NFL Football Betting: Tough Time for Teams With 'Cat Nicknames'

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

Does the NFL have a feline jinx?  That might be tough to prove but there’s no doubt that the month of November has been tough for the four NFL teams with cat related nicknames.  We typically focus on more statistical or technical based handicapping concepts but who are we to question the power of a black cat mojo?  In this article, we’ll examine the situation and evaluate the possible implications for the NFL betting odds board at BetOnline.ag.

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It all began during the Monday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 4.  A random black cat somehow ended up on the field during the game and quickly became an Internet sensation.  The errant moggie clearly made a wrong turn somewhere and was none too pleased to be on a NFL football field with 76,000 humans and a nationwide TV audience gawking at it.  The cat ran around a bit trying to figure out the ill fortune that had befallen him but eventually he was wrangled and the game continued.

Everyone knows about the old superstition that suggests a black cat crossing a traveler’s path is bad luck.  What isn’t clear is the implication of a black cat on a NFL football team.  In theory, both teams are ‘travelers’ as they try to cover 100 yards from end zone to end zone.  The implications aren’t quite that simple.  The game was close and the Cowboys were struggling prior to the cat’s appearance but they went on to blow the game wide open ‘post cat’.  Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott suggested some causality between the black cat and the Cowboys’ surge of momentum:

"Things weren't good up to that point. It could only get better from there. I definitely thought about that. I guess we'll start rolling now that the black cat's come in bad for the Giants. It was fun. First time I've seen an animal run on the field that I've been a part of."

Prescott’s assertion that the black cat was a good harbinger for the Cowboys and a bad omen for the Giants couldn’t have been more wrong.  Dallas did win that game 37-18 but have gone 1-3 SU/2-2 ATS since.  Things have been even worse for the Giants who have gone 0-3 SU/1-2 ATS since that fateful Monday night.  The combined carnage for Dallas and the Giants since they ran afoul of the feline:  1-6 SU/3-4 ATS.


The plot has thickened since the November 4 Monday Night Football game.  For some bizarre reason, the black cat’s ire has targeted the four NFL teams with cat related nicknames:  Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars.  These four teams went on a brutal 0-12 SU run in the weeks following the cat’s appearance.

Fortunately, the black cat’s maniacal grip might be loosening.  The streak ended in Week 13 and for the Cincinnati Bengals their fortune enjoyed a precipitous turn for the better.  The Bengals beat the New York Jets 22-6 for their first victory of the year after 11 consecutive losses.  Unfortunately, the Cincinnati victory was the lone bright spot for ‘cat nickname’ teams and their record since the November 4 MNF game is still ugly at 1-14 SU.

What about the pointspread implications?  The ‘cat nickname’ teams have also struggled against the number since that fateful Monday Night.  Along with the 1-14 SU record these teams have gone 4-10-1 against the spread.  Blindly betting against the ‘cat nickname’ teams in the games they’ve played since November 4 would have been a 71% winning position.  All eyes are now on the Week 14 NFL odds board at BetOnline.ag wondering ‘will this feline jinx continue’?  Based on the pointspreads, there’s a good chance that it will.  Three of the four ‘cat nickname’ teams are on the road this week.  The Detroit Lions’ game at Minnesota is currently off the board but when a number is posted the result will be that all four ‘cat nickname’ teams will be underdogs in Week 14.

For the sake of intellectual rigor, it is a good idea to at least consider some ‘alternate causality’ as it relates to the black cat jinx.  The four NFL teams with ‘cat nicknames’ have been bad all year so the November 4 MNF feline appearance really didn’t change things.  All four teams have a losing record on the year with a combined W/L of 13-34 SU.  The cat’s appearance is a non-factor as these teams were losing before and have been losing since.  Of course, I see no reason in messing with a black cat mojo so I’m going to fade the ‘cat nickname’ teams until further notice.

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