NFL Best and Worst Teams Against the Spread in 2023

NFL Best and Worst Teams Against the Spread in 2023
© USA Today

The NFL season is three weeks old, and we’ve already seen plenty of bad beats and backdoor covers. 

It’s still early, but here are the teams who have been the best and the worst at covering the spread in the first three weeks of the season.  

NLF Teams That Are Undefeated Against the Spread 

Miami Dolphins 

The Dolphins are the only team in the NFL to have a perfect record against the spread while also remaining undefeated.  

Miami won outright as three-point favorites in Week 1, topping the New England Patriots 20-7.

Then in Week 2, they had one of the more improbable covers of the season. The Dolphins trailed the Baltimore Ravens 35-14 entering the fourth quarter and outscored Baltimore 28-3 to win 42-38 as 3.5-point underdogs, led by Tua Tagovailoa’s six touchdown passes.  

Miami then went on to defeat the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills 21-19 as four-point underdogs to cap a 3-0 overall record and mark against the spread.  

  • The Dolphins will be underdogs for the third straight week on Thursday when they visit the Cincinnati Bengals, who are four-point favorites.  

Detroit Lions 

Detroit is just 1-2 overall but has a perfect 3-0 mark against the spread. The Lions used a touchdown in the final minutes of a 38-35 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles to secure a backdoor cover on the six-point spread in Week 1.  

In Week 2, Detroit was favored for the first time in 24 games, listed as 2.5-point favorites against the Washington Commanders. The Lions covered with ease, defeating Washington 36-27 for their only win of the season.  

The Lions may have blown a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, but they still managed to cover the 6.5-point spread with a 28-24 defeat. 

  • Detroit is favored once again in Week 4 as 5.5-point favorites against the Seattle Seahawks.  

Atlanta Falcons  

Atlanta has had more adventurous fourth quarters than any other team in the league.  

In Week 1, the Falcons blew a 16-point fourth-quarter lead against the New Orleans Saints, losing 27-26 on a 51-yard field goal by New Orleans’ Will Lutz. But for bettors, at least the Falcons covered the 5.5-point spread.  

Week 2 was just as strange. Trailing 31-10 with 12 minutes left in the fourth, the Falcons scored 17 unanswered points, which included a blocked punt returned for a touchdown and a Rams safety in the final seconds. Atlanta’s late rally managed to cover the 10-point spread.  

On Sunday, the Seahawks were favored by a point and held a 23-20 lead over Atlanta with just over three minutes left. But Marcus Mariota orchestrated a game-winning touchdown drive, capped with a 14-yard pass to Drake London for a 27-23 win and the team’s third straight cover against the spread.  

  • More fourth-quarter drama could be in store with the Falcons as one-point underdogs for Sunday’s matchup at home against the Cleveland Browns.  

Houston Texans

Despite being one of the worst teams in the NFL, the Texans have proved profitable. Houston has yet to win a game, but has gone 2-0-1 against the spread.  

Houston’s 20-20 tie in Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts was enough to cover the seven-point spread. The Texans also covered the 10-point spread in a 16-9 loss to the Denver Broncos. A push in a 23-20 defeat to the Chicago Bears is the only contest that the Texans have yet to cover this season.  

  • The Texans are 5.5-point underdogs in Week 4 for their contest at home against the Los Angeles Chargers.  

Least Profitable NFL Teams Against the Spread

New Orleans Saints 0-3 

The Saints have yet to come close to covering. They needed a late touchdown in the 27-26 win over the Atlanta Falcons as 5.5-point favorites in Week 1. 

In Week 2 as 2.5-point underdogs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a late touchdown by Michael Thomas cut the deficit to 20-10. Then, as two-point favorites against the Carolina Panthers, the Saints lost outright 22-14 in Week 3.  

  • New Orleans is a three-point underdog for Sunday’s matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. 

Las Vegas Raiders 0-3 

The Raiders have the distinction of being the only winless team who has also yet to cover. Week 2’s collapse against Arizona sticks out the most from Las Vegas’ 0-3 start.  

Las Vegas was leading 23-7 entering the fourth quarter when Cardinals' quarterback Kyler Murray led two scoring drives, including a 3-yard touchdown as time in regulation expired. He then found A.J. Green for the two-point conversion to force overtime. Still, Las Vegas had a chance to cover the 5.5-point spread in overtime.  

The Raiders had the ball first in overtime and were driving before Hunter Renfrow fumbled and Arizona’s Byron Murphy returned it for a 59-yard score to secure the victory.  

The other two losses saw failed two-point conversions keeping the Raiders from covering. A failed two-point attempt in Week 1 led to a 24-19 loss to the Chargers when the Raiders were 3.5-point underdogs. 

The Raiders didn’t get a two-point conversion in the Week 3 24-22 loss to the Tennessee Titans to force overtime, allowing the Titans to win and cover as two-point underdogs.   

  • Las Vegas is a 2.5-points underdog to the Denver Broncos this week.