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Streaking Football Teams

Through the first six weeks of the 2007 NFL season, the New England Patriots are a perfect 6-0 against the point spread. On the other side of the equation, the Denver Broncos are 0-5 against the line.
Looking at totals, the Cleveland Browns have seen all six of their games go over the total, while Tennessee and Washington have each played five games and all five have gone under the posted total.

The question becomes, how much, if any, consideration should a bettor give these streaks when looking at the upcoming games? The short answer is not much.

Using NFL records from 2002 through 2006, bettors will find that six-game winning or losing streaks are nothing new. In fact, in the past five years there have been several streaks that reached 10 or more consecutive decisions.

In 2004, the San Diego Chargers ran off a streak of 12 consecutive point spread wins, although a push was in the middle of that streak. The longest straight winning streak without a push would be the 9-0 run of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2003. Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers dropped 10 consecutive games against the point spread in 2002.

In over/under streaks, the New Orleans Saints ran off nine consecutive overs to begin the 2002 season, while the Buffalo Bills saw 11 straight games go under the total in 2003.

The Patriots and Broncos may be getting plenty of attention by football bettors at the moment, but history tells us that their streaks are nothing usual. Betting against the Patriots on the assumption that they’re due to lose or betting on Denver because the team is due to win, doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Granted, it’s extremely unlikely New England will cover every game this season, as no team has covered more than 13 games in a season, but when the Patriots fail to cover the point spread it will be because they didn’t play to their abilities, not because they were due to lose.

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