It's almost impossible to believe that after four weeks of the 2010 season, the NFL's lone unbeaten team is the 3-0 KC Chiefs. The Chiefs are coming off a 4-12 year in 2009 and the team's three-year record coming onto the 2010 season was 10-38. The Chiefs were idle last week but fellow 3-0 unbeatens Chicago and Pittsburgh both lost in Week 4, the Bears 17-3 at the Giants and the Steelers 17-14 at home to the Ravens. Five teams entered Week 4 winless and only the Browns came out with a win last Sunday, upending the Bengals 23-20 at home.
While just one of the five winless teams got their first win of 2010 last weekend, four of the five 'covered,' with the only exception being the Bills (lost 38-14 at home to the Jets). That brings to the forefront something I mentioned in last week's notes. Here's what I said. "Looking for an angle? Eight teams came into Week 2 at 2-0 and another eight at 0-2. If one would have bet 'on' the 0-2 teams and against the 2-0 teams (remember two games involved a pair of unbeatens, meaning a no play in those games), a bettor would have gone 8-4 ATS. Should we do the same this weekend? That is, play on the five, 0-3 teams giving us plays on Buffalo, Carolina, Cleveland, Detroit and San Francisco. Should we also go against the two, 3-0 teams in action, Chicago and Pittsburgh, giving us plays on the Ravens and Giants? I'll answer those questions next week, in my NFL Notes for Week 5."
Well the answers is YES, we should have! Both 3-0 teams lost SU and ATS while those 0-3 teams went 1-4 SU but 4-1 ATS. That's a two-week run of 14-5 or 73.7 percent ATS (not bad). Does the same rule apply here in Week 5? If one thinks so, the 3-0 Chiefs are a "play-against," while "play on" teams in Week 5 are the 0-4 Bills, 49ers, Lions and Panthers (teams are a combined 7-9 ATS this season). Week 4 was the first of the bye weeks, with the 2-1 Bucs, 3-0 Chiefs, 1-2 Cowboys and 1-2 Vikings all sitting last week out. We'll see how they do in Week 5 and note that the Dolphins, Pats, Seahawks and Steelers are this week's bye teams.
Home teams went 8-6 SU last week but struggled ATS, going 5-9. They have now opened 36-26 SU and 29-32-1 ATS. Home dogs been a strong play so far in 2010 and last week's home dogs went 3-2 SU and ATS (now 14-11 SU on the season, going 16-9 or 64 percent ATS). Home dogs in Week 5 (as of 12 noon ET on Saturday) are the Browns (plus-3 vs the the Falcons), the 'Skins (plus-2 1/2 vs the Packers), the Cards (plus-7) vs the Saints and the Raiders (plus-6 1/2 vs the Chargers). Overs outnumbered unders by two games for the third straight week. After 11 of Week 1's 16 games went under (one push), over bettors have cashed 26 of the last 46 games these past three weeks. The Y-T-D numbers are 30 overs, 31 unders and that one push.
As I mentioned for the first time this year in last week's notes, an age-old axiom says you need to run the ball to win in the NFL and for those who believe in that, the following numbers will support that belief. Teams with the most rushing yards in a game last week went 11-3 SU and 10-4 ATS. Teams which had more rushing attempts in a game were 11-1 SU and 9-3 ATS (two games featured teams with an identical number of attempts). That puts the Y-T-D numbers at 44-18 SU and an equally impressive 41-20-1 ATS. Teams who have run more times in a game own an even higher winning percentage, going 49-10 SU and 44-14-1 ATS (now three games in which both teams had the same amount of rushing attempts). Teams with 100-yard rushers went 6-0 SU and ATS last week and are now 17-6 SU and ATS in those games on the season. Teams with 300-yard passers went 1-4 SU (2-3 ATS) in Week 4 and now are 6-15 SU and 7-14 ATS after going 2-10 SU and 3-9 ATS in Weeks 3 and 4. I'll update these numbers weekly, throughout the remainder of the season.
The biggest game of the week comes on Monday night, when the Vikings with the newly-acquired Randy Moss visit the Meadowlands to take on the Jets. Of course, Brett returns to face the team he led in the first year of his post-Green Bay career (in 2008) and while he needs just one TD pass to reach 500 in his career, he may not be the best QB on the field. Mark Sanchez couldn't have looked worse in 2010's opening MNF game, as the Jets lost 10-9 at home vs the Ravens. Sanchez was a woeful 10-of-21 for 74 yards vs the Ravens, as the Jets converted just 1-of-11 third downs (QB rating of 56.4). However, over his last three games, he's completed 61.0 percent of his passes for an average of 212.3 YPG with eight TDs and not a single interception in 82 attempts. His game QB ratings have been 124.3, 120.5 and 106.4. The Jets are a four-point favorite.