USC lost to Texas, playing into a number of betting trends. (Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Every Monday during football season The Post will examine the top takeaways from a weekend’s worth of betting-related story lines. Below you’ll find a breakdown of the top trends, analysis of unexpected outcomes and an anguished account of the bad beat of the week.
The weekend’s top trends and takeaways
NFL Week 2 breakdown per Covers.com
Favorites: 4-11 ATS
Road favorites: 1-5 ATS
Home favorites: 3-6 ATS
Home teams: 8-7 ATS
Road teams: 7-8 ATS
O/U: 8-7 to the over
NFL year to date, per Covers.com
Favorites: 13-17-1 ATS
Road favorites: 4-6-0 ATS
Home favorites: 9-11-1 ATS
Home teams: 15-15-1 ATS
Road teams: 15-15-1 ATS
O/U: 17-14 to the over
College football Week 2 breakdown per >Covers.com
Favorites 27-36-2 ATS
Road favorites: 7-10-0 ATS
Home favorites: 20-26-2 ATS
Home teams: 31-33-2 ATS
Road teams: 33-31-2 ATS
O/U: 36-29 to the over
College football year to date, per Covers.com
Favorites: 108-117-5 ATS
Road favorites: 23-27-1 ATS
Home favorites: 85-90-4 ATS
Home teams: 114-113-5 ATS
Road teams: 113-114-5 ATS
O/U: 124-105 to the over
NCAA trends that panned out
• Then-No. 22 USC continued its early-season swoon with a 37-14 loss as a three-point underdog to Texas, confirming a number of betting trends. Entering the game, ranked Power 5 teams coming off a loss were just 204-246-11 against the spread the next week (covering at a 45 percent clip). And when that loss was by at least 14 points — as was USC’s 17-3 loss to Stanford in Week 2 — Power 5 teams were just 65-97-2 ATS the next week, covering only 40 percent of the time. Plus, the Trojans fell to 1-10 ATS as an underdog under Coach Clay Helton.
• Last week, we highlighted a few games where scoring could be depressed by windy conditions: Old Dominion at Charlotte (total 47.5), Boston College at Wake Forest (58.5), Georgia Southern at Clemson (50), Troy at Nebraska (55), Miami (Ohio) at Minnesota (46.5) and Washington at Utah (45.5). The latter four of those games stayed under the total.
• UAB improved to 26-10 ATS in its last 36 games as a home underdog, beating Tulane, 31-24, as a 3.5-point home dog. The Blazers also improved to 19-4-1 ATS in their last 24 games following a loss.
• Temple improved to 14-4 ATS in its last 18 games as an underdog with its 35-14 win at Maryland, which was a 15-points favorite.
NCAA trends that didn’t pan out
• Purdue entered Saturday’s game against Missouri just 1-12 ATS in its previous 13 games and 0-8 ATS in its last eight as a home underdog but covered the five-point spread in a 40-37 loss. The Tigers failed to cover the spread for just the third time in their last 12 games.
• Kansas was just 4-14 ATS in its last 18 games as a favorite but easily covered the one-point spread in a 55-14 shellacking of Rutgers.
NFL trends that panned out
• With their 21-9 win over the Redskins as six-point underdogs, the Colts improved to 23-6 ATS following a loss with Andrew Luck as their quarterback (Indy lost to the Bengals in Week 1).
• Under Coach Jason Garrett, the Cowboys are now 73-46 to the first-half under. Dallas and New York combined for 10 first-half points Sunday night, staying under the first-half total of 21.
NFL trends that didn’t pan out
• The Chargers entered Sunday’s game in Buffalo with an 0-6 run to the under in their previous six road contests, but the teams combined for 51 points, easily going over the 41.5 total.
• Garrett entered Sunday night’s game just 14-30 ATS as a home favorite, but Dallas covered the three-point spread in a 20-13 win.
• Since 2005, NFL teams that had scored at least 28 points in Week 1 had gone just 28-52-5 ATS in Week 2, but those teams went 5-3 ATS this season. — Matt Bonesteel
Most improbable win: Indianapolis Colts (8 percent win probability)
The Colts closed as six-point underdogs against the Washington Redskins but looked every bit of the favorite on Sunday, cruising to a 21-9 victory at FedEx Field.
The Colts smoked the Redskins, despite being big underdogs. (Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)
Quarterback Andrew Luck completed seven passes to wideout T.Y Hilton against four different defenders and beat three Washington players — cornerbacks Quinton Dunbar and Josh Norman plus linebacker Mason Foster — with four completions each. Running backs Jordan Wilkins and Marlon Mack, meanwhile, combined for 95 yards on the ground with 61 yards coming after contact. Washington’s rushers, by comparison, mustered 65 yards total.
Score effects limited Washington’s running ability — teams playing from behind typically throw the ball in an effort to catch up quickly — but the Colts entered the season having the fourth-worst run defense per Pro Football Focus, indicating the Redskins should have had more success running the ball than they did on Sunday.
Unfortunately, the Redskins’ passing game wasn’t able to bail them out. Alex Smith completed 33 of 46 passes for 292 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions, a performance which earned him a 36.2 QBR from ESPN. In other words, Washington could be expected to win 36 percent of its games with similar performances to the one Smith turned in on Sunday, which translates to a woeful six-win campaign over a full, 16-game regular season. — Neil Greenberg
Bad beat of the week: New Mexico 42, New Mexico State 25
If you’re going to lay your money down on the Rio Grande Rivalry, it’s best to remember the ominous words uttered by the state’s most famous fictional character: tread lightly.
The Lobos and Aggies played a rollercoaster Saturday, whether you took the over-under or either side of New Mexico giving three points. It would have been a wild ride regardless of which way you bet, but taking under 60.5 total points or wagering on New Mexico State +3 would have been particularly painful.
The Aggies were a horrible tease. New Mexico State took a 14-0 lead less than five minutes into the game, immediately giving their backers a three-score cushion. By halftime, they had thrown three interceptions and trailed, 21-17.
New Mexico seemed to at least put NMSU out of its misery with a touchdown early in the fourth quarter that made it 35-17. But the Aggies answered to make it 35-25, putting them one more touchdown away from a push. NMSU marched 48 yards to the New Mexico 4, where on second down, Josh Adkins became the third Aggies quarterback to throw an interception, tossing one in the end zone.
New Mexico State was not done toying with those who took the points. The Aggies forced a three-and-out and got the ball back on their own 19. They moved the ball across midfield. At this point, the under seemed safe. There were less than 40 seconds left, and the ball was at the 48. You still had a little hope at a push if you had NMSU, and the under seemed like a lock.
And then Adkins rifled another interception, the fifth of the day for NMSU. Rather than falling on it, Marcus Hayes ran it back 60 yards to push the total over the number. The under had lost and the Aggies had failed to cover. A bettor who took either would have been better off burying their money in an oil drum in the middle of the desert. — Adam Kilgore
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