For much of the new millennium, the New England Patriots have been the best team at covering the spread in the NFL.
But one team has put an end to all that.
Since 2003 (three years after Bill Belichick became head coach of the Pats), New England has been an astounding 147-102-7 against the spread with a 59 percent cover rate, according to TeamRankings.com. Those numbers, by far, are the best in the NFL in that time frame. But if you narrow it down to since 2014, the year Mike Zimmer took over the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota is actually the safest bet in the league.
In those three-plus seasons, the Vikings’ 68 percent cover rate is tops in the NFL. And at 34-16-0 against the spread, they’re essentially equal to New England’s 35-20-2 record. The Vikings also have the best cover rate in conference games, non-conference games and, perhaps most importantly, when playing as home favorites, a situation in which they are 13-5-0 with a silly 72.2 percent cover rate.
Now, Minnesota actually has the best cover rate in the league since 2011 — 59.4 percent to New England’s 58.7 percent. However, it’s the Vikings’ performance since Zimmer took over that’s allowed the team to put up such impressive numbers against the spread.
Listen, no one’s saying to avoid picking the Patriots, even after their colossal disappointment against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1. But the numbers are the numbers, and they clearly show that NFL’s safest bet currently resides in the Gopher State.
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