Is the Patriots' spread getting too big?

Yahoo Sports

Yahoo is partnering with The Action Network during the football season to bring you expert sports betting information and analysis.

The New England Patriots are massive 19-point favorites for their NFL Week 2 matchup with the Miami Dolphins.

According to our Bet Labs data, that would tie the largest road favorite we’ve ever tracked, from a 2007 contest between the Patriots (minus-19) and Baltimore Ravens.

But the key question now surrounds whether bettors should consider playing this historic spread, or whether this massive number should be passed on.

We dug into The Action Network’s suite of betting tools, like winning betting systems, profitable trends and Sean Koerner’s NFL power ratings, to find out.

Odds above as of Wednesday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can exclusively bet all Week 2 NFL spreads at reduced juice (-105).

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick talk at practice on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick talk at practice on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Contrarian Betting Strategy

The number has climbed, and climbed fast, since opening with bettors piling on the Patriots despite the historically high point spread.

This one-sided action has created contrarian value on the Dolphins. Since 2003, NFL teams getting at least 70 percent of spread bets are just 59-97-4 (37.8 percent) against the spread in Weeks 2 and 3, according to Bet Labs.

Eighty-one percent of bets have landed on the Pats at the time of writing.

Casual bettors vastly overvalue Week 1 results, and the flood of money to take the previous week’s best teams forces oddsmakers to shade and move lines accordingly, providing free line value for contrarian bettors willing to buy back the underdogs.

Refuse to Overreact

Miami got trucked by Baltimore, while New England smoked Pittsburgh in a standalone game on Sunday Night Football, so of course bettors don’t want any part of the Dolphins this week.

However, teams off losses of at least 20 points are 420-354-18 (54.3 percent) against the spread since 2003 in the following game.

Underdogs who lost are even better, checking in at 55.4 percent ATS over that same span.

And dogs of three or more points who lost, like the Dolphins, are 256-192-10 (57.1 percent) ATS in the following game.

Power Ratings

While the first two angles pointing toward the Dolphins are based on historic betting data and situations, The Action Network’s NFL power ratings projects Sunday’s Patriots vs. Dolphins line at Miami at 15.5, meaning there’s plenty of value at the current number of 19.

These three angles don’t mean Miami is a lock to cover and the Patriots could very well blow out the Dolphins in Week 2. But if you’re able to take emotion out of the equation, the underlying data suggests the ugly play is the right play in this scenario.

More from Yahoo Sports:

What to Read Next