The 3 Most Popular NFL Bets for Week 10
Betting NFL games can be a blast. Whether you take the time to analyze each line and cash in big, or you do it for the fun -- share your bets with friends and tilt with one another in a group chat. Either way, having another layer of interest in your weekly football-watching is great. A lot of times, whether you like or not, you're not alone, either.
And that's where numberFire's oddsFire tool comes in. oddsFire breaks down the differences in betting odds, lines, and totals across a number of sportsbooks, but it also shows us what percentage of total bets and money is being laid on any line at FanDuel Sportsbook. Using oddsFire, you can then decide if you would like to align yourself with the betting public -- and enjoy the sweat together -- or go against the grain to capitalize on an over-hyped situation.
In this weekly article, we're here to dive into the three lines (one spread, one moneyline, one over/under) getting the most love, with the goal of deciding whether the numbers support or contradict the public's heavy investment.
A lot separates this year's Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots from one another. At 6-2, the Ravens are second in the AFC North and on track for a playoff spot, while the Patriots are now 3-5 and likely to lose out on the division (and playoffs) for the first time since 2008. Cam Newton is doing all the can to keep the team relevant. And as for Lamar Jackson, he is doing all he kind to find the same mojo he had a season ago. Is this all enough to justify a one-score spread on the road?
To open, Baltimore was actually favored by 7.5, but neither side is getting more love from oddsmakers themselves. The public, however, is throwing 96% of their bets and 88% of the money on Baltimore's side of the ledger. It appears they are sold on our power rankings, which maintain the Ravens are the most efficient team in the league, putting them 20 spots ahead of New England.
Per Killer Sports, the recent betting trends favor the visiting team. The Ravens are 4-3-1 against the spread overall, and have been even better when favored by six or more. In those five games, they have bested the spread three times including a push and a margin of 17.8 points per game. They have taken four by at least two touchdowns, including big wins on the road against Houston and Washington. The Patriots are 0-1 with a 16-point loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in their only game they were getting six or more points this season. Their 3-5 record against the spread makes it that much easier to justify the Baltimore love.
After opening at +108 on the moneyline, Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks have had more value come their way as they get set for their divisional matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. But the thing is, they're going in the opposite direction of the public's betting behavior. The Seahawks are drawing 95% of the bets and money. In other words, there is no one expecting an outright win for the five-win home team (who are -134 on the moneyline). Danger, danger -- red alert!
Bettors need to beware, though. By our math, the Rams are the third-best team in the league, or 11 spots better than the division-leading Seahawks. They are led by Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and a fourth-ranked defense, which will be asked to bottle up Seattle's third-ranked offense (fifth in both passing and rushing). Something's got to give.
In the Sean McVay era in L.A., the Rams are 4-2 straight up with an average margin of 8.5 in their favor. They have won two of the three home meetings, as well as one of the two in which they were favored. This year, they are 3-0 at home, having won by 8.3 points per game, and by 11 in the two they were favored by any amount. It's safe to say that the 'Hawks hype has gone too far, so far as to make the Rams a nice little value as the pivot to win outright.
The intrigue in this one is headlined by the young quarterbacks. Justin Herbert has surprised many with his poise and ability through seven games, while on the other side Tua Tagovailoa has a lot more to show following just two NFL starts. So, knowing that, should we really expect this game to be a shootout in Miami?
The short form of that answer is no. While both are promising, young prospects, their offenses have not been the definition of efficient. In our ranks, the Chargers and Dolphins rate 19th and 21st, respectively. The Chargers are sixth in passing, sure, but Miami holds the number-one ranked pass defense to this point (yes, that's right). They have gotten great play from the likes of Emmanuel Ogbah and Jerome Baker up front, but the secondary has been lights out. The duo of Xavien Howard and Byron Jones have locked down opposing pass-catchers. And the Chargers' banged-up defense has been a top-10 unit in spite of their losses.
Pace will also be a negative factor in this one potentially hitting 49 or more points. Per Football Outsiders, the Chargers are 11th overall and 4th in situation-neutral pace, yet the Dolphins are 31st and 30th in those two categories. They kill the pace and could do so to an even greater extent with their young quarterback being so fresh against a solid defense.
You can hope for a higher-scoring game for your fantasy assets, but the under is the favorite at other sportsbooks, telling us that the 96% of bets being laid on the over are a bit of wishful thinking. The under is the wise move here.