The 3 Most Popular NFL Bets for Week 4
In Week 3, two of the three most commonly backed bets hit. The Los Angeles Rams paid dividends on both lines with a seven-point road win over the Cleveland Browns, but the under in the Washington-Chicago game did not fare as well. It was intact going into the fourth, but the two squads combined for nine points in the final quarter and their 46 points beat out the total by five.
On Thursday, the Philadelphia Eagles took down the Green Bay Packers, 34-27, and, in doing so, Philly covered the 3.5-point spread. Per oddsFire, the minority of bets were placed on the Eagles, but 61% of moneyline bettors got it right. The 66% that also bet the over saw a nice return, as well.
Sunday and Monday provide plenty more opportunity to get in on the action at FanDuel Sportsbook. This week, in the first wave of byes, we have another 14 games on tap, including two in primetime and six with shorter than a six-point spread.
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.
The combination of Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes have the Kansas City Chiefs off to a 3-0 start and ranked third in our in-house power rankings. Still, for all the offensive power they boast, it is somewhat surprising to see them favored by nearly a touchdown on the road against a Detroit Lions team that is without a loss (they tied the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1).
But even without Tyreek Hill and the running back situation being up in the air for KC, the public is all over Mahomes and gang. According to oddsFire, 97% of the bets are on the Chiefs, and even more (98%) of the money has come in on the betting favorites to win by seven or more. Should we really be all that shocked, though?
So far this year, in two away games, Kansas City has won by 16 points per game while covering in both. That, according to Killer Sports, gives them a cover rate of 75% in away games through the start of the Mahomes era. When they have been favored, they are 3-2-1 and have won by 8.6 points a game. They have even covered the points in two of the three games in which they have faced a spread of 6.5 or more.
The 2019 Lions are 2-1 against the spread, as well, but they have played just one home game (a 13-10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers). Going back to last year, they're a mere 4-5 versus the spread at home, including a 3-3 record as underdogs and 1-2 record when getting 6.5-plus.
Lucky us, the Chiefs actually provide a tiny more value from when this thing opened with -112 odds on the KC side of the spread. At -105, the public would be getting back an extra $6 for every $100 laid. Not bad for betting on one of the league's most exciting teams on the road indoors.
Two NFC North foes will go head-to-head this week when the Minnesota Vikings visit the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon. It's a clash between the NFL's sixth- and ninth-best teams, per our numbers. It will be almost certainly be tight contest, but we have the Vikings as the better all-around team. It appears the majority of the public does, as well.
The Vikings getting 80% of the moneyline bets as well as even more (84%) of the betting money. However, that just might have something to do with the plus odds on the Vikings.
Unfortunately, Minnesota could've been had at +122 odds at the open, so that's a ding. And Minnesota is fresh off a good win and has now split the last two at Soldier Field. The Bears undoubtedly have one of the best defenses in the league, and they have excelled against the run (third), one of the Vikings' key offensive strengths. Since the Vikings brought on Kirk Cousins last year, they are 3-5-1 on the road but markedly 1-5 as road 'dogs. They're 0-2 as such in divisional games.
That isn't to say that Cousins is the sole reason for Minnesota's shortcomings, but the second-year Viking is tied for 18th among qualified passers this season in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back metric, and he has five touchdowns to three picks and nine sacks for his career against the Bears. This one is iffy for those following the popular play this week.
If you thought 80% was a lot of love, boy, wait until you see what the over is getting in this matchup. As of Thursday night, 90% of bets and 99% of the money is on the over for the Oakland Raiders and Indianapolis Colts. The 44.5 total has held steady at FanDuel Sportsbook in spite of that. However, most other books have moved to 45.0-point totals.
Is that telling for where the play is here? Is the public on with the favored (-120) over play, or is the unpopular under the way to go at plus odds (+100)?
To this point, the Raiders and Colts have averaged a combined 39.3 points per game. They rank 27th and 30th, respectively, in Football Outsiders' situation-neutral pace, which plays into the hands of the under. Their defenses have surrendered a combined 49.7 points per game between them, though we should note that the Raiders faced the high-powered Chiefs and the Colts have squared up with the Chargers and Atlanta Falcons -- sixth and ninth offensively, respectively.
Indianapolis has had the under hit in one of their three games so far, and their last game saw 51 points on their turf. The under has hit in one of the Raiders' three, as well, though their contests have averaged a low 42 points a game. The under is 11 of 19 in Oakland games since the start of 2018.
Unless things run absolutely contrary to how they have been, this should stay rather low-scoring. Don't shy away from the advantageous odds.