4 Betting Trends to Help Set Your Week 13 Daily Fantasy Football Lineup
When making tough decisions in daily fantasy football, Vegas lines can be predictive of fantasy scoring, while providing an edge on the competition.
Unfortunately, as professional NFL handicapper Warren Sharp has pointed out, oddsmakers' primary goal is not to set the most accurate lines; their goal is to make money, and they do that by encouraging public action on a particular side. What does that mean?
Let's say a sportsbook opens the line on a game with Team X favored to beat Team Y by seven points. If 80% of the public money coming in is in favor of Team X against the spread but the book still does not adjust the line, that demonstrates that either there is sharp money on Team Y, or that they feel confident about Team Y against the spread. Either way, by examining how the oddsmakers are moving lines in comparison to where the public is betting, an edge can be gained when making lineup decisions.
Cleveland Browns (+5.5) at Houston Texans (O/U 47.5)
Betting Trends: Finding success under offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens, the Cleveland Browns come into this game on a two-game winning streak after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 35-20 in Week 12. On the other side, the Houston Texans have won their last four, including a 34-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans. To start the week, 61% of bets have come on the Texans' side, but the line has actually dropped from 6.5-points to 5.5-points. This shows some potential sharp money or favor from bookmakers on the Browns' side.
Takeaways: A closer game for Cleveland bodes well for Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb. If the Browns can remain competitive, Chubb will likely reach 20 touches for the fifth-straight game. He should also have a strong chance at a score after reaching the end zone in four out of his last five games. Mayfield looks like the preferred play in the Cleveland passing game. No receiver has more than 19% of the Mayfield's targets since Week 9, showing Mayfield's tendency to spread the ball around.
Still favored by 5.5-points at home, Lamar Miller should benefit from positive game script in this contest. However, the Texans' insistence on mixing in Alfred Blue limits Miller's overall upside. In the passing game, DeAndre Hopkins remains matchup-proof, with the tenth-most targets (103) and the fourth-most air yards (1,344) in the NFL. Cleveland has allowed the fifth-most yards to receivers this season, creating an avenue for Hopkins' fantasy success.
Minnesota Vikings (+5) at New England Patriots (O/U 49.5)
Betting Trends: Fresh of a 24-17 win over the division rival Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota Vikings draw a much tougher task against the New England Patriots. Coming off a divisional win of their own, the Patriots overpowered the New York Jets 27-13 last week. At this point 66% of the bets have come in on the Patriots' side, but the line has dropped from 6 points to 5 points. This indicates some sharp action on Minnesota's sid
Takeaways: Minnesota's offense runs through the passing game and this line movement indicates that it could have success. The Vikings have attempted the third-most passes in football and the Patriots rank 30th in Football Outsiders' Adjusted Sack Rate, meaning Kirk Cousins should have no problem getting the ball out of his hands. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs rank second and fourth in the NFL with 124 and 114 targets, respectively. Hogging 55% of the Vikings targets together, they remain the preferred stacking options with Cousins this week.
Still favored by 5-points at home, game script sets up nicely for Sony Michel in this contest. When healthy, Michel has averaged 22.75 touches in Patriots' wins this season. In the passing game, Josh Gordon projects to draw the coverage of Xavier Rhodes, elevating the match-ups for Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. Implied for 27.25 points, multiple players could hit value for the Patriots in this contest.
Carolina Panthers (-3.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (O/U 54.5)
Betting Trends: Losers of their last three, the Carolina Panthers narrowly fell to the Seattle Seahawks 30-27 last week. However, they have a chance to get back on track against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers' team that smashed an inferior San Francisco 49ers' team 27-9. Despite taking 72% of the tickets, the line has only moved a half-point towards Carolina since it opened. In fact, some Sportsbooks still have the opening line at 3-points even, suggesting some sharp bettors on the Tampa Bay side.
Takeaways: Carolina's offense has flowed directly through Christian McCaffrey of late. He has at least 19 touches in each of his last four games, including an absurd 7.5 targets per game in that span. Tampa Bay has allowed the fourth-most rushing yards to backs over the last four weeks (469) after dealing with injures to Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David. It should also be noted that Tampa ranks 31st in pass defense, according to our schedule-adjusted metrics. D.J. Moore has emerged as the Panthers top receiver over the past two weeks with 15 targets and should remain heavily involved in this one.
Underdogs yet again, Jameis Winston will continue to lead the Bucs' offense as they try to rally from behind. So far this season, the Tampa Bay signal caller (Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick combined) have attempted the second-most passes in the NFL. With DeSean Jackson ruled out, Chris Godwin makes an intriguing stacking option with Winston. While Jackson was limited last week, Godwin stepped in and played 67% of the Bucs' snaps. Carolina ranks 28th in pass defense, per our metrics, creating an edge for Winston and Godwin to exploit.
Los Angeles Rams (-10) at Detroit Lions (O/U 55)
Betting Trends: Coming off a late-season bye, the Los Angeles Rams most recently defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 54-51. On the other side, the Detroit Lions have struggled mightily recently, including a 23-16 loss to the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving. At this point, 81% of tickets have favored the Rams, but this line hasn't moved since it opened at 10 points. This means bookmakers or sharps may see the Lions as a value in Week 13.
Takeaways: Despite early indications that the Lions may stay competitive, they remain 10-point underdogs. This bodes well for Kenny Golladay and Matthew Stafford in the Lions' passing game. In two weeks without Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, Golladay has seen a massive 22 targets and 248 air yards. Further boosting his fantasy outlook, the Rams rank bottom-12 in receiving yards allowed to wide outs this season. Stafford has largely disappointed, but game script should force the Lions towards the pass early in this one.
On the other side, it is all systems go for the Rams' skill position players. Detroit ranks 30th in pass defense and 25th in rush defense, per our metrics. Without Cooper Kupp out of the lineup, Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods saw 12 and 11 targets respectively in Week 11. They also both mix in the slot, helping their chances to avoid Darius Slay's shadow coverage. Todd Gurley and Jared Goff remain DFS targets with the Rams implied for 32.25 points in this one.
Matthew Gajewski is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matthew Gajewski also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mgajewski. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.