By Marc Lawrence of Playbook.com The pig is finally in the air. That means it is now September and with it an array of NFL handicapping team trends are suddenly in play for fans and ‘players’ alike.
Keep an eye on (Good): Detroit has been notorious fast starters for years and is 29-16 ATS on a field where Eminem calls home. The lone home game will not be easy, facing Denver.
Dallas was 8-0 and 7-1 ATS last season in away outings, which helped build a recent 29-16 ATS mark. That makes the Week 2 battle at Philly worth waiting for.
Keep an eye on (Bad): It has never made sense why a franchise as consistently good as Pittsburgh struggles early on the road and is a dismal 15-29 ATS. They might catch a bit of a break being in New England for Game 1 of the season. Seventeen days later they will be in St. Louis.
Speaking of the Rams, they are only marginally better at 15-28 ATS, but found a home team as bad as they are in Washington, leaving football bettors to choose the lesser of two evils.
Keep an eye on (Good): Seattle is a rock solid 29-16 ATS favorite, however, like usual will be tested at St. Louis in the opener. Two weeks later they will likely have an easier time facing Jay Cutler and the Bears.
St. Louis fits the bill also at 12-25 ATS, however, we know they will not be a favorite against Seattle in the first contest and chances are will not being handing out points at the Redskins or home to Pittsburgh. Watch the numbers and keep this in mind.
Good: The Dallas Cowboys thrive in this role at a sensational 26-12 against the number. Their Week 2 showdown at Philly will be their lone chance to improve on record.
Keep an eye on (Good): With road games at Houston and Green Bay, Kansas City will be an underdog and seeking to improve on 27-17 ATS. In between those contests is a home date with rival Denver and based on the past two years in this matchup at Arrowhead, the Chiefs might actually not be favored until their fifth contest.
Bad: We already mentioned the Steelers slow starts and they are 10-21 ATS when catching points this month. They are underdogs at New England, with a Week 3 nonconference clash at St. Louis to be determined later.
Good: The Chiefs home opener will on Thursday night against Denver on the 17th and K.C. is a dandy 23-11 ATS in that role.
Keep an eye on (Bad): With New England’s quarterback situation settled with Tom Brady back, we’ll see whether the added weight and the bull eye of being defending Super Bowl champs weighs on the Pats disappointing 16-24 ATS vs. the AFC East.