We’re past the halfway point of the 2019 NFL season so it’s only fitting we take the time to do a midseason review.
Yes we normally run our 5 Lessons Learned after the Monday Night Football game is done but that’s pretty much the same time as the Melbourne Cup tomorrow, so let’s bring it to you a day early.
All of these stats are current to the end of the Ravens-Patriots game and (naturally) won’t include the Giants-Cowboys game.
1 – The Last Undefeated
And then there was one, the 49ers are the last unbeaten team in the NFL after the Patriots went down in Baltimore earlier today.
It wasn’t easy by any stretch but the 49ers moved to 8-0 after a three point win over the Cardinals.
What stands out about the Bay Area team so far is the variety of ways they’ve won and the tests they’ve passed.
They’ve crushed bad teams, survived their own sub-par performances, made it through inclement weather and come away with win after win.
A 16-0 regular season still seems highly unlikely especially with a much tougher second half of the season coming up, but the question is when do you want to back their first loss?
There’s three straight home games that you have to like their chances in, but the early December trips to Baltimore and New Orleans are the games to really watch.
Either way, you can probably back the 49ers with some strong confidence in at least six of their last eight and then see how they go into the playoffs.
2 – Spread and Shred
Through eight or nine games, no team has a perfect record with the spread anymore, instead we’ve got a handful of teams with two losses in the handicap market.
The Bills, Saints and Rams are all at 6-2 while the Patriots just dropped to 6-3 with their loss in Baltimore.
On the other end of the standings, one team has the dubious honour of being the best team to bet against in 2019.
Two and a half years after being in the Super Bowl, the Atlanta Falcons are in big trouble with a 1-7 record straight up and against the spread.
To put that into context the winless Bengals have covered three times, the one win Jets have covered twice and the one-win Dolphins and Redskins have both recorded four covers.
Of course that AFC East is a bit wonky and the Dolphins have benefitted from double digit spreads just about every weekend which does make it a lot easier to cover.
3 – Closer Each Day: Home & Away
Let’s take out San Francisco here because… well we’ve already covered them.
Outside of the undefeated team, there are three teams yet to lose at home, two of which come from the NFC with the Patriots, Saints and Vikings both 4-0 at home and 3-1 against the spread.
The Vikings blew their chance for a bonus win in Kansas City last weekend but are still a good side to keep an eye on as we hit the home stretch, even if it’s with a bit of trepidation.
New Orleans on the other hand has a great opportunity coming up this weekend to beat up on the league’s worst road team, the Falcons who are yet to win or even cover away from the Georgia Dome… although winning there hasn’t been easy either.
4 – Over/Under Players
Some games all you have to enjoy is whether or not it will go over the total points number.
It also has lead to some bad beats & classic wins over the season but, if you want to look for a same game multi, which teams have been the best to back?
Much like the spread numbes, no team has been perfect backing overs or unders but quite a few teams have 75% records one way or the other.
Buffalo and Cincinnati both have two overs and six unders on their record although two of Buffalo’s last three have gone over so maybe that defence is finally starting to crack having to cover for Josh Allen.
Taking the over is a lot more fun though since you get to enjoy some points, and the best teams for that so far are the Bucs, Panthers, Lions and Raiders, all of whom have six overs in their records so far.
5 – Something to Look Forward To
The Pats-Ravens game was the best Monday feature we’ve had in a few weeks and all things going well, we should be in for another one next week.
Barring any sort of injury bug hitting them on Monday Night Football, the Cowboys take on the Vikings at JerryWorld.
Assuming Dallas does what any logical person assumes they will and handles the Giants tomorrow, they’ll have a 4-1 home record against a team that’s 2-3 on the road.
It’s also a great chance to see two of the best running backs in the league going head to head with Ezekiel Elliot and Dalvin Cook.
Enjoy the Cup tomorrow and enjoy the second half of the NFL’s 100th season!