Against the Spread

It’s those three little words every NFL betting enthusiast loves to hear, the three words that will pop up again and again when you bet on the NFL. They even get their own acronym for posterity. Every time you see ATS, that’s Against The Spread. Yes, with a capital T. Grammar class is across the hall.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, ATS refers to the point spread. One of the most important things handicappers do when they’re betting on NFL games is to keep track of each team’s ATS record. For example, way back in 2003, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots finished 13-2-1 ATS, making them the most profitable team in the league during the regular season. The Oakland Raiders, on the other hand, were dead last at 3-12-1 ATS.

ATS and Betting Trends

You’ll also see ATS pop up when discussing NFL betting trends. If the Patriots start this season at 5-0 ATS, they might be a good bet in their sixth game. Or maybe New England is about to play a rare away game against Oakland, and during your research, you discover that the Patriots are 4-1 ATS lifetime versus the Raiders in this situation.

You can find ATS records online for all 32 NFL teams, dating back as far as the website’s database allows. These records will play a central role in your handicapping research. Don’t forget to bookmark those websites – but stick with the most reliable ones as always. The last thing you need when you’re doing your homework is bad data.