Welcome back to the Stats Lab. Every Sunday morning during the NFL season, I'll be blogging the stats I used on Barstool Sports Advisors each week, plus some other ones I found from my research for each game we covered. Whenever I pour through the data each week, I try to separate the meaningful trends from the nonsensical ones. For example, a team with a really good ATS record against a specific division (not their own)? Probably doesn't matter that much. Teams are always changing, and there's nothing that suggests all the same teams in a division play a certain way or anything. But a coach being really good off a bye week? That says something. A team covering a lot as a road dog? Probably means they're being consistently undervalued. League wide trends that hold steady across hundreds of matchups spanning years and years? Those are also something you want to look at. So it's all a case by case basis.
Below is my entire cheat sheet I use for Advisors each week. Lines courtesy of the Barstool Sportsbook, subject to change from the time I compiled this (Advisors shooting on Wednesday). I'll also be giving a pick or two for each game based on what the stats say and keeping track of my year long record. The stats have gone cold lately. I'm coming off another losing week of 2-4, bringing my season long record to 32-36. But with a sweep here we're back above .500. And I like the stats this week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-3, 5-6 ATS) @ Atlanta Falcons (5-6, 5-6 ATS)
1 PM on FOX
If I'm going to get a double digit divisional home dog, I'm probably going to take it every single time. This is no exception. The Bucs did cover as a road favorite in Indy last week, but that's a rarity. That's the only game they've covered as a road favorite in their last 7 spots. Matt Ryan is also 14-8 ATS as a home underdog in his career. And double digit home dogs are going to be a profitable bet in the long term. They're 59-46 (56%) ATS since 2003.
The Stats Say: Falcons
Los Angeles Chargers (6-5, 5-6 ATS) @ Cincinnati Bengals (7-4, 6-5 ATS)
1 PM on CBS
This is a tough game to get a read on. Both these teams have been Jekyll and Hyde this year. Some weeks they look like legit contenders. Some weeks they look frauds. So let's just stick with some league wide trends for this one. Road dogs off a loss this season (like the Chargers) are 32-20-1 ATS (62%). Meanwhile, home favorites off a win this season (like the Bengals) are just 25-36 ATS (41%). Chargers it is.
The Stats Say: Chargers
Washington Football Team (5-6, 4-7 ATS) @ Las Vegas Raiders (6-5, 5-6 ATS)
4:05 PM on FOX
The Raiders do have a significant rest advantage here (Raiders played on Thanksgiving. WFT played Monday), but I surprisingly didn't find any trends that suggested that really matters too much. Here's what I did find though. The Raiders are just 20-43-1 ATS in their last 64 games as a favorite. And Ron Rivera is historically very good as an underdog, 48-35 ATS. I think the public is all over Las Vegas here after their Thanksgiving win, but Washington is the better team.
The Stats Say: Washington Football Team
Baltimore Ravens (8-3, 5-6 ATS) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5-1, 4-7 ATS)
4:25 PM on CBS
The dogs are barking this week, and this game is no different. It’s usually a safe bet to take the points when these two teams meet. The underdog is 20-7-3 ATS in their last 30 meetings. And the Steelers are 17-4-2 ATS in their last 23 as a home dog. If the Steelers have anything left in their tank, this is the game to prove it.
The Stats Say: Steelers
Denver Broncos (6-5, 6-5 ATS) @ Kansas City Chiefs (7-4, 4-7 ATS)
8:20 PM on NBC
Everyone knows about the Andy Reid off a bye stats. He's 19-3 SU and 14-8 ATS off a bye as a head coach since 1999. But that trend has cooled off in recent years (just 1-3 ATS in the last 4 years). I'm ignoring that trend for this game. Instead, I'm focusing on the under. These are two defenses playing really well right now. Denver unders are 9-2 this season, and they're allowing just 18 PPG. The Chiefs have gone under in 5 of their last 6 games, and their defense is allowing just 12 PPG in their last four. The total has no business being this high. It should probably be lower but people are just always afraid to take a Chiefs under. Take advantage of that here and take the under. It's my favorite play of the week.
The Stats Say: Under
If you missed this week's Advisors, make sure to catch up here to get all your winners before kickoff.