Jody Smith recaps the NFL’s Best Road Teams ATS for 2020. NFL Data against the spread reveals which clubs helped football bettors the most away from home.
There’s no denying that in American sports betting, the NFL is king. Just as fantasy football and NFL DFS have become mainstream entities, the burgeoning legalized sports betting industry is not only expanding annually but readily embraced by media everywhere.
Every year, more states allow their citizens to place bets on their favorite football games, and it is becoming much easier for those fanatics to wager.
- How will 2020’s best road teams against the spread perform in 2021? Come along for the NFL preseason ride with us and follow our 2021 NFL betting picks.
While there are myriad ways to approach this, the traditional against-the-spread bet remains the most popular approach for most fans.
Whether you’re new to betting the spread or a seasoned veteran, knowing which teams fared well against the number on the road can put you in a better position to make a successful wager.
Let’s take a look at some of the best road teams against the spread from 2020 and see what kind of impact that might have on 2021.
Best Road Teams ATS 2020: NFL Data Against The Spread
|Rk||Team||Record||ATS Road||ATS +/-|
|2||New York Giants||6-10||6-2||3.5|
|4||San Francisco 49ers||6-10||5-3||7.7|
|6||New Orleans Saints||12-4||5-3||5.9|
|7||Los Angeles Chargers||7-9||5-3||0.7|
|8||Green Bay Packers||13-3||5-3||2.9|
|12||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||11-5||6-5||6.6|
|15||Las Vegas Raiders||8-8||4-4||-2.6|
|16||Los Angeles Rams||10-6||5-5||1.8|
|24||Kansas City Chiefs||14-2||4-5||0.6|
|25||Washington Football Team||7-9||3-4||3.6|
|29||New York Jets||2-14||2-6||-5.9|
|30||New England Patriots||7-9||2-6||-0.1|
Carolina Panthers (7-1 ATS on the road)
The rebuilding Panthers were the best ATS team in the league in away games in 2020, compiling an impressive 7-1 record against the number. Matt Rhule’s club only won five games total but was a tough out, including losses by three or fewer points at New Orleans, Kansas City, and Minnesota.
Only two teams, the Buccaneers and Saints, beat the Panthers by more than 10 points last season. While Carolina has a lot of intriguing young players on their defense, the arrival of Sam Darnold under center makes this team hard to peg in 2021.
Should the Panthers remain a tough visitor, keep an eye on two trips to Texas and a second-half schedule that almost entirely avoids any potential foul weather, except for a late-December trip to Buffalo that looks like an easy fade.
New York Giants (6-2)
The Giants started off losing seven of their first 10 games but were a tough opponent for home teams. New York went 3-5 on the road, but all but one of their eight away games was a one-possession game.
Overall, the G-men have actually been pretty good versus the number as a visitor. In addition to winning 6-of-8 a year ago, New York was 5-3 ATS on the road in 2019 and a league-best 7-1 in 2018.
With six or seven potential road trips as an underdog on the slate for 2021, the Giants should score another positive return on investment if they can continue their competitive ways, especially if the offense can take a major step forward with RB Saquon Barkley healthy and a potentially improving Daniel Jones at quarterback.
Indianapolis Colts (6-3)
While the Colts were a solid 6-3 against the spread on the road, they actually led the NFL, going 7-2 on OVERs as a visitor. Seven of those nine opponents scored 20-plus points on the Colts’ solid defense.
Indy should once again be a tough out on the road in 2021. In addition to appealing trips to Houston and Jacksonville, the Colts have several flights to take on teams that are expected to be playoff contenders including a three-game stint at Tennessee, Miami, and Baltimore, plus trips to San Francisco, Buffalo, and Arizona that all have the potential to be small numbers for bettors to exploit.
And a potential winner to keep in mind for Week 3: Dating back to 2012, the Colts have won 8-of-9 games in Tennessee straight up.
Denver Broncos (5-3)
Denver’s relative success covering on the road last season was likely due to a favorable schedule. After dropping their first away game of the season at Pittsburgh, the Broncos next seven hosts had a combined 42-55 record that looks much easier when you take away Kansas City’s 14-2 finish.
Teddy Bridgewater should help stabilize Denver’s offense at quarterback, and the Broncos face the league’s fifth-easiest schedule in 2021. (And obviously, a possible Aaron Rodgers acquisition would elevate this squad significantly.)
In all, Denver’s opponents managed a lackluster 127-143-2 record last season. Additionally, two cross-country road trips to open the 2021 campaign in New York and Jacksonville offer a pair of winnable games.
Green Bay Packers (5-3)
The Packers were most inhospitable guests last season, racking up 31-plus points in seven of their eight away games and covering 5-of-8.
However, the developing situation with QB Aaron Rodgers makes Green Bay a risky proposition in 2021.
Assuming Rodgers and the club are able to mend fences, the Packers will have plenty of opportunities to test that solid 2020 road record. Green Bay opens the ‘21 campaign with September jaunts to New Orleans and San Francisco and has western trips to Arizona, Kansas City, and Baltimore as the season progresses.
This looks like a fade, at least until we know more about what we can expect from Green Bay’s offense.
Los Angeles Chargers (5-3)
Of all the teams that went 5-3 versus the number on the road last season, only Pittsburgh won those games by fewer points than LA’s +0.7 average. Overall, the Chargers only won three games outright on the road, against the hapless Jaguars, Jets, and a meaningless Week 17 contest in Kansas City by 17 points.
Unfortunately, the Chargers haven’t had much fan support at home either, particularly their first season at SoFi Stadium which occurred entirely behind closed doors. They’ll break in their fans in 2021 with three primetime home games while also contending with three east-coast road trips, which all occur in September and October.
New Orleans Saints (5-3)
Generally one of the best home teams in the league, the Saints have been outstanding against the spread as a visitor. From 2018-2019, New Orleans compiled a league-best 13-3 record ATS away from the Superdome.
After losing their first road game by 10 in Las Vegas, the Saints won five consecutive away games outright, including a 38-3 destruction of the Bucs. However, the ushering in of a new era without Drew Brees complicates the 2021 outlook for New Orleans.
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3)
The Steelers always travel well and traditionally draw enough terrible towel-waving fans to turn visiting stadiums into pseudo-home games.
In fact, Pittsburgh has been .500 or better against the spread as a visitor in each of the past seven NFL seasons.
That kind of consistency makes Pittsburgh a smart pick, particularly if they’re road underdogs. With trips to Buffalo, Green Bay, Cleveland, Minnesota, Kansas City, and Baltimore on the 2021 schedule, the Steelers look primed to reward their backers this season.
However, Pittsburgh’s 17 opponents on the 2021 slate had a combined .574 winning percentage in 2020, so proceed with caution.
San Francisco 49ers (5-3)
2020 was a disappointing season for the 49ers, who followed up a Super Bowl appearance with a 6-10, last-place finish in the NFC West. But five of those six wins came on the road and the Niners managed to win consecutive games in New York and even won in Gillette Stadium.
Only one of San Francisco’s road defeats was by more than 10 points. The 49ers +7.7 average points to cover those spreads was the highest in the NFL. Many future sportsbooks have the 49ers as +180 favorites to regain the NFC West title in 2021, so expect them to be a good pick away from Levi’s Stadium.
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