NFL betting trends let you see how teams do in specific situations. Unfortunately, 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. Washington (-3.5) at Miami
TREND: The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington’s last six games vs. Miami
The unofficial “tank” bowl, this is a matchup of winless teams and the worst game of the season so far. We noted this trend posted by a tout service that provides betting previews for a football magazine. Unfortunately, this trend is meaningless and has no merit. These teams have played once since 2012, and six times since 1993.
Each contest and matchup needs to be broken down individually and analyzed with current (and healthy) personnel. These are two of the worst defenses in football with Washington allowing 408 YPG and Miami a league-worst 472 YPG at 7.0 yards per play. Perhaps that’s why they are a combined 0-9 SU and 1-8 ATS.
The Dolphins have not scored a single point in the second half of a game this season. Who wants the No. 1 pick in the draft? Maybe that’s motivation, or perhaps the Redskins get off the ground for new coach Bill Callahan after Jay Gruden was fired this past week. Callahan has not named a starting quarterback, and Miami is off a bye and could potentially play both of their quarterbacks. Whatever the case, there are plenty of deficiencies on these teams, and the Dolphins are the least talented team this league has seen in decades. Or ever.
2. Seattle (-2) at Cleveland
TREND: Seattle is 8-2 ATS on the road against an opponent off a blowout loss of 20 or more points
This one was listed in the 100-page weekly betting newsletter by the Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN). There’s some interesting information to dig through in this, and if you have time to read it, you will find a lot of data, including some meaningless trends.
Not sure how far back this trend goes, but you don’t play teams too often off a 20 point SU loss. Again, look for situations or systems that make sense, not small sample size trends that provide little value or credence.
3. Philadelphia at Minnesota (-3)
TREND: The favorite has covered in all five Vikings games this season and in 15 of Minnesota’s last 16 games overall.
This comes from ESPN’s weekly NFL trends article, which is almost all meaningless info. The games are more about matchups, personnel, injuries. And turnovers. The team with fewer turnovers that wins the turnover margin by at least two is the winner SU and ATS a high percentage of the time, greater than 80%. Favorite or underdog does not matter, nor does a team trend.
4. Carolina (-2.5) vs. Tampa Bay
TREND: Tampa Bay is 1-8 ATS (-7.8 Units) in weeks 5 through 9 over the last three seasons. The Buccaneers are also 38-61 ATS (-29.1 Units) in October games since 1992.
Wow. Now, this is some interesting stuff. Like … segmenting specific weeks in a season makes a trend playable. Or … going back nearly 30 years and segmenting a specific month has any merit. It doesn’t and never will. This is completely meaningless.
5. Houston at Kansas City (-4.5)
TREND: The Chiefs are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games vs. the AFC
Don Best Sports is a lines and odds provider. They also have many handicappers tout a lot of trash on their site. If you follow the Don Best Sports twitter feed, you’ll see them send out meaningless trends each week, such as this one on the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs were 5-1 ATS vs. the AFC, until last week when they lost SU to the Colts as an 11-point favorite. Guess you got on that hot tidy trend too late. Try again versus the AFC Houston Texans this week, and maybe your luck will change. Because that’s what you’ll need if you keep following these types of trends.