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. Dallas (-7) at Detroit
TREND: The Cowboys are 5-1 ATS in their last six games on the road vs. teams with losing records.
The Cowboys (5-4) have shown this season that they can beat up the bad teams. Dallas won by double-digits against the Dolphins, Redskins and Giants twice, but they also lost on the road to the NY Jets. Dallas is also 0-3 SU/ATS against teams that had a winning record when they played, and the Cowboys were favored in all three games against the Saints, Packers and Vikings.
Now Dallas plays another NFC North team on the road at Detroit, and Lions QB Matthew Stafford was ruled out again this week (back). That news drove the line up to -6.5 and now -7 at FanDuel Sportsbook. Dallas was a 2.5-point favorite on the look ahead line last week, and bettors are scrambling to get their bets down on Dallas with more than 90% of the bets and money on the Cowboys at both FanDuel and DraftKings Sportsbook.
2. Atlanta at Carolina (-4)
TREND: The Falcons are 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven games vs. the Panthers
This line has dropped from the 5.5-point opener. In the head-scratcher of the season last week, the Falcons (2-7) upset the Saints (7-2) in New Orleans 26-9 as a 14-point underdog. Now the Falcons take on another NFC South rival, but the Panthers (5-4) are ‘all-in’ for this game as a must win trailing the division-leading Saints by two games and also two games behind in the NFC wild card chase.
Carolina lost both meetings against the Falcons last season and will turn to RB Christian McCaffrey and the Panthers’ NFC-best 5.1 yards per rush ground game. While the Falcons are 8-1 ATS as ‘Dog coming off a SU underdog win, we note too that Atlanta has out-gained seven of nine opponents this season and the Panthers have been out-gained in four of their last five games.
3. Houston at Baltimore (-4)
TREND: The Ravens are 3-10-1 ATS in their last 14 games as a favorite
The Ravens (7-2) have won five straight games including two as an underdog — at Seattle and two weeks ago in a 37-20 pounding of the previously perfect Patriots. Last week, the Ravens buried the Bengals as a double-digit favorite 49-13, so this trend is nothing more than a tidbit.
Baltimore is 3-0 SU but 0-3 ATS as a home favorite this season, and competitive underdogs of six points or less are 39-25 ATS (61%) on the road this season. The Texans (6-4) have won four of their last five games, and are also 4-0 ATS as an away underdog this season with three outright wins. Two leading MVP candidates at quarterback and a matchup of first-place teams make this one of the most-watched and bet games of the week as Houston tries to slow down dual-threat QB Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ league-leading rushing attack (197/game).
The Texans counter with a run defense that allows just 84 yards rushing per game to rank No. 3 in the league. Texans QB Deshaun Watson is completing 70% of his passes but the Ravens have allowed just 59.6% completions to rank No. 3 in the league. Jackson and Watson rank No. 4 and No. 5 in the league in QBR rating this season. Overcast skies and temperatures dip into the 30’s according to NFL weather report. Those are things that actually do matter.
4. New England (-3.5) at Philadelphia
TREND: The Patriots are 13-3 SU in their last 16 games after a bye.
The bye week angle. The league’s best coach, Bill Belichick. Seems to make sense that New England would continue winning since that’s what they have done over the past decade or more. Still, the Patriots (8-1) lost back-to-back road games as favorites last December, and showed some vulnerability in their recent loss before their bye to Baltimore by allowing 210 rushing yards.
The Eagles (5-4) are tied for the NFC East division lead, and Philadelphia has rushed for an average of 160 yards over its last three games to rank No. 2 behind the Ravens over that stretch. Philadelphia is 10-2 SU and 9-2-1 ATS in its last 12 games at home vs. teams with a winning record. Another trend worth following or just a tidbit?
5. Kansas City (-4) vs. Los Angeles Chargers
TREND: The Chiefs are 23-2 SU in their last 25 games vs. divisional opponents
The Chiefs (6-4) are holding on to the AFC West lead with the Chargers (4-6) in a must-win game to remain in the chase. Kansas City has been at its best in division games under coach Andy Reid, and the Chiefs buried the Broncos and Raiders already this season on the road.
Now these two teams meet in Mexico City and 7,300 feet above sea level. The total his risen sharply to 52 and fatigue could set in during the second half at Estadio Azteca Stadium for this key Monday Night Football matchup. Of the 14 NFL teams with a losing record this season, the Chargers are the only team that has a positive scoring differential (+13). Division underdogs are 25-17 ATS (60%) this season, and despite more than 93% of the bets and money supporting Kansas City at DraftKings Sportsbook, the line has remained stable.