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. Oakland vs. Chicago (-5) in London
TREND: The Chicago Bears are 5-1-1 against the spread in their last seven meetings with the Oakland Raiders.
These teams last played in 2015, and you would have to go back to 1993 to include this trend as the Bears and Raiders have played seven times since then. Meaningless and useless trend with different personnel even from 2015. Oh, and the game is in London, and Bears starting QB Mitch Trubisky is out. leaving the starting assignment to Chase Daniel.
2. Arizona at Cincinnati (-3)
TREND: When two winless teams go head-to-head, the road dog has covered 64% of the time since 2003.
Many data services provide many of these types of trends through their database searches. Most of the games in this trend are from early-season match-ups from the first couple weeks of the season, and team schedules and matchups matter much more than picking out a trend from winless teams.
This is the least-buzzy game of the week between winless Arizona and Cincinnati, but the ball is likely to be in the air often with both teams top-4 in the league in pass attempts per game with nearly 42 per contest. Nothing to hold back on offense against a pair of defenses that allow 6.2 and 6.3 yards per play and rank in the lower quartile of total defense. The road ‘dog trend is simply a tidbit and doesn’t tell us when the teams played, such as if they were both 0-1, or as many trends don’t factor in like impact injuries, turnovers or opponents that had a much greater effect on the outcome.
3. Minnesota (-5.5) at NY Giants
TREND: NY GIANTS are 3-10-2 ATS (last 15 games) at HOME – Against solid rushing defenses yielding less than 3.75 yards per carry
These are some of the most ridiculous types of trends that add stats or yards per play type parameters. Most of these 15 games in the sample were before the Giants drafted their generational running back Saquon Barkley, who is still doubtful for this week’s game with a high ankle sprain. Teams adjust to their personnel and strengths, and opponents do the same, at least if they are coached properly. The Giants also had a less effective Eli Manning playing quarterback during this trend, and now have more confidence in the passing attack with rookie Daniel Jones. Where is the trend with rookie quarterbacks in starts his first five starts against a top-5 defense? You can data mine all you want to find a trend that produces good or bad ATS results.
4. NY Jets at Philadelphia (-13.5)
TREND: The Jets are just 2-8 SU & 3-7 ATS in their last 10 post-bye week games
Sure, the Jets stink so far and New York has finished last in the AFC East in four of the last five years. Add just one winning record since 2010 and you can see the team’s struggles, not just coming out of a bye week. Perhaps coaching and preparation have not been good, and now the Jets have a new coaching staff this year and the players have not found their groove especially on offense.
Quarterback Sam Darnold has been out (mono), but he could get cleared to play for this week’s game as a big underdog (+14) against the Eagles. Bookmakers adjust the numbers, and public perception on bad teams is rarely positive. The Jets stock is very low, but the team has not been very healthy and coach Adam Gase gave the Jets a week off from practice during the bye week and focused more on team meetings, film review and getting healthy while showing players what needs to be cleaned up — mental mistakes, defensive breakdowns and offensive line assignments. Those are more significant than the bye week trends noted in various newsletters and media mentions.
5. Green Bay at Dallas (-3.5)
TREND: The Green Bay Packers are 7-3 straight-up in their last 10 clashes with the Dallas Cowboys.
This will be the most-watched and bet-on game on the schedule outside of primetime in Week 5. The Packers and Cowboys are not division opponents and don’t play quite as often. Not only does personnel change over a period of years, but the coaches and schemes do too. Green Bay has a new head coach, and even with QB Aaron Rodgers 3-0 against the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium, the trend toward the Packers is not meaningful. Neither is this tidbit: The Dallas Cowboys are 1-17-1 ATS as non-division favorites when coming off a SU ATS loss. Trash it.