With football season fast approaching, online bookie agents must know which NFL teams players are targeting to bet against the spread. In this blog, we take a look at the most likely against the spread winners in the AFC betting.
When it comes to the NFL, players and price per head bookies rely on ATS bets. For players, spread odds are always fairer on NFL games than moneyline odds.
For per head agents, managing ATS options is much easier than managing moneyline options. Also, bookmakers don’t make juice on moneyline bets like they do on spread wagers.
If someone asks, “How much do bookies make?” Many will point to the profit they gain from against the spread bets.
This NFL season, AFC betting should revolve around the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills. But that doesn’t mean the Chiefs and Bills can expose an agent’s book.
To protect your bottom line, agents like you offering free betting software should know which AFC teams could end up winning against the spread this season.
Four NFL AFC teams betting that could burn your sportsbook
In 2020, the Miami Dolphins used a dominant defense and steady offense to post an NFL-best 11-5 ATS record. With an easier schedule and their defense intact, the Dolphins could be just as hot against the spread in 2021 as they were last year.
Per CBS Sports, Miami’s strength of schedule ranks twenty-seventh. Only Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Dallas, and Philadelphia have weaker schedules. Also, seven opponents this season rank in the bottom ten in margin of victory.
On defense, there were fears the team would lose cornerback Xavien Howard via a trade demand. Howard led the league with 10 interceptions.
Losing Howard would have been a big deal, but the cornerback restructured his contract so he could stay in South Florida. Led by sixth-year defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, last season, Miami’s defensive line ranked tenth in sacks.
Unless quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has a massive sophomore slump and can’t connect with top draft pick, wideout Jaylen Waddle, PPH sportsbook agents should expect Miami to again cover the spread in most of their games.
The good news for bookies? Miami should continue to fly under the radar, which means few, if any, players will call bookie agents looking to bet on the Dolphins to cover in the AFC betting
After finishing 5-11, dead last in the AFC West, it’s perplexing why oddsmaking experts have made the Broncos the ninth favored team to win the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl odds aside, there are reasons to believe the Broncos become an against the spread AFC betting winner this season. Like Miami, Denver’s schedule ranks twenty-seventh.
Many NFL analysts believe the NFC East is the worst division in the league. The Broncos open versus the New York Giants. Denver plays Washington, Dallas, and Philadelphia in weeks 9, 10, and 11.
Denver also gets to face traditional bottom-feeders like the New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Detroit Lions. The Broncos should field an elite defense, which could lead to competitive performances against opponents like Kansas City and the Cleveland Browns.
Pro Football Focus ranks Denver’s secondary the best in the NFL. The Broncos’ defensive backfield ranks first in red zone efficiency. The league’s top secondary should allow them to compete as ATS underdogs in division matchups versus the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers.
Denver traded for QB Teddy Bridgewater to bring consistency to an offense that averaged 20.2 points – fifth-worse in the NFL. If the Broncos can increase their per point average, they could live up to their underlay Super Bowl odds and surprise against the spread.
Watch for sharp plays on the Denver Broncos. Pros know the public will disregard the Broncos’ chances to cover, providing professionals an opportunity to back Denver at overlay odds.
Since drafting dual-threat QB Lamar Jackson in 2018, the Baltimore Ravens have employed a run-first, ball-control system that makes them a possible AFC betting choice in every game.
The Ravens led the NFL in rushing the past two seasons. Baltimore’s commitment to the run keeps the ball in their hands, helps keep the clock running, and shortens games.
Quick-strike offenses can only score when they’ve got the football. The Ravens know if they cut down on their opponent’s time of possession, they can control the flow of the game. The style worked last season when Baltimore went 11-7 ATS.
Don’t expect Baltimore to change their system this season. The one knock is that the Ravens must play one of the most difficult schedules in the league. Then again, a tough schedule could lead to spread lines that Baltimore can cover. Watch out for Lamar and the Ravens.
Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow led the Bengals to a surprising 6-3 ATS record before ACL and MCL injuries ended his season. Burrow said he’s almost one-hundred percent and feeling great.
The Bengals drafted one of Burrow’s favorite targets while at LSU, wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, fifth overall. Not only that, but 1,000-yard rusher Joe Mixon returns from a right foot injury, which means the Bengals should have enough talent to move the chains.
Word is the Burrow to Chase connection is struggling. That doesn’t mean the Bengals won’t cover spreads.
In fact, it could have the opposite effect. Pro football betting handicappers won’t ditch backing the Bengals due to training camp news, just like a racebook player won’t cross off a horse just because of a single bad work.
Professional NFL handicappers use opinions and news to find opportunities. If everyone else believes Chase and Burrow bomb during the regular season, some cagey pros will go the opposite way and back the Bengals as huge underdogs against the spread.
More than likely, Cincinnati will cover.
Other Potential AFC Betting Winners
Houston Texans – ESPN, and it feels like everyone else, ranks Houston the worst team in the NFL. But Deshaun Watson is in camp and, often, the most hated team in the league plays much better than their odds imply they should.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Urban Meyer is doing things his own way. The Jaguars weren’t a bad team two seasons ago. If Meyer makes the right moves, who knows? Jacksonville could win more games ATS than they lose.
New York Jets – The Jets have a tough schedule. A tough schedule doesn’t always mean a loss against the spread. NYJ should get more points than they should in almost every game this season.
Pittsburgh Steelers – The 2020 AFC North winners are flying under the radar because the offensive line is different from last season, the Steelers have the toughest schedule in the league, and because Big Ben Roethlisberger is a season older. In the 2019-2020 season, Mike Tomlin coached the Steelers to an 8-8 record with Big Ben on the bench and the worst offense in the NFL. Unless Roethlsiberger shows up Week 1 with his throwing arm in a cast, the Steelers should be competitive.
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