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Top 3 NFL Teams to Bet Against in 2018: Fading the Falcons Paid Off

Matt Ryan Falcons QB
Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons finished the 2018 NFL season with a horrid 5-11 record against the spread. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)
  • The 2018 NFL regular season has come to an end
  • If you spent the season betting against the Falcons, you had a good year
  • See the three teams you could have made the most money betting against

Being able to predict winners in the NFL is great and all, but it’s just as profitable (when betting the spread) to be able to pick losers.

As is the case every season, there were plenty of losers in 2018. But these three teams really stood above the crowd.

If you just blindly bet against a team (ATS) each week, these three would have made you the most money this season.

3) New York Jets

  • A $50 wager against each week = +$204.50
  • +4.09 units in 2018

The New York Jets just missed the cut for our 5 Best Teams to Bet On in 2018, posting a 10-6 O/U record. But they made sure they wouldn’t be denied a spot here, as they sported an awful 5-10-1 record against the spread.

The Jets spent the majority of 2018 as an underdog, getting points in 12 of 16 games.

This was for good reason, as New York was just a bad football team all around. With rookie Sam Darnold starting 13 games for them, the Jets scored the 10th-fewest points in the league.

Their defense wasn’t good, either, but they were often put on the field with their backs against the wall. The offense turned the ball over 30 times this season (fourth-most), leading to the Jets allowing the fourth-most points in the NFL.

Starting in Week 7, New York failed to cover a spread for five straight weeks.

2) Atlanta Falcons

  • A $50 wager against each week = +$282.45
  • +5.65 units in 2018

Just two years ago the Atlanta Falcons were setting the NFL on fire with their unstoppable offense.

This year they finished with a disappointing 7-9 straight up record, and an even worse 5-11 record against the spread.

Online sports betting sites continually set expectations of Atlanta a little too high, as they served as the favorite in 11 games this year, only covering four of them.

The Falcons failed to cover the spread in four of their first five games in 2018, and then closed out the season failing to cover six of their last eight.

1) San Francisco 49ers

  • A $50 wager against each week = +$288.84
  • +5.78 units in 2018

Though they recorded the same 5-11 record against the spread as Atlanta, betting against the 49ers each week netted you just a little more money this season.

Sure, you can say the loss of Jimmy Garoppolo played a role in this, but San Francisco actually went 0-3 ATS in the three games Garoppolo did play in 2018.

They did, however, only turn the ball over four times in those three games with Jimmy G under center, compared to 28 in their next 13 games.

When you’re constantly giving the ball away, and unable to take it back – generated a league-low 7 takeaways – it’s not only hard to win games, but also very difficult to keep them competitive. The Niners had a league-worst -25 turnover differential, with the next worst being the Bucs at -18.

With so many changing parts all season, San Francisco did just enough in a handful of games this year to keep spreads down. Kyle Shanahan’s team was only given double-digit points in a game twice in 2018.

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After receiving a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Ottawa ('15), Matt spent two years with Rogers TV as a host, producer, and play-by-play commentator. He has been with us since 2016 and serves as SBD's Editor-in-Chief and sports betting expert.