NFL Betting Trends: The Five Worst Teams Against the Spread

4 months ago 61

Even a great team like the Chiefs disappointed bettors as they struggled to cover the spread.

The last three Super Bowl winners all performed poorly against the spread last season.

The Buccaneers were overvalued, the Rams fell off and the Chiefs, who went on to win their second ring within the last four years, played a lot of tight games but almost always came out on top. Those three teams were all bad to bet on week-to-week, though to varying degrees and for different reasons.

Let’s review the five teams with the worst records against the spread (ATS) in 2022. Perhaps they should be faded in the fall or they’re due for a resurgence in a new season.

Mike Evans salutes the Tampa Bay crowd after the Bucs’ win.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Against the Spread Record: 4–12–1

Straight Up Record: 8–9

The Buccaneers covered the first two games on their schedule and didn’t do so again until Week 10. Covers were few and far between all year long for Tampa Bay, which was listed as a favorite 13 times and covered just four times in that position. The 2021 Super Bowl champs also went winless ATS as a rare underdog (0–4). The Bucs suffered a colossal upset on the road to the Panthers as 13-point favorites — they lost 21-3. That was a week after a 20-18 loss to the Steelers in a game Tampa Bay was favored by 9.5 points. In Tom Brady’s last season, his team failed to cover as a touchdown favorite or more four times and lost twice outright in that position.

Bears quarterback Justin Fields runs with the ball.

Chicago Bears

Against the Spread Record: 5–11–1

Straight Up Record: 3–14

The Bears were routinely underdogs of six or more points yet still performed poorly ATS on their way to the worst record in the NFL. They did, however, pull off a pair of shocking upsets. Chicago beat the 49ers, 19-10, as 6.5-point underdogs at home in a torrential downpour Week 1 and thrashed the Patriots, 33-14, on the road while getting 8.5 points. Coach Matt Eberflus’ team was favored just twice in 2022: The Bears pushed as three-point favorites in a 23-20 win over the Texans and lost to the Lions, 31-30 as a three-point favorite. Chicago went 2–8 ATS during its 10-game losing streak that lasted from Week 8 until the end of the season.

Colts player holds his helmet down past his knee.

Indianapolis Colts

Against the Spread Record: 6–11

Straight Up Record: 4–12–1

The Colts fell well short of expectations last year as the preseason favorite to win the division finished with the fourth-worst record in the NFL. Indianapolis went 1–6 ATS as a favorite and lost five times outright in that spot. There were quite a few bad losses for the Frank Reich-led team, which was on the wrong side of history after it allowed a 33-point comeback to the Vikings, though the Colts still managed to cover as 3.5-point underdogs in a 39-36 defeat. And as three-point favorites in Jacksonville, Indianapolis was shut out, 24-0. The most points the team got all season was an 11-point spot on the road against Dallas, which was nowhere near enough points to cover in a 54-19 blowout loss. In spite of these poor showings, the Colts inexplicably beat the eventual Super Bowl-winning Chiefs, 20-17, as 4.5-point home underdogs.

kelce mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs

Against the Spread Record: 6–10–1

Straight Up Record: 14–3

The Chiefs sure like to keep things interesting. They were favored in all but two games in 2022 on their way to the No. 1 seed in the AFC, though they rarely covered the spread. Kansas City had some close calls, including a 30-29 win over Las Vegas as a seven-point favorite; a 20-17 triumph against Tennessee as a 14-point favorite; a 30-24 victory over Houston as a 14-point favorite; and a 27-24 win over Denver as a 12.5-point favorite. 

Coach Andy Reid’s team split the two games it entered as an underdog — they didn’t need the two points in a 41-31 win over the Buccaneers, though they fell to the Bills at home, 24-20, and did not cover as a 2.5-point dog. The Chiefs were favored by at least a touchdown in more than half of their games but finished just 4–6 ATS in those scenarios, though they did cover a massive 15.5-point spread against the Rams. Even with Patrick Mahomes under center, many K.C. games ended up closer than expected.

Rams head coach Sean McVay holds up his hands during a game against the Panthers.

Los Angeles Rams

Against the Spread Record: 6–10–1

Straight Up Record: 5–12

The Rams followed up their Super Bowl win with an injury-plagued, losing season, their worst with Sean McVay at the helm. It took a while for the books to catch up with Los Angeles, which was favored in six of its first nine games and went 2–6–1 ATS. The Rams were underdogs in each of their final eight games of the year and went 4–4 ATS with two outright wins to their name. One was a 17-16 win over the Raiders as a six-point underdog in Baker Mayfield’s first start with the team and the other was a 51-14 blowout win over the Broncos on Christmas Day as a three-point underdog.

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