The 3 Most Popular NFL Bets for Week 2
Betting NFL games can be a blast. Whether you take the time to analyze each line and cash in big, or you do it for the fun -- share your bets with friends and tilt with one another in a group chat. Either way, having another layer of interest in your weekly football-watching is great. A lot of times, whether you like or not, you're not alone, either.
And that's where numberFire's oddsFire tool comes in. oddsFire breaks down the differences in betting odds, lines and totals across a number of sportsbooks, but it also shows us what percentage of total bets and money is being laid on any line at FanDuel Sportsbook. Using oddsFire, you can then decide if you would like to align yourself with the betting public -- and enjoy the sweat together -- or go against the grain to capitalize on an over-hyped situation.
In this weekly article, we're here to 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 defending champion Kansas City Chiefs looked good -- I mean, really good -- in their Week 1 victory over the Houston Texans. En route to 34 points and a 14-point win, Patrick Mahomes and squad totaled 369 yards of offense, including 138 rushing yards from rookie sensation Clyde Edwards-Helaire. On the flip side, the Los Angeles Chargers, led by Tyrod Taylor, only mustered 16 points in a narrow win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
It might not be the most telling indicator, but in the teams' last six head-to-head matchups, the Chiefs are 5-1 and have covered in each of their five wins, all while winning by a margin of 9.5 points per game. The splits over at Killer Sports also point to the Chargers' lack of success on their home field, where they are just 7-14 against the spread since making the switch to L.A. And as for the Andy Reid-led Chiefs, since 2013, they're 37-18 against the spread away from Arrowhead -- a ridiculous mark that includes a 4-3 record when favored by at least a touchdown.
The Chiefs are looking good to cover against a Chargers team looking to find its new identity. It would be wise to follow the crowd and reap the benefits of a K.C. cover that brings back $90.90 for every $100 laid.
Shockingly enough, the Minnesota Vikings and Indianapolis Colts are both looking for their first win early on in 2020. While the Vikings were torched by Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams and the Green Bay Packers, the Colts fell victim to an upset bid at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars. After one week, the two teams sit 14th and 17th, respectively, in our power rankings, so this should be a close game one way or another.
Though our main concern is with the moneyline, the Colts opened and have remained three-point favorites at FanDuel Sportsbook and most other books. The moneyline has made a move from +128 at the open, meaning there is some nice value attached to a Vikings win. However, going back to last year, the Vikes are 2-5 in games in which they have been listed as underdogs, and of those, they're 2-4 on the road. When we expand that sample back to Kirk Cousins' arrival in 2018, they're a mere 3-8 with an average margin of six in their opponents' favor.
Indy is dealing with the loss of Marlon Mack in the run game, and they'll look to replace him with rookie Jonathan Taylor, but they have been lights out at home under Frank Reich. Since he took over in 2018 they are 11-5 at home -- 11-4 when favored and 9-2 when favored by at least a field goal. Count on Philip Rivers to get his first win as a Colt and disappoint the betting public.
We should start this one off by admitting that this is was an unlikely choice for the game everyone likes most to blow past the set total. There are a number of games featuring high-flying offenses and some more-than-vulnerable defenses, but this NFC North showdown is drawing a lot of attention. After opening down at 46.5 points, this line has been bet up to 49.5, where it's a dead-even -110 on the under and over. There is a possibility that the opportunity on this line has peaked.
The last three-plus years of trends are not so sure of that. Going back to 2017, in games with at least a 49 over/under (or to score seven touchdowns), the over has hit at a 51.6% rate in a sample of more than 300 games. And just last year, that rate ballooned to 57.1%, with 62.1% exceeded the total when it is beyond the 49-point threshold.
The fact that both teams are in our bottom 10 defensively adds even more fuel to the fire here. While you should be a bit apprehensive, given the 3.5-point move from the open, it wouldn't be the worst move to bet on a high-scoring game between the Lions and Packers.