NFL betting trends let you see how teams do in specific situations. Unfortunately, many trends are mostly meaningless. Trends don’t win games, or pay the rent, and team trends especially are often useless. They are fluff added to game analysis to convince you they matter. Many are nothing more than an interesting tidbit. Don’t buy into a majority of them, or 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 or 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 at Green Bay (-4)
TREND: The OVER is 22-2-1 in the Eagles’ last 25 games when they face a rush defense that allows more than 4.7 yards per rush.
This type of data mining to make a system appear strong is often ridiculous, as this would not only go back many years, but not account enough for current personnel and the necessary matchups or game plan to take advantage of an opponents weakness. Most teams that face a weak rush defense are going to move the ball better and score more. The stats bear it out again this season with the worst eight rushing defenses allowing at least 4.9 yards per rush. That includes the Packers, but Green Bay is the only solid scoring defense in the group.
This trend could partially make sense with more scoring expected against weaker run defenses, but the defensive strength of the Eagles combined with its offense and matchups, over/under line, injuries, turnovers and opponent, are just some of the other factors that would play into this type of trend of tidbit.
2. Los Angeles Chargers (-16) at Miami
TREND: The Chargers are 11-3-2 ATS on the road since the start of the 2017 season.
The Chargers moved from San Diego to Los Angeles at the start of the 2017 season, and last year they went 7-1 SU/ATS away from home. But in the first road game this season, the Chargers lost at Detroit as a road favorite. The Chargers have more injuries and thin depth, and key players like safety Derwin James (foot) are out extended time. Running back Melvin Gordon is ending his holdout but will not play in Week 4.
The number of injuries and significance of them plays a much bigger part in a teams performance, making these type of trends meaningless. The matchups, health, and in the case this week, a record line for the Chargers as road chalk, make this trend nothing but a tidbit.
3. Cleveland at Baltimore (-7)
TREND: Cleveland is 3-17 straight up in its last 20 road games.
That straight-up losing stretch occurred when Cleveland had a clueless coach Hue Jackson, who continued to start one of the all-time worst quarterbacks DeShone Kizer at the expense of the rest of the team. The Browns were on a 1-31 overall run, many of those road losses, and hopeless Hue still had a job last season!
Now the jury is out whether head coach Freddie Kitchens is capable for Cleveland after some questionable decisions with the world watching on Sunday Night Football. By all accounts, though, the Browns have their franchise quarterback in Baker Mayfield, so don’t expect the losing ways on the road to continue with a more talented roster being built.
4. Dallas (-2.5) at New Orleans
TREND: The Saints are 16-3 SU in their last 19 home games and 7-1 ATS in their last eight home games against Dallas.
Do these trends have much merit or meaning since Saints QB Drew Brees is now out with injury and he was responsible for those 16 wins?
Here’s what does matter: If the Saints’ 5.1 yards per rush defense doesn’t improve quickly, then Dallas’ top 5 rush attack with Ezekiel Elliott and one of the league’s top offensive lines will render these trends meaningless.
5. Cincinnati at Pittsburgh (-4)
TREND: The road team has covered five straight and seven of past eight in this series.
With Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger injured and now out for the season, the Steelers’ struggles and identity on offense shifts. Unfortunately, Pittsburgh’s ground game is among the worst in the league through three games at just 64 yards per game but better than the Bengals league-worst 42 rushing yards per game.
Both teams are at the bottom of the league in rushing attempts at 17 per game, putting more pressure on the quarterbacks and one far less capable in the Steelers’ Mason Rudolph. The trend matters not, except that the Steelers are worse now than over the past four seasons.