The 3 Most Popular NFL Bets for Week 5
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.
On a weekly basis, I imagine both professional and casual bettors first look to one thing for value: who the New York Jets are playing. After all, Adam Gase and company are a cool 0-4 and find themselves dead last in our most up-to-date rankings. They are the worst team in the league, and they are just as bad for betting purposes.
According to Killer Sports, this year's Jets are 0-4 against the spread and have lost by an average margin of 9.9 points. They have lost by 9.5 points per game at home, and going back to last year they are 4-6 against the spread there. Luck you, Arizona Cardinals backers.
After opening as 7.5-point favorites at FanDuel Sportsbook, the visiting Cards have for some reason fallen to exactly a touchdown. That reason cannot be their opponent's quarterback play, though. Joe Flacco is expected to step in for the injured Sam Darnold, as he will make his first start since October 27th of 2019. He will have considerable rust and lack the offensive playmakers to keep up with Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins on the other side. It's no surprise to see them getting 95% of the bets and 98% of the money even as road favorites.
Speaking of road teams the public loves this week, the Carolina Panthers are underdogs on the road versus the Atlanta Falcons. At first glance, it does make some sense. Carolina is in a rebuilding year and without Christian McCaffrey, however, Atlanta has much more going against them this week.
The Falcons could be absent Julio Jones after their star receiver left Monday's game with what has been a nagging hamstring injury. He did not practice to open up the week, so he appears in doubt to give it a go. At the same time, Coach Dan Quinn's injury report is riddled with limited or non-participants on the defensive side. The biggest worry is in the secondary. Damontae Kazee was placed on Injured Reserve, Jaylinn Hawkins is in the concussion protocol, and Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal were both limited with injuries of their own. This could turn into another aerial attack with Teddy Bridgewater heading the charge this time.
All that being considered, somehow, some way, the Panthers are 1.5-point underdogs. But our metrics have Coach Matt Rhule and his talented offense five spots ahead of the Falcons. Add in their 2-2 record (1 win on the road) as underdogs to start the year, and you have a strong, valuable bet. Follow the 81% of the money being laid on the upstart Panthers.
Without a doubt, this one is the most perplexing of these three well-liked lines. While the Miami Dolphins average 23.3 points a game offensively, the San Francisco 49ers have managed 26.8. Yes, that adds up to 50.1 points, yet the two defenses (most notably, the Niners') would send that expectation downward. Miami's eighth-ranked offense is allowing 24.0 points per game to San Francisco's (11th) 17.8.
The math doesn't work out in favor of the over there, and neither do the two teams' betting history. So far this season Miami's games have hit the over just one time in spite of an average 46.5-point total between them and their opponents. San Francisco's watched the over win out on two of its four occasions, however, their average set total has been 45.1.
Going back to last year, games with at least a 49-point over/under have surpassed the mark by 3.8 points per game with a 62.7% hit rate. The big but comes in the form of a mere 30.0% hit rate when the line for that game is at least seven points; it's 8.5 here.
The over is the slight betting favorite, as well as garnering 88% of bets and sharp money (95%), but the under is the more desirable play and value. It would be smart to pivot to the under for a return of more than $95 on a $100 bet.