Studying the NFL Trends So Far

After two weeks it’s time to start to see trends that are developing across the league, and see what they truly mean. I’ll break down a few trends in order and why they may be leaning the way they do.

High and Low Totals

A lot of times bettors see a high line and immediately want to bet the underdog. The same thing applies to totals. This year, however, the best idea has been to go against conventional wisdom. Sports betting sites offer lots of different lines, but totals of 50 or more have gone OVER 5 of 7 times, and totals of 41 or less have gone UNDER all 4 times. This may seem odd but it shows just how good Vegas is at setting these lines because they know there will be plenty of money coming in on the side they want just because the line is at that extreme.

Setting the average line at 46 leads to another interesting split. Lines under 46 have gone under 63% of the time (12-6-1) and lines over 46 have gone over 69% of the time (9-4). Something to keep an eye on as the season goes on.

Big Favorites 

With the Seahawks at -19.5 this week and the Broncos at -15, there has been a lot of talk about how extreme those lines are. There have been three games with lines over -10 this season and the underdog has covered all three times while still losing the game. In addition, all three of those games went under the total. There is a lot of faith in both Seattle and Denver right now but be careful when targeting these games.

On the other side of the spectrum, favorites of 3 points or less have been noticeably shaky to start the year. They have gone just 1-4-1 and in general a line that low could be showing Vegas’s low faith in that team. The Seahawks last week were the lone team to pull out a cover while being such a small favorite.

Home Underdogs

One place where conventional wisdom has been profitable this season is with home underdogs. Always a classic favorite of bettors, this year has been no exception as they have gone 6-3 in the first two weeks. This week the Ravens, Bengals, Panthers, and Steelers will put it to the test even further. They may not look like the sexiest teams out there, but could provide great ATS or moneyline value.

General Splits

And finally, looking at general trends there is still more to be learned. Early on, home teams have been just over .500, going 17-14-1. Underdogs have had the same record at 17-14-1, for a slight lean but under the 55% that bettors shoot for. Whether some of this data is simple variance or not, is definitely worth knowing as you look through games this weekend and watch what’s going down on the field.


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