The 3 Most Popular NFL Bets for Week 3
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 Detroit Lions are 0-2. The Arizona Cardinals are 2-0. So it's fitting that the Cardinals opened this week's line as six-point favorites and have remained so at other books outside of FanDuel Sportsbook. However, what might be surprising is how much the betting public loves them to cover the points.
At this point in time Kyler Murray and his squad are receiving 92% of the bets and 94% of the money being laid on those bets. The reverse line movement is something everyone wants a piece of. Why wouldn't they? According to Killer Sports, in the 18 games the Cardinals have played in this new Kingsbury/Murray era, they are 12-6 against the spread. As favorites, the sample size is just two games, with the Cardinals winning one and losing the other. Meanwhile, Detroit is just 5-12 against the spread going back to last year, including a 2-6-1 record on the road and 2-4-1 record as underdogs in those games.
The numbers might not be the most telling, as we are in midst of what appears to be a sophomore breakout from Murray and overall improvement on the defensive end of Arizona. Led by the likes of Chandler Jones, Budda Baker and Patrick Peterson, they are our eighth-ranked defense through a pair of contests. Detroit ranks dead last defensively and 22nd offensively. They are hurting because of inexperience and injuries early on, making the Cardinals a safe bet to cover on their home turf.
Week 3 provides us with quite a few big-time quarterback matchups, but only one features a pair of surefire Hall of Famers with 77 years of age and two Super Bowl wins between them. Down in the Superdome, Drew Brees and his 1-1 New Orleans Saints welcome in Aaron Rodgers and the undefeated Green Bay Packers, against whom they are three-point favorites.
On the surface, this line is very complexing. While Rodgers has played like a man on a mission and a top-five MVP candidate, Brees has looked like an aging quarterback who has lost his zip. Of course, the latter was without his go-to man in Michael Thomas, but even in Week 1, Brees was bothered by the Tampa Bay defense. And it just so happens the playing field might be leveled out. Thomas has remained sidelined at practice, but Davante Adams also failed to practice Wednesday because of a hamstring injury. You don't need me to tell you that there would be a noticeable dip in firepower here if both were to sit.
That could be a key factor, but so could the surroundings. Going back to Brees' first year in New Orleans, his team is 80-40 with a 6.3 margin of victory. They are 72-35 when favored and 68-29 in games favored by at least a field goal. The Packers are 131-79-2 in the Rodgers era, but they have just 15 wins in the 50 games they have been labeled as road 'dogs. This one could hinge on the availability of the teams' top receiving options, but either way, the one-sidedness has gone too far.
For this game, we get a head-to-head showdown between quarterbacks with a combined age of 48 -- a whole 29 short of Rodgers and Brees. Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson have taken over as two of the league's top three or four guys under center, so as you can imagine, the hype is real. And this large and in charge over tells us that it has taken hold with football fans.
After an opening line of 52.5, the public has bet this one up a point on FanDuel Sportsbook, though most other books have the total at 54 or 54.5 as of Wednesday evening. FanDuel has the over at -120 odds and the under at +100, which only mirrors the fact that the over is drawing 94% of bets and 98% -- yes, 98% -- of the money. Should it be, though?
You don't need me or stats to tell you that these are two high-flying offenses. The Chiefs and Ravens check in 4th and 10th in our offensive ranks, respectively. But, defensively, Baltimore is the best league has to offer to this point. Their big defensive front, combined with their potent run game, could slow the Chiefs' offense.
As for the overall trends, they point to the offenses winning out. In games with a 50-point over/under, the over has hit more than 54% of the time going back to 2018. Games with at least a 53.5-point total have surpassed that mark by an average of 3.9 points with the over returning money 57% of the time. For betting and entertainment, let's hope the fireworks play out as planned on Monday night.