The 3 Most Popular NFL Bets for Week 5
This past week, only one of the top three public bets hit. The Raiders and Colts combined to exceed the over by 10.5 points, but the Vikings lost to the Bears and the Chiefs failed to cover in a close game in Detroit.
To start Week 5 off, the Rams and Seahawks went down the wire with Seattle emerging victorious, 30-29. They failed to cover the 1.5-point spread, but they fulfilled the 54% of moneyline winners who wagered on an outright Seattle win. Under bettors also won by a hair, as the teams' combined 59 points were a half-point shy of the total set at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Sunday and Monday provide plenty more opportunity to get in on the action at FanDuel Sportsbook. This week, we have 13 games on tap, including two in primetime and nine expected to finish within a touchdown.
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.
Now, the spread has dropped a full point from where it opened, but that shouldn't matter much. Over the last five-plus seasons, Bill Belichick is 16-5-1 against the spread when giving 10 or more points, per Killer Sports. They are 4-1-1 versus the points in road games in that same sample, and this year, they have covered in one of the two games they were favored by double digits. In those, they were favored by 19 and 17, respectively, and won by 43 and 16. Going back to 2018, they have an average margin of 21.8 points in seven such matchups.
On the other end of the coin, Washington -- under Jay Gruden -- is 10-12 against the points as a home underdog. In that time span, they have not once received more than 7.5 points, but in the five they have gotten at least six, they are just 1-5 against the spread; they have lost by 16 or more in two of them.
This large spread is in large part a result of the team's uncertainty at quarterback. Case Keenum is injured, and Gruden has yet to name a starter between him, Colt McCoy and rookie Dwayne Haskins. And they are up against a Tom Brady-led offense with maybe the best defense he's had behind him. New England is getting 96% of the bets and 97% of the money -- and rightfully so.
This is a matchup of two bottom-feeding teams, with the Arizona Cardinals positioned 31st and the Cincinnati Bengals at 28th in our power rankings. But someone has to win, and the public is on the 0-3-1 Cardinals. They are garnering 94% of the moneyline bets and exactly the same percentage of the money, so there doesn't seem to be a sharp lean toward the Bengals.
That, in addition to the line shift (from +163 at the open), is an encouraging sign for Arizona bettors even if they aren't getting the same value. The oddsmakers do expect this to be a close one either way as the Cardinals head into Paul Brown Stadium as 3.0-point underdogs.
Kliff Kingsbury and his Cardinals are winless to start the year, but this is their weakest opponent yet. The Bengals are coming off a 27-3 loss on Monday night, meaning they are on short rest while already depleted at the wideout spot. A.J. Green will remain out, and John Ross was recently sent to injured reserve. The Cardinals' secondary is about as slim, but they might not feel all that challenged if they can get pressure on Andy Dalton. After all, the Cardinals are 11th in sack rate and face a Bengals line allowing the sixth-highest clip (10.3%) through four games.
In the last 36 games, the Bengals are 13-23 with an average margin of 5.5 in favor of their opponents. At home, they're 8-9, including a 6-4 record when favored by any number of points. They are 1-2 when favored by a field goal or less.
This might be the time for Kyler Murray to get going against such an inferior defense. If it is, the Cardinals' D should be able to make Dalton uncomfortable enough to steal their first win of the year. Follow the popular play here.
After last week's scoring fest, you think the public would steer clear, especially on the under. But it's a new week, and things could be totally different in a London matchup against the Chicago Bears and their vaunted defense.
So far, Chicago owns the NFL's fourth-best defense, by our metrics. They are third against the run and ninth against the pass, all en route to just 11.3 opponent points per game. Three of their four games have hit the under to this point, averaging 27.7 combined points between them and their opponents. Only once has their game exceeded 30.
Meanwhile, Oakland's defense has allowed 25.5 points per game behind our models' 18th-ranked defense. And in case it got by you, they allowed 24 to the Colts a week ago. That usually points to the over, but it has hit in only two of their four games. Plus, as our Brandon Gdula points out his Game Notes, the Raiders are 32nd in adjusted seconds per play, which should help to drag down Chicago, who ranks ninth in that same category.
Mitchell Trubisky's absence could certainly play a factor, but Chase Daniel is a capable backup (if not an upgrade in the passing game) and should keep the offense on track. The thing is, both teams are below average in pass rate, and this game is in London, where six of the last seven games have gone under.
The total was initially set at 41 and has been bet, but maybe not enough. Of all bets on the total, 95% are on the under with 96% of the money backing that same side. Don't be afraid to go back to bet the under with Oakland facing such a stingy defense.