Round 2 of the London series features a conference matchup between the Giants and Rams
The London games have long been regarded as a write-off for serious handicappers. A healthy scratch from the card that only happened once a year anyway, so forget about it. That has started to change as the NFL’s commitment to expanding its international brand sprawls to new reaches each season.
Multiple games were added in 2014 and then in 2015, the league’s first ever divisional game at Wembley took place between the Jets and Dolphins. This year, the Jaguars and Colts played the first London game and Indianapolis didn’t even get a bye week after; another ‘first’. It’s like the NFL wanted to prove to teams that it was possible. Mexico City will host the Week 11 Monday nighter between Houston and Oakland and the bottom line is that these neutral site games are here to stay.
You can sleep through these early starts if you like, or start looking at them as an opportunity to profit on soft numbers. Here are some betting trends that apply to this Sunday’s game between the Giants and Rams.
NEW YORK AT LOS ANGELES
The Giants were home last week to Baltimore and used a late touchdown on sloppy coverage to cash a 27-23 win. It ended a three-game slide for the G-Men and puts a temporary freeze on the churnings out of old Manning Mill that he’s lost Odell Beckham Jr. and the rest of the offense. The Giants have made nice strides since their embarrassing road loss to Minnesota in Week 4. They’ve been improving their ATS margins and since 1997, when New York is on the move, they are 26-3 ATS with 17 overs, 11 unders and a push.
Neutral site NFL faves that have matched or increased their ATS margins in consecutive games are 4-0 SU/ATS, averaging 34 points per game (PPG). The latest was last year in London, Week 8, when the Kansas City Chiefs came in on the upswing and thumped the Lions 45-10.
That KC win marked the 11-straight NFL neutral site game to finish with more than 40 points (regular season only). Jacksonville’s 30-27 win over Indianapolis made it 12 and the favorite has a 8-4 ATS record with totals going 9-3 O/U.
CASE OF THE YiPPs
The Giants (18.8) and Rams (16.4) both rank in the lower-half of the league for ‘Yards per Point (YPP). The league average is 15 YPP and when two long YPP travellers meet, the general trend since 2002 is to the over.
This used to be more of an “Under” trend but as offenses took over (new era), it became more likely that a low scoring team with weak red zone skills could break out. Pit two of these teams together and you’re going to get a lower total based on public consensus that neither of these teams can score. Focus on early in the year, when we don’t actually know everything there is to know about these clubs and when teams with losing records start to get desperate, and we’ve identified a profile that’s better than 65-percent effective with well over 100 plays.
Eight of 13 seasons in this profile have finished better than 60-percent “Over” the total and four were more than 80-percent “Over” for all plays (2003, 05, 09 and 15). The record through six weeks in 2016 is 11-3 O/U (79-percent OV) and it’s live this week in the Giants at Rams.
When the favorite in these games had a win-loss record between 25- and 70-percent (Giants are 3-3), the record is 64-25-1 O/U (72-percent). Against equal competition (Rams are 3-3), the record for this profile is 35-11-1 O/U (76-percent). The London trends suggest this game can get into the 40’s and backed by this system, I’m betting these teams can hit at least 44.