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We’ve seen Super Bowl champs tumble in their post-championship season, of course, but perhaps nothing like the Los Angeles Rams are enduring in 2022.
And as there always is, it seems, there is a betting angle to the Rams’ demise as well, as the injury-riddled champs have gone from perennial favourites to heavy underdogs.
As the Canadian national soccer teams head to their respective FIFA World Cups, Derek Van Diest is on the scene to cover all the action. Expect expert insights and analysis in your inbox daily throughout the tournaments, and weekly on Thursdays for the rest of the season.
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When the Kansas City Chiefs closed as 16-point home favourites on Sunday (thanks to the Rams’ poor form and those injury issues) it was the first time that a reigning Super Bowl champion has ever been an underdog of 14 points or more.
Other than some stout red zone defence from the Rams, this one was no contest, but that didn’t mean an easy cover for Chiefs backers. No, nothing it seems is simple when trying to cash a wager in the NFL these days.
If you grabbed the line earlier in the week when the Chiefs were favoured by two touchdowns and change, you got the money. But if you waited until Sunday — and especially after it jumped from 15.5 points to 16 — you needed that late Chiefs field goal for the push in what was a 26-10 final, but a game in which the Rams never threatened.
And as a potential nugget to tuck away for February: The Chiefs are 10-5 against the spread (if you score Sunday as a win) against NFC opponents.
- Is it just me, or does it seem there have never been as many bad beat (or miracle cover) situations as there have been in recent weeks? There were a half dozen of those in Week 12, including one of the toughest of beats on Thanksgiving Day when the Cowboys defeated the Giants 28-20 but missed covering the 9.5 points. It fizzled away with multiple remarkable developments in the final two minutes — not eating up more clock with a 28-13 lead, missing a field goal inside the two-minute warning, and then allowing a meaningless (to non-investors) Giants touchdown in the final minute. Honourable mention in the Bad Beat lowlight reel this week: Bettors who were on the Ravens, Falcons and Bucs.
- There are teams that are dangerous as underdogs and then there are some who are duds. Count the Bears in the latter grouping. The Bears, who were destroyed 31-10 by the Jets on Sunday, are now on a 7-16 “run” against the spreads as underdogs.
- More point spread history! With the Eagles home favourites to the struggling Packers for the Sunday nighter, according to Caesar’s they are just the third team to be favoured by three or more points in each of their first 11 games in the past decade. The others: The 2017 Patriots (who fit that criteria in 13 games) and the 2019 Patriots (who were favoured by a field goal or more in all 16 contests.)