Road Dogs: Dominant in Week 1

Road Dogs Dominate Week 1
Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Prior to the season, I talked about the seldom-seen consistency with which road dogs cover the spread. Since 2018, road underdogs have covered the spread at almost a 56% clip whereas home favorites, road favorites, and home underdogs have been unprofitable overall. I also elaborated on specific road dogs that hit at an even higher rate. Road dogs of 3.5-6.5 points have covered the spread 59% of the time over the last three years. 

In week one, road dogs did it again. There were nine total road underdogs and five that fit in the sweet spot. Overall, road dogs went 7-2 ATS and those in the sweet spot went 4-1, with only the Jets failing to cover due to a failed two-point-conversion at the end of the game. Road dogs went 5-4 straight up and sweet spot road dogs went 3-2 straight up. Check out the results below:

Road Dogs: Week 1

Cowboys 29 @ Buccaneers 31

·        Covered: Cowboys (+9)

Eagles 32 @ Falcons 6

·        Covered: Eagles (+3.5)

Steelers 23 @ Bills 16

·        Covered: Steelers (+6.5)

Cardinals 38 @ Titans 13

·        Covered: Cardinals (+3)

Chargers 20 @ WFT 16

·        Covered: Chargers (+1.5)

Jets 14 @ Panthers 19

·        Covered: Panthers (-4)

Browns 29 @ Chiefs 33

·        Covered: Browns (+5.5)

Dolphins 17 @ Patriots 16

·        Covered: Dolphins (+3.5)

Bears 14 @ Rams 34

·        Covered: Rams (-8)

I typically check spreads on Saturday evening and again on Sunday morning before putting in final bets on road underdogs, but let’s take an early look ahead to week two. Based on opening lines from Draftkings Sportsbook, there are another nine road underdogs, three of which fit into the sweet spot. Below are those nine games, the spreads, and each team’s record ATS as a road underdog or home favorite over the last three years.

Road Dogs: Week 2

NY Giants +3 @ Washington Football Team

·        NYG: 16-4 ATS as Road Underdog

·        WFT: 2-4 ATS as Home Favorite

Houston Texans +12.5 @ Cleveland Browns

·        HOU: 8-6 as Road Underdog

·        CLE: 7-7 as Home Favorite

LV Raiders +5 @ Pittsburgh Steelers

·        LV: 8-9 as Road Underdog

·        PIT: 9-10 as Home Favorite

Cincinnati Bengals +3 @ Chicago Bears

·        CIN: 13-9 as Road Underdog

·        CHI: 7-6 as Home Favorite

Minnesota Vikings +4.5 @ Arizona Cardinals

·        MIN: 5-9 as Road Underdog

·        ARI: 2-6 as Home Favorite

Atlanta Falcons +12 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

·        ATL: 8-10 as Road Underdog

·        TB: 4-10 as Home Favorite (3-4 in with Brady)

Dallas Cowboys +3 @ LA Chargers

·        DAL: 6-7 as Road Underdog

·        LAC: 5-13 as Home Favorite (3-3 with Herbert)

Tennessee Titans +5 @ Seattle Seahawks

·        TEN: 7-4 as Road Underdog

·        SEA: 10-8 as Home Favorite

Detroit Lions +10.5 @ Green Bay Packers

·        DET: 9-8 as Road Underdog

·        GB: 13-10 as Home Favorite

Road Dogs & The Under

Three of these week-two road dogs are getting double-digit points. Over the last three years, there have been 69 games involving double-digit road underdogs. In 36% of them, the road dog has covered and the total has gone under. A typical spread-total parlay pays about +260 which implies odds of just under 28%, meaning this type of bet has provided about an 8% advantage over bookmakers since 2018. In that span, if you placed a $10 bet on all 69 instances, parlaying the double-digit-dog and the under, you’d have profited $210. Of course, you’re still losing money 64% of the time, so it could be extremely difficult to push through bad times, but the good times provide a drastic boost to the bankroll. Hitting on 36% of 69, +260 bets is roughly the equivalent of hitting on 67% of 69, standard -110 total or spread bets.


Road dogs covered at an incredible rate in week one. It would be irresponsible to think that happens every week, so if you are tailing that trend, prepare for bumps in the road. In week two, we have another nine road dogs and a few with double-digit spreads. Parlaying double-digit road dogs and the under has been very profitable over the last three years but still only hits at a 36% rate. The aforementioned bumps in the road are bigger when betting parlays. If you can stay the course and make money, good for you. If not, take comfort in the fact that over the last three years, double-digit road dogs have covered 58% of the time, and the total has gone under in 65% of all games with a double-digit spread. As always, these trends are to be used as supplements for your own analysis and are not picks.

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