The 3 Most Popular NFL Bets for Week 8
In Week 7, the public went 1-2 on the three most popular bets. The under just narrowly hit between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals, but the San Francisco 49ers failed to cover, and for the second straight week, the Philadelphia Eagles fell when the public looked for them to rise to the occasion against the Dallas Cowboys.
Sunday and Monday provide plenty more opportunities to get in on the action at FanDuel Sportsbook. This week, we have another 14 games on tap, including 4 with spreads of 10 or more points. That could make it difficult for even the most informed bettors to get things right.
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.
Before the season, it would've been safe to assume this would be a very competitive game with a line closer to three or four with Atlanta as the home team. But only one of the two have performed, and that's the Seattle Seahawks. While the Falcons are 1-6 and clinging to any form of hope for this year, Russell Wilson and company are 5-2 and on track for a playoff berth despite playing in the ultra-competitive NFC West.
At quarterback for Atlanta, Matt Ryan has done his part, completing a career-high 70.9% of his passes for 2,170 yards and 15 touchdowns. But Ryan is in danger of missing this week's game after failing to practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Coach Dan Quinn said Ryan would play, though that doesn't seem like a sure thing coming from a coach as desperate as he is. Matt Schaub would get the spot start if he's unable to go by Sunday afternoon.
The public's betting behavior seems to leaning toward Ryan not playing, with Seattle drawing 97% of the bets and 98% of the money on the spread. Even with double-digit spreads elsewhere, the Seahawks are tops on the slate in both numbers. Whether that's entirely called for could depend on Ryan's availability.
At the team level, Seattle has the edge. They are 15 spots ahead of Atlanta in our power rankings, and -- according to Killer Sports -- have covered in four of their seven games this season. The 'Hawks are 3-1 against the spread in their last four and a perfect 3-0 on the road.
In 2019, Atlanta is 1-6 against the spread and are 0-3 when getting at least a field goal. They are 17-20 against the spread at home in the Dan Quinn era.
This game isn't actually in L.A., as the two will battle it out over in London, but the venue shouldn't matter much. The Los Angeles Rams -- for all their early-season stumbles -- are the far better, ranking ninth in our power rankings compared to the winless Cincinnati Bengals all the way down at 30th.
The heavy lean toward Sean McVay, Jared Goff, and Todd Gurley follows the 13-point spread in their favor. That spread has been bet up from 12.5 at the open when the Rams were also listed at -629 on the moneyline. So, some value is gone, but this is a virtual lock against one of the worst teams in the NFL, without arguably its best player.
Through two-plus years, McVay's Rams are 28-11 during the regular season, including a 26-8 mark as a favorite. As road favorites, they're 13-2 and 4-0 in their last four matchups of the kind.
Cincinnati is 6-17 dating to the beginning of 2018 and have been around .500 against the spread. In games they've been double-digit underdogs, they are 0-3 straight up with losses of five, three, and six. There's more of a chance they cover, but the moneyline love is justifiable. After all, there's more of a majority through the money (88%) than bets (85%) being put down on the favored Rams. That's a good sign.
Returning to that Seahawks/Falcons game, the public is all over the under for this one, possibly meaning -- once again -- that they are expecting Schaub under center. While 89% of all the bets are on this one to be lower-scoring than the experts think, 96% of the money backs that up in a big way, telling us that the sharps are on this side of the total as well.
Other than the potential for Schaub to lead an anemic offense, though, what points to the under?
Since Quinn's first year in Atlanta, Falcons games have either hit the under or pushed at a rate of 55.3% with a combined average of 49.4 between them and their opponents. Yet, when the total has been set at 50 or higher, the over has won out in 22 of 32 such games.
On the Seattle side, four of their seven games have hit the over this year, while they and their opponents have averaged 51.0 points between them. They haven't seen a total north of 49, but in the team's last four games with a 50-point total the over is 4-0.
If Ryan is ruled out, those that locked in their bet should find some winnings by week's end. However, if Ryan is healthy enough to perform at his usual level, the over is the preferred play based on recent trends.