Road Underdogs Dominate in NFL Week 4

By Paul Shapiro
Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens
Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens / Rob Carr/Getty Images

Week 4 of the NFL season was unlike any we've seen in a long time. While one home underdog, the New Orleans Saints, won in Week 4, it was the seven road dogs coming out on top that was out of the ordinary.

Four additional road favorites – the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks – were victorious as well, netting an 11-4 record for teams playing away from home, the second best such mark in close to 20 years (in Week 12 of 2001, road teams went 12-3).

NFL Road Underdogs Record in 2019 Season

Those wins by road underdogs put such teams at 20-20 straight up heading into the Week 4 "Monday Night Football" game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers. While the Steelers won handily at Heinz Field, that result improved the record of NFL home teams to just 27-35-1 (43.65 winning percentage) on the season. Favorites are winning at a higher clip, with a 36-26-1 record (57.94 winning percentage) through Week 4.

Home teams have won at least 54 percent of their games over the past five years, topping out at 60 percent in 2018, including that same percentage range during those seasons. Coming in at well under 50 percent right now, we would typically expect the numbers to regress to the mean, but with the parity the NFL is known for, it's really hard to know.

With 11 more road underdogs on the Week 5 slate, we'll have to wait and see how this trend plays out.

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