Fans of West Coast NFL teams have long believed that their teams struggle when traveling cross-country, especially in early games. The theory is based on the players’ internal clocks are 3 hours behind their opponents which make a 1 PM ET kick-off an 11 AM kick-off.
West Coast Teams Traveling East Betting Trends
This year in the first four weeks, nine west coast teams travel east for early NFL games. Only the Rams and Chargers (twice) are favored to win. Click here for live NFL odds.
Los Angeles Rams -2½
Carolina Panthers +135
Cards +9½ @ Ravens
Chargers -4 @ Lions
49ers PK @ Bengals
Seahawks +3½ @ Steelers
Raiders +7½ @ Vikings
Broncos +6½ @ Packers
Raiders +8½ @ Colts
Chargers -6½ @ Dolphins
Let’s use historical NFL betting trends to analyze if west coast teams traveling east actually struggle.
From 2003 to 2018, west coast teams have gone 80-133 (37.6%) straight up when playing on the east coast. That is a 37.6% win percentage.
Let’s compare that to the against the spread records during the same time period. West coast teams are 102-105-6 ATS when playing on the road against an east coast team for a win percentage of 49.3%.
The losing ATS record confirms that historically west coast teams do actually underperform when traveling east.
Next, let’s split the data to see if that NFL betting trend has changed over time. From 2003 to 2012, west coast teams were 57-71-3 ATS when playing in the eastern time zone for a win percentage of 44.5%. However, since 2013 west coast teams actually have had a winning ATS record when playing on the east coast at 57.0% with a 45-34-3 ATS record.
That is significant because it signals two things. First, that NFL oddsmakers are leaning towards the west coast visiting team when setting the spread and/or west coast teams have learned how to travel east and win.