The 3 Most Popular NFL Bets for Week 16
Over the last couple of weeks, you may have been eliminated from your fantasy football playoffs. But there's no need to feel left out with games to bet on at every turn.
This Saturday, Sunday, and Monday provide plenty more opportunities to get in on the action at FanDuel Sportsbook. There are 16 games ahead of us (with no Thursday Night Football), including three on Saturday and one on Monday night.
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.
After opening at -4.5 on the spread line, the Kansas City Chiefs have received 93% of bets and 95% of the money, pushing the spread to -6. That is the case at most other books, and at one the visitors are favored by 6.5. So maybe six points aren't enough against the host Bears?
By our rankings, this is a matchup between the league's 4th- and 21st-best teams with K.C. owning a sizable advantage. While the Bears and their top-five defense are better on that side of the ball, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs' offense is a whole 27 spots ahead of Mitchell Trubisky and company.
Given Chicago's inconsistency, they have gone just 5-8-1 against the spread, according to Killer Sports. That includes a 1-3 record as underdogs and a 3-4 mark on their home turf. They did best the Dallas Cowboys just over a couple of weeks ago as home 'dogs, but these are Andy Reid's Chiefs.
Kansas City is 8-6 against the spread and 6-5 when they have been listed as the favorites. When that line has been at least six points they are 3-2, consisting of a 1-1 record against the spread on the road.
The numbers aren't super convincing, yet the Chiefs have the advantage here, and the line allows for a push at six or a win if they cover by exactly one touchdown. It's more likely that we see them fulfill the public's betting wishes.
Two of Chicago's division rivals will go up against one another when the 11-3 Green Bay Packers travel to take on the 10-4 Minnesota Vikings in Week 16. A lot of playoff implications are in play here, and things have gotten just a bit dicey in recent days.
After leaving Sunday's game with a shoulder injury, star running back Dalvin Cook is up in the air for this pivot contest. While a reliable report suggested he is unlikely to suit up this week, Cook failed to practice on Thursday. And to make matters worse, his usual backup, Alexander Mattison, remained sidelined as well. It looks like an ankle injury could keep him out and force Mike Boone to step up as the lead back for Minnesota.
Oddsmakers haven't reacted much, though. The Vikings have gone from -4 at the open to -5.5 as of Thursday evening. Following suit, the Packers' moneyline is up to +196 from +178 just a few days ago. But don't tell the public.
Bettors are laying 93% of both bets and money on the Pack at their underdog odds. After all, they return an additional $152.50 on a $100 bet. Add to that the fact that Green Bay has outright won two of their three games as road underdogs, so you can see why the public is heavy on Aaron Rodgers and the cheeseheads.
The Houston Texans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of the three games that will get things started on Saturday, and they're the very first one to kick-off (at 1:00 p.m. EST). By the 50-point total, it could be full of fireworks as Deshaun Watson and Jameis Winston square up in a battle of top-10 scoring offenses.
On the year, Houston and Tampa are averaging 24.4 and 29.7 points per game, respectively, and that alone would point to the over. But, wait -- there's more. According to Football Outsiders, they are 15th and 14th in situation-neutral pace, and when either team is trailing those figures take a considerable leap into the top 10.
Houston and Tampa Bay have watched the over go a combined 16-10-2 in their matchups this season, but on the Bucs' side that 50-point over/under has been exceeded in 10 of their 14 games with one hitting it on the nose. And at home, the over's won out in four of five with an average of 58.4 points between them and their opponents. Meanwhile, Houston's away games have averaged 51.0 points.
Not so surprisingly, 86% of the bets and 87% of the money is backing the over. With the only concern around Tampa's weapons (Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are out), the smart move is hoping for a high-scoring game to whet our palates on Saturday afternoon.