First rule of Fight Club is: you don’t talk about Fight Club.

Second rule of Fight Club is: you don’t talk about Fight Club.

Whether you are participating in an underground boxing club or betting on the NFL Playoffs, it is a good idea to have a set of rules to guide you. In Bill Simmons’ Playoff Gambling Manifesto, the former ESPN columnist lays out 17 rules to wager by.

One rule, No. 6: Never pick an underdog unless you genuinely believe that it has a chance to win, stuck out to me. Underdogs went a 4-0 ATS in the Wild Card round last weekend, the first time that had happened since 1991. Two of the pooches, Tennessee and Atlanta, won outright and had the ball bounced differently, Carolina and Buffalo might have emerged victorious as well.

Simmons’ rule is really just saying pick the winner because they usually cover. In the article, he states that all 11 playoff winners from last season also covered the spread. In the playoffs, is making money on the spread really as easy as picking the straight-up winner?

Since 2003, in the NFL Playoffs the winning team has covered the spread 83.1% of the time. The trend holds throughout the postseason.

Are you agonizing over the Steelers-Jaguars 7.5-point spread? Simplify your analysis, determine the winner because historically that team has also covered the spread.

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Photo Courtesy of Philip G. Pavely – USA Today Sports