Division rivals should never play neutral site games, but when the NFL makes games in London a priority that's what happens.
We all know Sunday's showdown between the Jaguars and Texans really should be taking place in Jacksonville, but for reasons we don't care to list right now the game will instead kickoff across the pond. And we mention this game specifically because the good folks over at The Action Network did some excellent digging and researching to unearth a potential advantage for your Week 9 betting pleasure that we wanted to make sure you were aware of:
Since the NFL International Series started in 2007, the London favorites are 18-9 against the spread, good for a 30.7 percent return on investment. And regular-season favorites on a neutral field are 27-12-2 ATS (33.6 percent ROI).
The Texans, the better team, have data to back up a play on them this week. Currently, Houston's receiving roughly 63 percent of the money waggered on the game while only receiving 59 percent of the bets. That means there's value on the Texans right now. Add in the scintilatting stat above about favorites in London and only an idiot (or a Jacksonville fan) ((or both)) would advocate a play on the Jaguars.
Ravens (+3.5) vs. Patriots
The road team has recently done well in this series (6-1-1 ATS in the last eight meetings), but I'm rolling with Baltimore here because the Patriots are due for a close game after facing nothing but trash (except for the Bills) through the season's first half and for the fact that 68 percent of the bets are coming in on the Patriots right now. When the public's feeling one side of a wager that means you gotta go the other way.
Texans (-1) at Jaguars
Road teams are cleaning up this season to the tune of covering the spread at a 62.1 percent clip (72-44-2). This technically qualifies as a road game for the Texans, even though it's really a neutral site game. And after highlighting that glorious research above, how could I not take Houston?
Dolphins (+3) vs. Jets
The Jets are in turmoil right now with what feels like half the roster either battling an injury or already ruled out for this weekend. The cupboard is alarmingly bare for Gang Green and if the Dolphins are going to get one this feels like the spot. Plus, the Jets are just 1-4-1 ATS in their last six meetings with the Dolphins.
Colts (-1) at Steelers
This Colts team continues to impress and I expect them to win pretty handily vs. the Steelers on Sunday. Pittsburgh is coming off a short week and didn't exactly look great against the hopeless Dolphins on Monday night.
Jaguars +1.5 vs. Texans
Gardner Minshew mania isn't going anywhere. I think they take care of business in London on Sunday.
Browns -3 at Broncos
CALL ME A HOMER OR WHATEVER, but folks, this is FREE MONEY. The Broncos are starting someone at QB named Brandon Allen. Enough said.