Fade the Public Betting Trends Week 5

Taking a second look at the more popular betting trends.

As sports gambling becomes more mainstream, more and more people are looking for insight on what games to bet on and what lines to take. One approach is to look at the ‘popular’ lines, where people follow the crowd and bet on the games that everyone else is betting. This ‘Go with the Flow’ mentality can provide a sense of security because if a lot of other people are doing it, there must be something there.

But sometimes the public can have it wrong. Sometimes the flow of the water actually leads to a waterfall. Sometimes, it’s better to go against the flow – or maybe even avoid the flow completely. In this series, we’ll look at some of those situations, and give you our thoughts behind why it might be good to fade the public trend, and look for other opportunities.

This week we see a lot of money heading toward the favorites, and depending on the sites you look at, teams like Baltimore, Denver and the Rams could all be pushing 80% of the action. The consensus picks seem to swing heavily toward the favorites as well and you’re going to need a strong stomach if you want to buck that trend.

BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS

Public Trend – 65% of the public bets favor Baltimore

The Ravens are a heavy public favorite this week with their strong win against the Steelers on the road last week. The Ravens have the second-best defense in the league, allowing only 275 yards per game total. Cleveland has a young offense with a rookie quarterback who was thrown into the deep end of the pool two weeks ago. Although they played tough on the road in LA, Cleveland gave up 45 points to the Raiders, including 21 in the 4th quarter which ultimately cost them the game.

Why you may want to fade the trend.

The Browns broke their losing streak the last time they were in Cleveland, and the whole city suddenly boarded the Baker Mayfield train. Against the Ravens this week, the home crowd will be out in force, and having a stadium behind them should give the Browns a big confidence boost. Cleveland’s pass defense isn’t bad, ranked 10th in the NFL allowing only 278 yards per game through the air. They’ve given up seven touchdowns but also have seven interceptions. The Browns lead the league in total rushing yards (yes you read that right) averaging almost 153 yards per game. Baltimore has a stout run defense, but if the Browns can control the clock, this game is going to be close.

The Vegas line started even but as the money floods to the Baltimore side, the line has moved to Cleveland +3. Home underdogs have been doing well these last few weeks and the Browns are 2-0 at home against the spread. If Cleveland’s defense can avoid the late game fade that they did against Oakland, this game should be close.

DENVER BRONCOS AT NEW YORK JETS

Public Trend – 67% of the public bets favor Denver

The Jets have lost three straight games after the big win in Detroit to start the season. They are struggling on offense, averaging just 289 yards per game (28th in the league). Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold has more interceptions (5) than touchdowns (4) this season, and only Quincy Enunwa (21) has more than 10 receptions through the first four games. Denver’s rushing attack is #2 in the league with 593 rushing yards and six touchdowns so far, and they are averaging a whopping 5.6 Yards per carry.

Why you may want to fade the trend.

The Broncos are on the road after a tough Monday night loss at home against Kansas City. They are a west coast team traveling east and the 1:00 PM start on Sunday will only add to that compressed schedule. The Jets have been keeping their opponents in check, and despite their 1-3 record, they have only given up 89 points for the season. The Jets are only giving up 108 yards per game (16th in the league), and their 3.8 Yards per attempt allowed ranks 7th in the league. Case Keenum has twice as many interceptions (6) as touchdown passes (3) and the Broncos were only able to put up 245 passing yards on a weak Kansas City passing defense that was allowing over 350 yards per game at the time. If the Broncos can’t run the ball against the stingy New York defense, the Jets may be able to squeak out a win at home. The line moved from the Jets being the favorite to a ‘pick em’ as the money continues to flow toward the Broncos. This could be another home underdog by game time.

TENNESSEE TITANS AT BUFFALO BILLS

Public Trend – 64% of the public bets favor Tennessee

Buffalo is the doormat of the league, averaging less than 13 points per game, including the 27-6 upset of the Vikings a couple weeks ago. Their offense averages just 220 yards per game (31st in the league) and Josh Allen leads the team with just 116 total rushing yards so far this season. Zay Jones leads the team with just 10 receptions. Allen has taken more sacks than any other quarterback in the league. The Titans are playing well and are winning their division based on their tough defense, which is allowing only 18 points per game this season. Their passing defense ranks 11th in the league, giving up just 242 yards per game through the air. They are 3-1 against the spread this season, and have beaten playoff quality teams like Jacksonville on the road and the Eagles last week at home.

Why you may want to fade the trend.

After the big overtime win against the Eagles, the Titans get to travel to Buffalo where they will certainly be expecting an easier time against a weak opponent. But the Titans were averaging less than 17 points per game before that win and at times, their offense has struggled this season. Their rushing defense isn’t great, and they are averaging 118 yards allowed per game on the ground. They’ve also struggled against running quarterbacks, giving up eight yards per carry to Deshaun Watson and over five yards per carry to Blake Bortles.

The line has moved two full points in Buffalo’s direction, as everyone wonders how the Bills are going to score against Tennessee. As nearly a 6 point favorite at home, if Buffalo can reach the end zone twice in this game, it’s going to be very hard for the Titans to cover the spread in this game.

* graphics and numbers are from covers.com.