat Atlanta 30-28
(3-2 straight up, 2-3 ATS; 2-2 straight up as underdogs)
The AFC is 18-9 straight up against the NFC (18-6 not counting Jax)
The AFC is 16-10-1 against the spread against the NFC (16-7-1 not counting Jax)
The AFC is 11-8 straight up as underdogs against the NFC (11-5 not counting Jax)
Amazing. If you don’t count Jacksonville…one of the worst NFL teams I’ve seen in decades, the AFC has won 75% of its interconference games! The record is 18-4 if you don’t count Jacksonville and Houston.
Las Vegas oddsmakers and the market as a whole sure didn’t see this coming. The AFC has cashed 62% of its tickets…70% if you don’t count Jacksonville…and it would be 76% if not for Jacksonville and Houston.
I’d love to tell you that I knew before the season started that this would happen. But, I can’t. Some NFC disappointments surprised me…as did a few examples of dramatic improvement in the AFC. I would like to believe that I noticed it and reacted to it a lot sooner than others did. That’s the thing about real world surprises in sports betting. Everybody gets surprised. Can YOU recognize what’s happening faster than the rest of the market?
That’s the big lesson for today in our coursework. Always remember to be on the lookout for surprise developments. All the major betting sports are constantly evolving. Individual teams are constantly evolving. Key PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS are on a curve that sees them improve with experience until they slow down with age. Constant transition. Constant flux.
I can assure you that NOBODY in Las Vegas in late August anticipated Indianapolis going 2-0 against San Francisco and Seattle, or that Geno Smith would bounce back from a horrible Preseason to lead the Jets to a ROAD win against last year’s #1 seed in the NFC Atlanta.
Will the interconference trend continue? Oddsmakers have been catching on. And, teams will be making smarter adjustments (particularly in the area of NFC teams no longer taking games against AFC opponents for granted).
THIS WEEK’S INTERCONFERENCE GAMES
Baltimore hosts Green Bay
Cleveland hosts Detroit
Houston hosts St. Louis
Tennessee visits Seattle
New England hosts New Orleans
That could be a tough draw for the AFC because Green Bay, Seattle, and New Orleans are all Super Bowl threats this year. My best advice is to try and pick your spots moving forward where you believe that particular AFC teams still aren’t getting enough respect, or that particular NFC teams are still getting too much.
Best of luck to you this weekend in your college and pro football endeavors. If you need additional assistance, you can purchase my top selections right here at this very website with your major credit card. Further assistance is just a phone call away in the Vegas-Sports-masters office at 1-888-777-4155.
I’ll see you again early next week, as The Dean of Sports Handicapping continues to do what I can to enhance your potential in my College of Sports Betting and Handicapping.