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Editor's Note: Steve Rieder has accumulated a 205-166-1 record, +22.06 units over the course of the 2021 & 2022 NFL seasons. Get access to his full record, pick by pick, on our NFL bets tracker spreadsheet
HOW TO BET NFL LONDON GAMES
Since 2007, the NFL started traveling over to London, England to play in Wembly Stadium. The reasons the NFL started to send teams over is obvious: they hoped to secure more fans abroad, which will increase revenue. The reasons why the sports bettor should care about the game is also equally obvious: it provides profitable opportunities.
London has hosted 28 games and counting. Of those 25 games, the underdog has won exactly six games outright and only covering the spread 10 times. That means underdogs win 16% of the time and only cover 32%. The once thought to be limited sample size has grown enough to make this trend actionable. Also, in non-Jaguars London games, the favorite has won 15-7 games (68%). Take the favorite or pass.
WHEN TO TRAVEL
The Jacksonville Jaguars were the team most impacted by the institution of the London game. The Jags played a "home" game there every year since 2013. No NFL team has played more games abroad than the Jaguars. When they first started playing in London, they would travel early in the week so the players could get accustomed to the time change and new location. As time progressed, they quickly found that the players played better when they traveled to the country later in the week.
However, if there is one team to be used as a case study, it is the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick has made the New England Patriots the gold standard of the NFL. Their methodology, culture, and organizational mindset are to be marveled and followed. So it would make sense to identify the Patriots strategy in London games and follow their lead. In 2017, the New England Patriots were in this exact position. Did they fly out a week in advance or a few days beforehand? Neither. Actually, the New England Patriots flew out the day of the contest. They went on to dismantle the Oakland Raiders 33-8.
Teams that arrive early in the week have a tendency to be distracted. They are in a new country with lots of places to see and things to do. By showing up later in the week, or, in the case of the New England Patriots, the day of the game, there isn't as much time for distraction. Identify the team that shows up last and lean your handicap to that side.
By Steve Rieder