Trends to Watch - September
August 30, 2018
By Marc Lawrence


HOME TEAMS

Keep an eye on (Good): Off another sensational NFL Preseason Baltimore is an excellent home team this month at 30-17 ATS and have Buffalo (9/9) and Denver two weeks in the land of crab cakes.

You might think Buffalo's best home month is December, but it's not. They are strong in September at 34-22 ATS but only have one homer, against the L.A. Chargers on Sept. 16th.

Detroit is a solid 30-19 ATS in the Motor City and has the Jets on the first Monday Night game of the season and Dallas on the third Sunday of the month (9/23). San Francisco is thought to be revitalized this season and is 28-17 ATS this month in their building, but they have a nasty opening slate and just the Lions (9/16) at home early.

Keep an eye on (Bad): Arizona has three games in Glendale to start the season with the Redskins (9/9), Bears (9/23) and Seahawks (9/30) and we will find out right away if the oddsmaker 5.5 win total is correct.

Carolina will be tested right off the bat with it's poor 16-24 home spread record, with Dallas there on Week 1 and Cincinnati in Week 3. Speaking of the Bengals, the days of "The Jungle" are long gone with a 17-29 ATS record. And it might not improve with Baltimore in Cincy for the second Thursday night affair.

After playing in Arizona in their season lid-lifter, Washington hosts Indianapolis and Green Bay the next weeks trying to better 18-31 ATS home mark.

AWAY TEAMS

Keep an eye on (Good): For the first three months of the season, Dallas is an exceptional away club and that starts with a 33-18 ATS mark in September. Given their past, going to Carolina (9/9) or Seattle two weeks later would not imposing for the Cowboys.

Denver is none too shabby either at 28-18 ATS and they get tested only once, at Baltimore on the 23rd. Fellow AFC West partner Kansas City also fits this quality profile at 34-19 ATS. One concern for the Chiefs starting the season is at the Chargers and at the Steelers for first-time starter Patrick Mahomes.

Bad: It's been a while since the Rams were this good after last season. They are a horrific 16-32 ATS in the road whites and they play the late game in Oakland on MNF, before a three-game homestand.

Keep an eye on (Bad): New coach, new system, but same old results for Chicago away from the Windy City? The Bears are 19-29 ATS on the road and go to the not so frozen tundra at Lambeau Field on the 9th and to the red-hot Arizona desert on the 23rd.

As good as Detroit is at home, that's basically home bad they are on the road at 19-31 ATS. At San Fran on a short week in Week 2 won't be easy and likely or will a trip to Big D on the 30th.

Most years, Pittsburgh labors early and is an unsightly 17-31 ATS on the road. They are often not covering as away favorites and let's see how they do in that role at Cleveland in Week 1 and on the third week of MNF at Tampa Bay.

FAVORITES

Keep an eye on (Good): Seattle is 31-20 ATS, but they are in transition. There is a chance they might not be a favorite all month, but chances are they will be at least once against @Chicago (9/17), Dallas (9/23) and @Arizona (9/30).

Bad: For years, the Rams, no matter where they were from, they were a brutal favorite. Their record of 12-30 ATS record explains that, but things could be changing. This L.A. bunch has the young loaded roster and is expected to be favored in all four of their games this month. Nonetheless, paying attention to history still matters.

Keep an eye on (Bad): Sportsbooks are calling for Arizona to be last in their division, but because of three home games this month, they will be favored at least twice. That might not be good since the Cardinals are only 11-20 ATS, facing Washington (9/9) and Chicago (9/23)

At 12-23 ATS when handing out points, Carolina is not a pretty play. The Panthers will give points to Dallas in Week 1 and Cincinnati in Week 3, both at home.

Chicago has a similar record to Carolina at 14-23 ATS and will catch Tampa Bay in Week 4 as a fave. Da Bears might be a very small favorite in Week 2 in the Windy City against Seattle, but the prior week's results will determine that.

UNDERDOGS

Good: Dallas has been a sharp 27-11 ATS in this role they will be around a three-point pooch at Carolina to start the season. The early line had the Cowboys catching points in Seattle (9/23) but that could change.

Keep an eye on (Good): Kansas City is a nice 29-18 ATS as a September dog and as we start the month, they are receiving digits in two away games at the Chargers (9/9), and Pittsburgh (9/16).

The Vikings ship also travels well as underdogs at 27-18 ATS and they will be in Green Bay (9/16) and at the Rams on the last Thursday of the month.

DIVISION

Keep an eye on (Good): The Chiefs have been well prepared for AFC West action to begin the season with a 24-13 ATS mark. Good chance to improve in Game 1 against the Bolts in L.A.

Bad: It's Gruden 2.0 in Oakland and at 11-22 ATS versus division competitors, Week 2 at Denver might not be good.

Keep an eye on (Bad): Chicago is 18-27 ATS this month in the NFC North and it could get worse with a trip to Green Bay on Sunday Night football.