NFL betting trends let you see how teams do in specific situations. Unfortunately, these trends are mostly meaningless. They don’t win games or pay the rent.
Team trends, especially, are useless (examples of that later). They are fluff added to game analysis to convince you that they matter. Many are nothing more than an interesting tidbit. Don’t be sold by touts who use trends as marketing tactics to please and engage fans and bettors.
Digital and social media is part of the ways these trends are filtered to fans, as it’s been reported that more than 80% of fans check social media while enjoying their favorite game on TV.
When you see trends provided by various handicappers, journalists, media outlets, newsletters or database queries, ask yourself: “Does this make sense?” Also, for any type of technical analysis that references a trend, it should have extended situations to support its premise.
There is some technical analysis that can be useful when analyzing fundamental indicators and league-wide situations. But many trends should be thrown away, as other factors like injuries, weather or line movement may have affected the ATS result.
1. Philadelphia (-5.5) at Washington
TREND: Washington is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games against an opponent playing on less than six days rest
The Eagles rallied from a 17-3 deficit Monday night to beat the Giants in overtime, 23-17. Now Philadelphia (6-7) will try to beat the Redskins (3-10) for the sixth straight time as they are on a 5-0 SU/4-1 ATS run against Washington.
Conflicting trends are common in matchups, and many are also meaningless. Especially with changing personnel like now Sunday with both teams very banged up. Each team is without two starting wide receivers this week, and Eagles tackle Lane Johnson (ankle) and Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (calf) are also part of the walking wounded.
Consider the Eagles trailed 17-3 against the lowly Giants in a must win game to keep their division hopes alive with the Cowboys (6-7) on deck next week. And that the Eagles had lost three straight games to the Patriots, Seahawks and Dolphins prior to edging the Giants. The alternative is not a good one with the Redskins playing poorly with an overmatched rookie QB Dwayne Haskins at this point. In seven games, Haskins has been sacked 26 times while throwing seven interceptions to just three touchdowns. Washington managed just 262 yards at 4.4 yards per play last week against a below average Green Bay defense.
2. Chicago at Green Bay (-4)
TREND: Green Bay is 6-1 SU in its last seven games against Chicago.
The look-ahead line on this game was Packers -7.5, so the line looks light to many bettors but it continues to drop. The Packers (10-3) are in first place in the NFC North and 6-1 at home, and they beat the Bears 10-3 in Week 1 for their 18th win in 23 meetings against Chicago with Aaron Rodgers as quarterback. The Packers offense has been at its best in the first quarter, but in the second half the Packers passing offense ranks No. 21 in the league.
Green Bay’s offensive line is solid and their running plays grade well above league average. But Akiem Hicks (knee) is returning for the Bears defense this week and he’s a game-changer along the defensive line and joins LB Khalil Mack as dominant defenders. Also, Bears CB Prince Amukamara returns after missing last week’s 31-24 win over the Cowboys. Rodgers versus Trubisky is still one sided at quarterback, but Mitch has thrown six TD passes the past two weeks with two of his best QB ratings of the season.
3. Houston at Tennessee (-3)
TREND: Tennessee is 6-1 ATS with Ryan Tannehill at starting quarterback
The Titans stock is high as they make a push for the playoffs and division title. Now four straight wins for Tennessee (8-5) while also going 4-0 ATS, scoring 35, 41, 31 and 42 points. Tannehill has been a difference-maker at quarterback, and he’s hit 30 explosive passes since Week 7 to rank No. 2 in the league behind the Rams.
But the Titans defense struggles to get pressure and cover the pass, and the defense is bottom-5 in allowing touchdowns in the red zone. The Titans defensive pass efficiency ranks No. 24 while facing one of the easiest schedule of pass offenses in the league. Both pass defenses allow at least 260 passing YPG to rank in the bottom quartile of the league. Combined with the Texans top-10 pass offense and their own poor red zone defense, and you can see why the total has stream up four points to 51.5.
4. Denver at Kansas City (-9.5)
TREND: Kansas City is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games at home when on a winning streak of 3 or more games
My gosh, where do the stats guys come up with these trends? Plenty of great insight and info in the VSiN Newsletter, but these trends are meaningless. Yes, the Chiefs (9-4) are on a three-game winning streak with their defense performing much better holding those three teams with quality quarterbacks to 17 points or less — Chargers, Raiders and Patriots. That’s significant and overlooked.
The Chiefs offense is never overlooked, and after burying the Broncos 30-6 in Week 7 at Denver, it would appear not much is going to change this week in Kansas City. However, recall quarterback Patrick Mahomes was injured in that game and missed some time, and Joe Flacco was quarterback for the Broncos. Mahomes suffered a bruised hand with swelling in last week’s win, but will play this week. Bettors are buying into the Broncos this week with more bets on Denver. The line is down to 9.5 after the look ahead line had the Chiefs -12.5. That’s because Denver build a 38-3 lead last week behind rookie QB Drew Lock, who passed for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-24 road win at Houston. There is no sure lock this week as the rookie quarterback makes plays his first game at Arrowhead Stadium.
5. LA Rams (-1) at Dallas
TREND: Dallas is 2-22-1 ATS in its last 25 home games after a SU conference loss.
The Cowboys are imploding with three straight losses. The Rams are in a division sandwich between last week’s win over Seattle and next week’s game at San Francisco. Dallas has yet to beat a winning team this season (0-6) after failing in three recent games against the Patriots, Bills and Bears.
But the betting public has (over-)reacted with the biggest line adjustment of the week from last week’s look ahead lines, which had Dallas a 4-point favorite. Now the Cowboys are a one-point underdog. Dallas still has the league’s No. 1 offense, averaging 430 YPG, and the No. 1 pass attack.