Beating the Spread in the Playoffs

If you're just a fan, it's nice to know how your team did at home and on the road. But if you're a bettor, straight wins and losses don't compare to wins and losses against the spread (ATS in Vegasese.) That's the surest barometer of whether or not you're making a safe play and should be a weighty measure when you're putting together power ratings.

Take this weekend's Ravens-Fins matchup, for example. The Dolphins were 5-3 at home, while the Ravens went 5-3 on the road, making this game the equivalent of Sophie's Choice. Now, let's look at each team's record ATS: The Fins went 2-6 at home. The Ravens went 6-2 on the road. Suddenly you're choosing between a 3G network and a landline, right? No brainer, you go with the Ravens (the bookmakers certainly did.) Thanks to the ATS records Wynn bookmaker John Avello gave me, you can play this game throughout the playoffs.