If Thursday night’s dramatic conclusion of the classic NFC West battle between the Rams and Seahawks is any indication of what’s to come for sports bettors this weekend, then strap in for what will be a wild ride. I mean, It’s not too often that we see a 1.5-point favorite cover the spread but lose the game:

If you had the Rams, I hope you grabbed the points. If you didn’t, don’t sweat it because I have some good news. It’s OCTOBER, my friends, and thus there will be plenty of opportunities to rebound this weekend with a robust slate of playoff baseball, college football, and NFL Week 5 action.

Pinch me.

It’s also a big week for the legal sports betting market as things continue to hum locally in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and now the Hoosier State has joined the fray with online sports betting in Indiana officially going live earlier this week.

With so many games to bet on at our disposal, let’s survey the action to see if we can find some winners to get things rolling in the right direction this month.

Before we do, know that’s it not just about which games you bet, it’s also about where you bet. If you’re in New Jersey, DraftKings Sportsbook has been killing it with promos lately and also offers a $200 first-bet match, so be sure to take advantage of that deal.

Now, let’s get into it.


Bowling Green at Notre Dame (-46, O/U 62.5)

  • Bowling Green is a brutal football team, so let's establish that right off the bat. There's a reason why the Fighting Irish are currently a substantial 46-point favorite in this game, which, by the way, is the most they've been favored by in at least the last 15 years. Despite the Falcons' ineptitude, there's actually quite a bit to like about them against the spread in this one:
  • Notre Dame is only 1-3 ATS at home when favored by 30+ points and 4-7 ATS when favored by 25+ points under head coach Brian Kelly.
  • Notre Dame is only 1-5 ATS when favored by 7+ points after a win and cover under Kelly.
  • Since 2005, home or neutral site teams that are favored between 45-50 points are only 38-57 ATS.
  • Since 2005, home or neutral site teams favored between 45-50 points are 6-12 ATS when they're coming off a win and playing their second straight home game.
  • Top 10 teams favored by 45+ points after a win and cover in their previous game (Notre Dame won and covered last week against Virginia) are 2-10 ATS and 5-15 ATS when favored by 40+ points.
  • Road underdogs that lost by 40+ points in their previous game (Bowling Green lost to Kent State by 42 points) and are an underdog of at least 45 points in their following game are 11-5 ATS.

In terms of the total, when a Top 10 home team is favored by 44-47 points, the over is 14-6-1.

The Pick: Nobody ever wants to grab a 1-3 team that has already lost two games by 40+ points only four games into the season, but the trends actually do favor teams in this spot. Give me the Falcons.


Jets at Eagles (-14.5, O/U 43.5)

It will officially be Luke Falk at quarterback for the Jets on Sunday. Maybe that's why this spread has jumped from 13.5 up over the two touchdown mark to 14.5 as of late Friday afternoon.

The Eagles look like a good bet to win given that NFL teams favored by 10+ points are 68-10 since the start of the 2017 season. Still, the Eagles are only 3-3 straight up when favored by at least 13.5 points dating back to the 2004 season.

Some pro-Eagles trends to know:

  • The Eagles are 9-2 ATS at home when covering their previous game under Doug Pederson.
  • Teams favored by 13-15 points after a road game are 15-8 ATS in out of conference games.
  • The Eagles are 9-4 ATS at home off a win and 8-3 ATS off a win as a favorite under Pederson.

It's true that home teams coming off a cover in their previous game that are favored by 13-15 are only 6-11 ATS over the past 15 seasons, but...

The Pick: I don't care. This spread could hit 16 and I'd still be on it. Give me the Eagles, laying the points, to win in a rout.

Colts at Chiefs (-10.5, O/U 55.5)

The Colts are looking for revenge in this rematch of their 2018 AFC Divisional Round loss to the Chiefs last season. For Indy, a lot has changed since that contest with Andrew Luck now retired. It's been a little bit of an uneven start for a Colts squad that enters at 2-2 after a bad loss last week at home to the Raiders. As for the Chiefs, well, they look unstoppable--at the least on the offensive side of the football:

  • 33.8 points per game (t-1st)
  • 7.4 yards per play (1st)
  • 3 sacks allowed (t-1st)
  • 478.4 yards per game (2nd)
  • 26 first downs per game (2nd)

The Colts are well-coached and typically a feisty underdog, but let's face it--does anybody really want to bet on them? I don't, and I've compiled some good data that supports a play on the Chiefs:

  • Undefeated home favorites of 11+ points that are returning home off of a road win are 22-10-1 ATS overall and 18-11 ATS when favored between 10-13 points.
  • Road underdogs of 10+ points that lost their previous game as a favorite are 25-41-2 ATS overall and 18-32-2 ATS in conference games.
  • Road underdogs of 11+ that lost their previous game as a favorite are 12-23 ATS overall and 10-21 ATS when an underdog of between exactly 11-14 points. They're also 1-6 ATS dating back to the start of the 2016 season.
  • Road underdogs of 11+ points that lost their previous game as a favorite are 2-5 ATS in primetime games dating back to the 2005 season.

The Pick: Obviously, 10.5 points is a lot, but the Chiefs sputtered a bit a week ago, and I think they possess the firepower to pull away from an Indianapolis team that has struggled to get out of its own way at times in the early going.

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