Week 7 may have been an inflection point, as the trend we’ve been looking into waned. The home teams with their fans went 0-5-1 ATS, while home teams without their fans were 5-3 ATS.
So, is that it? Do we raise the alarms? Or was Week 7 just a blip in what has been an interesting difference in coverage rates?
Takeaways after a cold Week 7
I’d be lying if I wasn’t a little discouraged by the regression to the mean that unfolded this past Sunday. I can double up on that discouragement as the guinea pig for any and all that have been following, taking more losses in the betting department than I’ve grown accustomed to.
Stripping numbers aside for a moment, the reason I was drawn to this study in the first place was the emotional juice I associate fans at the games with. As a fan myself, being at my team’s stadium, screaming my head off with the rest of them as we try to force a third-down stop on defense, it’s an exhilarating feeling.
Rooted in my belief that my screams do get that stop is why this study is so interesting to me, and it’s why I can’t give up on it just yet. Fans make a difference.
As always, a look at the teams who get to play in front of their faithful:
Home Teams With Fans
|Cleveland||1-0||First time with fans Week 5|
|Dallas||0-3||25% capacity every game|
|Jacksonville||1-2||25% capacity in every game|
|Tampa Bay||2-1||25% capacity|
|Baltimore||N/A||4,300 fans Week 8|
*I will keep the above updated throughout this year, and add more teams as states continue navigating health concerns with reopening efforts.
Seven weeks in, let’s take a look at the numbers.
- Home teams with fans: 50% covering, 18-17-1 ATS
- Home teams without fans: 41% covering, 28-41 ATS
These numbers are getting closer for the first time, an obvious occurrence after no covers from teams with fans.
Alas, we continue on! Let’s take a look at the entire Week 8 slate, both for teams with fans and those without.
Week 8 Games with Fans
Falcons at Panthers (-2.5)
Steelers at Ravens (-4)
Jets at Chiefs (-19.5)
Titans at Bengals (+6)
Rams at Dolphins (+4)
Raiders at Browns (-2.5)
Chargers at Broncos (+3.5)
Cowboys at Eagles (-7.5)
With Baltimore getting fans for the first time this coming week, we’ve officially reached over half of the league with fans.
Of the above, my favorites for the weekend are Carolina -2.5, Miami +4, Cleveland -2.5 and Philly -7.5.
The Falcons have been one of the saddest teams I can remember this year and are fresh off another demoralizing collapse. I like Bridgewater to get the ball to his weapons against this suspect pass-defense.
I’m excited to see the Tua era officially begin in Miami. Feel bad for Fitz, as he was rolling, but overall this Dolphins team is feisty, and I’m just not bought into the Rams as for real, even after the beatdown they handed the Bears.
Cleveland has been in their share of crazy games this year, and even without Odell, I think they have the advantage in this one, as a strong running team going against a weak Vegas rush defense.
Officially fading the Cowboys (0-7 ATS) into oblivion. They look awful. The defense is awful. The coaching is awful. Zeke is awful. Their o-line is in shambles. They’re probably starting their third-string QB. Add it all up and I’m ready for my Eagles to have their first blowout win of the year.
Week 8 Games Without Fans
Colts (-3) at Lions
Patriots (+3.5) at Bills
Vikings (+6.5) at Packers
Saints (-4) at Bears
49ers (+3) at Seahawks
Bucs (-10.5) at Giants
This is still feeling like the bigger trend to keep an eye on, as the absence of fans is just as impactful as their presence (perhaps moreso).
As I take in the above board, I’m drawn to a few games in particular. Colts -3, Patriots +3.5, Bucs -10.5. I keep betting against the Lions and losing but I can’t stop. I may have a problem.
The Patriots have looked horrendous in their last two games, but I just feel like Bill won’t let his team give up a third-straight awful loss (Chiefs game was at least close). The Bills (not Belichick’s Bill-club, the ones from Buffalo) have looked flat as of late. I think they’re the better team, but I’ll take the 3.5-points here.
The Bucs are rolling and while Brady will get the credit, it’s the defense driving this 5-2 start. The Giants still don’t have much to threaten you on the offensive side of the ball, so I’ll take a Bucs big win here. I do like the under in this one, as the Giants defense is sneakily competent.
That will wrap up the weekly look around the league with and without fans. For more content, please follow me on Twitter @griffybets. Until next time.