So, your wagered NFL division winners started the year strong, but now they are just a mediocre 6-4 with the division leaders cruising ahead at 7-3 or even 8-2.
Now, you are panicking given the situation of your team now on a losing streak with seemingly no end in sight. Don’t worry. This could be nothing at all, and your wagered team can easily pick up the slack heading into the latter portion of the season.
Today’s post outlines 5 reasons you shouldn’t panic because of a simple cold streak. Not only do they often happen to almost every NFL team, injury bugs, playing to competition, and other factors come into play here.
Let’s take a closer look.
Your Team Can “Get it Together” in December
The 2018 and 2019 Philadelphia Eagles were notorious for this, climbing back into their division races with a 6-7 and 5-7 start, respectively. And while the 2018 team didn’t win the NFC East, they put themselves in a prime position to do so. The 2019 team ended up winning the division at 9-7.
Which teams are we often talking about here other than the Eagles?
Often, you will see this with cold weather teams with at least 50 percent of their final 8 games at home. This often occurs because when they play teams used to controlled environments and field turf as opposed to swirling winds and natural grass, it gives the cold weather teams an advantage.
Other times, roster and coaching shake ups happen with even the most talented teams in the NFL. And this can cause a team to stagnate for the greater part of the season until late November or even into December. Such moves can take a while for a team to “get it together” during the closing months.
So if your team is off to say, a 6-6 start, and experts projected them to go the distance, don’t panic. If you picked a cold weather team to win the division and they are playing 3 of their final 4 games at home, they may have an advantage.
Or, if they spent half the season on a crash course to learn a new offensive or defensive system, December is often the breakout month.
So sit back, take a breather, and remind yourself that there is still another month to play and factors that occurred earlier in the season can definitely be responsible for such stagnation.
Let’s explore those factors in the final 4 sections.
Injuries May Have Struck Your Team Early
The good old injury bug can strike, and it can leave positional units and entire teams devastated for the greater portion of the season.
So again, if your team is facing a mediocre record, be sure to see who is on IR these days and if the team designates them to return. Losing a quarterback or having a quarterback playing through injury is hard enough.
The good news in NFL betting these days is that if a player lands on IR, their season isn’t over and teams can designate them to return after a number of weeks. So if your team is struggling and they have a few key contributors on IR, don’t panic.
If they can get their key players back fast, you may see a quick turnaround and perhaps even a spotless record come late November or December.
Your Team May Have Hot and Cold Moments
Some teams are just streaky and they may hit a bump in the road between Weeks 7 through 11. They started off the season at 5-2 but here they are, clinging to their division title lives at 6-5 as they enter Week 12 and the final laps of the regular season.
But hey, if your wagered team has a history of doing this with an identical coach/roster, why are you panicking?
I get it. You put $300 bucks on a team with 8-1 odds to win the division back in the preseason and the rest of the division looked weak. But here we are in Week 12, and one of those supposedly weak teams is cruising along at 8-3 and your team struggles to the 6-5 mark.
But why are we panicking?
Perhaps your team has its cold moments during the mid-season mark because of injuries, teams figuring out their game plan, etc. Or, they may have a few teams on their schedule that they have a tough time with.
Only to win the division and a lot more by the season’s conclusion. Speaking of playing to competition, let’s talk about it.
Your Team Plays to its Competition
Some teams just play to their competition. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, handicapping your most talented teams aren’t playing the 1-15 New York Jets in the playoffs. So if your wagered division winner was also your wagered Super Bowl winner, you can still win even if your team didn’t win the division.
But say your team is 8-3 and they are playing in the league’s toughest division. And for some odd reason, the 3 losses on their schedule came against teams they should have beaten. Even if they had beaten the league’s better teams in 4 of their 8 wins and won out on their evenly matched games in the other 4.
It should be a good sign if 4 of your team’s final 5 games are coming against teams who have winning records and are playoff contenders. Better yet, they play these teams better than those division rivals who are also sitting at 8-3 or 7-4, respectively.
Perhaps those two teams are beating teams they should beat but are struggling against top-tier competition. In that case, your team has them right where they should want them, knowing the other 8-3 and 7-4 teams will probably crack under pressure. Perhaps finishing 2-3 and 3-2 in the last 5 games.
Watch how well your team plays specific levels of competition. If they play down to their competition and they have a supposedly tough slate of games ahead, consider it a good sign.
Or, if they struggle against top-tier competition but 3 of their final 5 games are coming against teams they should beat and they beat such teams all the time, it is also a good sign.
So stop panicking.
Your Team is Discovering What Doesn’t Work for Them
This often comes with talented football teams capable of beating anyone in the NFL, but perhaps they have a few new players, a few new coaches, or an entirely new coaching staff.
And they just spent three-quarters of the season discovering what does and doesn’t work for them. Come December, your projected division champions sit at 7-5 and are two games behind the 9-3 leaders. However, now your wagered division winners know how to win.
And perhaps they’re playing that 9-3 squad in Weeks 14 and 17, since the NFL loves backending divisional games anymore. It is highly likely that the Week 17 game will decide who wins the division if both teams boast the same records come crunch time.
If this sounds like your team, remind yourself this is just part of the process. It is something teams have to go through. While they likely won’t win the division, the 2020 Minnesota Vikings look like they are about to make a run as I write this article.
After starting the season at 1-5, the Vikings saw a few new faces on the roster, plus a new offensive coordinator. And the otherwise talented team struggled before finally appearing to righten their ship.
The team discovered things that didn’t work, like leaving their new corners on islands and trusting quarterback Kirk Cousins too much in the passing game.
But once they went old school and centered the offense around Dalvin Cook and stacked the box to help the inexperienced corners, the Vikings started winning games. Now they’re in the thick of the playoff race as of Week 11 of the 2020 season.
And the Vikings were a team many thought would win the NFC North in 2020.
While sports betting mistakes is always a heartbreaking affair, there is usually no need to panic if your wagered division winner looks down and out as the final laps of the season take fold.
Teams need to find their identity. And injury bugs plus dysfunction earlier in the season never helps matters. Other teams may just naturally land on hot and cold streaks, while others get hot late in the season.
So study your team’s recent history, keep tabs on their roster, and see if they are shifting their game plan before calling your bet a waste.