In Week 1 of the 2011 NFL season, the Baltimore Ravens demolished a division rival at home, then went on the road in Week 2 and were the most popular pick among bettors.
In Week 1 of the 2012 NFL season, the Baltimore Ravens demolished a division rival at home, and now go on the road in Week 2 and are the most popular pick among bettors.
Is this déjà vu, Baltimore style?
Let’s compare this year to last year:
Week 1 Result: Beat Pittsburgh at home 35-7 as 1-point favorites
Week 2 point spread: Baltimore -5.5 at Tennessee (90 percent of the action)
Week 2 result: Tennessee 26, Baltimore 13
Week 1 Result: Beat Cincinnati at home 44-13 as 7-point favorites
Week 2 point spread: Baltimore +2.5 at Philadelphia (91 percent of the action)
Week 2 result: ???
Will we see a repeat? That is, of course, up for debate.
But this is a concrete example of how the public can overreact to one week’s worth of results, particularly early in the season. Virtually no one gave the Titans a chance to cover, let alone win, against Baltimore at this exact same time last year.
Then, Tennessee promptly went out and won, covering the spread by 18.5 points.
This year’s situation is admittedly different. The Ravens are underdogs this time, and many folks are proclaiming them Super Bowl favorites after their revamped offense looked so great in the opener against the Bengals.
Philadelphia isn’t as undervalued as Tennessee was last year, mainly because the Eagles will always command respect from oddsmakers as long as they have so much
wasted talent on their roster.
But we’ve yet to see Baltimore on the road in 2012, and that’s a spot where this team was completely hit-or-miss a year ago. In addition to the loss at Tennessee, the Ravens lost at Jacksonville as 10-point favorites, at Seattle as 7-point favorites and at San Diego (by 20) as 1-point favorites.
Last year’s results are only worth so much, but anytime an underdog is getting a ton of betting action but there’s very little line movement, be cautious. This is one of those cases.