The Trench Counter attempts to determine which teams win the battle at the line of scrimmage and isolate flukish plays. With seven weeks of data in the books, the Trench Counter can identify teams that are overrated or underrated relative to their record and the perception of oddsmakers in Vegas.
Here are three games that are vulnerable for bettors based on the Trench Counter.
Dallas Cowboys (-3.03) at New York Giants (-3.43), Giants -2.5: In a matchup of two bottom dwellers in the rankings, the 26th ranked Cowboys travel to play the 28th ranked Giants. While New York has a positive Trench Counter in four straight victories, the quarterbacks they’ve faced – Scott Tolzien, Matt Barkley, Josh Freeman and an injured Terrelle Pryor – say it all. Dallas on the other hand had a week off to think about the worst Trench Counter performance of the year, as they posted a -28.40 in New Orleans. Before that game, they were a middle of the pack team and go back to playing that way. Average is good enough for the Cowboys to cover the spread in New Jersey.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.56) at Detroit Lions (-1.07), Lions -9.5: Last week’s game against Pittsburgh epitomized Detroit’s season struggles; the Lions cannot give consistent efforts week to week. Not surprisingly over the last four games as identified by the Trench Counter, the Lions have played both up and down to the level of their competition. This week will be no different, especially with Tampa Bay coming to town. Despite being 29th in the year to date TC rankings, the Buccaneers are playing better as of late; they've been a top 10 team the past three weeks. Both trends continue this week and the Bucs cover.
New York Jets (-1.85) at Baltimore Ravens (-1.82), Ravens -4.5: The Jets are consistently inconsistent. Not only are they the only team in NFL history to alternate wins and losses in their first 10 games, but they’ve also done so in the Trench Counter. Incredibly, New York is averaging a 17.43 TC rating difference between each game played, showing the historical trend is not based on luck. To put that in perspective, it is similar to playing like the Jaguars one week and the Saints the next. However, the Jets aren’t going to cover the spread just because they lost last week. Both teams are in the bottom third of the Trench Counter, but the Ravens have not posted a positive Trench Counter since beating the Dolphins in Week 5. Baltimore continues being a below average team, and the Jets continue their bounce back streak by covering the spread.