The 3 Most Popular NFL Bets for Week 2
Week 2 was a wild one. But the public largely had things right. The Ravens covered by a cool 40-plus points against the Dolphins and the Eagles came all the way back to defeat Washington, but the Texans and Saints hit the over by six with an up-and-down finish in New Orleans' favor.
On Thursday, the Buccaneers and Panthers had to deal with a bit of weather-related delay, but after the pause, and a defensive stand late, Tampa ended up with the win. They made winners of the 37% that accounted for only 9% of the money on this game. They also covered the seven-point spread and provided a return for the 22% who took them with the points. The 34 combined points came up 15.5 shy of the 49.5-point total at kickoff, which satisfied the minority (37%) that took the under.
Sunday and Monday provide plenty more opportunity to get in on the action at FanDuel Sportsbook. This week, we have another 15 games on tap, including two in primetime and 11 carrying a spread shorter than seven points.
But which games and lines are getting the most action? Thanks to numberFire's new oddsFire tool, we can see exactly that -- where the public is laying the most bets and what percentage of money is on which team and which side of the total.
Using oddsFire as our guide, let's 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.
On Sunday, Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys looked like a brand new team. Last year's sixth-ranked scoring defense held up their end and kept the New York Giants to 17 points and forced a pair of turnovers in doing so. But it was the offense, revamped under new coordinator Kellen Moore, that stole the show in Big D.
The offense totaled 494 yards and 35 points, while Prescott threw for 405 yards and four of the team's five scores. He didn't do much with his legs, but it was obvious that he didn't need to. Ultimately, the Cowboys covered the 7.5-point spread at home, but the public is fully expecting them to do it again 5.5 in Washington's favor.
Dallas opened up at -4.5, but 95% of bets and 98% of the money has been on their side. That's all for a team facing a division rival on the road -- a division rival that gave a strong Philadelphia Eagles team a scare last week. Case Keenum hit 68.2% of his pass attempts en route to 380 yards and three touchdowns, while the rushing attack puttered out to 28 yards from now-injured Derrius Guice and pass-catching specialist Chris Thompson, who will play a more major role alongside Adrian Peterson this week.
According to Killer Sports, history would tell us that the home team is unlikely to cover here. The Redskins have beaten the spread at just a 43.3% rate against the Cowboys, and at home that drops to 40.0%. In narrowing the scope to only home games where they've been underdogs they have used the points to go 6-7. Since 2017, they are 3-5 in similar matchups against all teams. Meanwhile, Dallas is 5-1-1 as a road favorite in that same time frame.
Even if we ignore the Cowboys' super hot start, the numbers speak for themselves.
Makes sense, right? If such a large majority of the public expect the Cowboys to win by six or more then why wouldn't they be riding "America's Team" on the moneyline, too? The only thing that's not in bettors' favor is the very short odds and the return ($41 for every $100 laid) associated with them.
Nevermind that, though, Dallas has received 91% of the moneyline bets with those wagers constituting 98% of the money on this game. No other team has drawn 90-plus percent of bets, and there's a three-way tie between the Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears and Houston Texans for the next-closest money share at 95%.
Again, it is only logical, but we must point to Dallas' dominance straight-up in these types of games. They've won six of seven outright and have taken five of the last seven versus Washington. And small sample size or not, we have Dallas ranked seventh -- 22 spots clear of Washington.
Another week, and another Saints game getting love on the over. Another matchup, and another tilt against an elite offense. Under Sean McVay, the Los Angeles Rams averaged the first- and second-most points per game in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. In their opener, all they did was put up 30 in a win over the Panthers.
As for Drew Brees' Saints, they posted 30 of their own inside the friendly confines of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. They'll turn around and head on the road this week, where their quarterback is notably less efficient and productive in his tenure with New Orleans.
Going back to the beginning of Brees' time with the team the Saints have averaged 30 points at home and have had the over win out at a 59.3% clip. However, away from New Orleans they've averaged 4.2 fewer points and have given up 24.0 to their opponents. Their combined 49.8 points per game have brought the average down to just 51.0% in the over's favor. That falls to 35.7% in the 16 road games in the last two seasons, in which their games have averaged 47.8 combined points.
For McVay, Jared Goff and company, they've watched the over emerge victorious in 55.6% of their games since 2017. They've averaged 52.2 points along with their opponents, and 11 of 19 fell short of the total last year. Cooper Kupp's presence might play a factor, but this game is flying too high.
The under is 2-1 in the three games the two NFC foes have played against one another in the past two calendar years. Two of the three came up short of 50 points with the lone clash in Los Angeles amounting to a 26-20 Rams win.
The appeal is always there for the over, especially in a game with so many fantasy-relevant players in action. By bets, 94% is on the over with 85% of the money on it as well. That's not a big enough difference itself, but for all the fun that comes from a 28-24 game, there's the reality that this one might not live up to its high-scoring bill.