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. Green Bay (-6) at NY Giants
TREND: Green Bay is 6-0 ATS in its past six games after a loss.
The Packers (8-3) were buried last week at San Francisco 37-8 as Aaron Rodgers passed for just 104 yards on 33 attempts while getting sacked five times. His MVP odds have dropped to 33-1 at DraftKings Sportsbook and the Packers are now trending the wrong way with two clunkers on the road in their last three games.
Still, the Packers are the most popular side to support against the Giants on the Week 13 card, as more than 80% of the spread bets are on Green Bay with both FanDuel and DraftKings sportsbooks holding the line at -6.5. However, some Las Vegas Sportsbooks have dropped the Packers to -6 and the Westgate SuperBook even had Green Bay -5.5 on Friday.
The New York Giants (2-9) seemingly offer little resistance with a defense allowing 377 yards per game and 5.9 yards per play. But that’s still better than the Packers, who have been outgained in each of their last three contests and are now allowing 380 YPG and 6.1 yards per play to rank in the bottom five of the league. The Giants defense did perform better in last week’s 19-14 loss at Chicago which extended the G-men’s losing streak to seven games. Packers backers like that Green Bay is 13-2 SU and 14-1 ATS away in non-division games when coming off an away game and facing non-division opponent. But that’s just another trend that may not carry much weight with the Packers’ recent problems on the road.
2. San Francisco at Baltimore (-6)
TREND: The Ravens are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games at home.
The Ravens (9-2) are on a seven-game winning streak while going 5-0 ATS in their last five contests averaging 40 points per game. So that meaningless team trend has seen Baltimore win their last two home games and crush the point spread with one-sided wins or the Patriots and Texans in November. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is now the prohibitive 2-1 favorite for league MVP ahead of QB Russell Wilson (+300), and bettors are riding the Ravens until they falter. Any concern about the 49er’s No. 1 ranked defense (248/game at 4.3 yards per play) is not slowing down bettors in their belief in Lamar and the Ravens, who have won each of their last five contests by at least 14 points.
3. Tennessee at Indianapolis (-2.5)
TREND: The Colts are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games against Titans.
Big game in the AFC South, as both the Titans and Colts are 6-5 and in the thick of the wild card chase. They are also just a game behind the Texans for first place in the division. This team trend favoring the Colts is being tossed around by “experts” this week but holds zero weight since many of the games in the data set had Marcus Mariota and Andrew Luck playing quarterback. Last year’s matchups were Luck against Blaine Gabbert.
Over each team’s last three games, the Titans (188) and Colts (182) are rushing the ball better than any team not named the Ravens. Indianapolis has been running well without Marlon Mack, who is ruled out again this week along with leading receiver T.Y. Hilton. The Colts have lost three of their last four games and will need better passing production from Jacoby Brissett after just 129 and 148 passing yards his last two contests.
The Titans have won two straight while powering their way on offense to 42 and 35 points in wins over the Jaguars and Chiefs. The improved play has been with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback.
4. New England (-3) at Houston
TREND: The Texans are 0-5 SU in their last 5 games against Patriots
The Sunday night spotlight is on Houston, where a first-place match-up between the Patriots (10-1) and Texans (7-4) makes this a major wagering matchup. So with the Texans’ struggles against the Patriots, and New England now 15-1 SU in their last 16 games, why is this line only -3 at most sportsbooks? Consider too that the Patriots defense is best in the AFC allowing 4.4 yards per play while the Texans defense allows 5.9 yards per play including more than 6.0 yards per play over their last four contests while still managing to win three of them. What about the coaching mismatch of Belichick over O’Brien and the Texans’ clueless defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, who for some reason keeps getting credit for the Texans defense despite the stats saying otherwise?
5. Minnesota at Seattle (-3)
TREND: The Vikings are 0-5 SU in their last 5 games against Seahawks.
Don’t be surprised the see this line drops off the key number of 3 as the Vikings (8-3) are the better team with the stronger defense off a bye as they tackle the Seahawks (9-2) in Seattle. The Vikings also have the better offense averaging 6.1 yards per play to rank top 4 in the league and ahead of Seattle (5.9).
Top talent across the board at the skill positions with RB Dalvin Cook (1,017 rushing, 11 TD’s) joining QB Kirk Cousin’s best season with 70% completions and a 21-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Wide receiver Adam Thielen returned to practice Friday is expected to play, giving the Vikings their dynamic duo with WR Stefon Diggs.
The Seahawks are 3-2 at home this season with losses to the Ravens and Saints. Narrow home wins over the Rams (30-29) on a missed field goal by LA’s kicker in the closing seconds and in overtime 40-34 over the Buccaneers as just a four-point favorite makes the Seahawks a risk as a favorite this week against the rested and ready Vikings off a bye. Seattle will be wearing their Action Green jerseys and navy blue pants for this marquee Monday night matchup with major playoff implications in the NFC. Next thing you’ll hear is how Seattle is 4-0 when they wear their Action Green uniforms.