Sports

Bears, Texans are favorites among underdog bets


Bear with me.

Bear with me.
Image: Getty Images

After a Week 1 that saw bettors nail their underdog pick of the week — Chicago over San Francisco — gamblers are riding the hot hand and rolling with Da Bears once again in Week 2 to take down their “owner” Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. However, this time the Bears aren’t alone, they’ve got company: The Houston Texans.

According to OddsChecker US, over the last week, the Bears and Texans have each received two-thirds (66.7 percent) of moneyline votes for their games against the Packers and Broncos, respectively. I can understand where bettors are coming from. The Broncos offense didn’t look nearly as explosive as we thought it would in Week 1. Russell Wilson looked downright inadequate at times against his former team as he was mostly out-dueled by Geno Smith. That said, the Broncos were a pair of goal-line fumbles away from walking away with the victory. Meanwhile, Davis Mills looked competent in Houston’s Week 1 tie against a Colts squad that was supposed to crush Houston under the heel of their boots. As for the Bears, despite abhorrent weather, Justin Fields looked like a strong leader, marching down the field for two second-half touchdown drives, while the Packers looked as sloppy as a wet slice of bread that had been dropped on the floor and left there for two minutes.

While I would normally say that these bets are ridiculous, I can’t help but cheer the underdog bettors based on what happened last weekend. Sure, Rodgers always sucks in Week 1, but who is to say he won’t be bad two weeks in a row without Davante Adams? The Bears have done it before after all. The last time they managed to win a game as double-digit underdogs was 2013, a Week 9 against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. But Rodgers got hurt late in the first half of that game and had to be replaced by Seneca Wallace. They say history repeats itself, and by golly, there’s a lot of history lining up for this matchup with Green Bay.

What bugs me most about these bets isn’t even anything matchup-related or stats-related. It’s tendencies. There’s a saying in sports that pretty much states, “the best time for a huge loss is right after an emotional win.” Both the Bears and Texans are coming off hugely emotional victories (a tie isn’t a win, but the fact that Houston forced a tie against a divisional opponent is a big moment in and of itself), and thus are due for huge letdowns in Week 2. The opposite of that idiom is also true. The best time for a big win is right after a humiliating defeat. I don’t think any two teams were more embarrassed with their Week 1 performances than the Packers and Broncos. Wilson lost to his former team in front of his former fans with a far superior supporting cast. A-A-Ron played a divisional foe and got laughed out of Minnesota with his tail tucked between his legs. Both quarterbacks are going to be out for blood in Week 2.

Furthermore, both Wilson and Rodgers were on the road in Week 1, but will be at home in Week 2. Over their careers, both quarterbacks have been much better at home than on the road. You could argue that Wilson was sort of “at home” in Week 1, but even I’d consider that a stretch. I would never advise anyone to outright bet in favor of a double-digit underdog on the road, but given the potentially huge payout both teams would provide, I won’t blame anyone for trying to chase that payday. That said, both the Packers and Broncos should walk away with rather easy victories. If they don’t, it’s time to start getting worried about both squads.



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