Fade the Public Betting Trends Week 6

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 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 has a lot of close games. 10 of the remaining 14 games have spreads where the current Vegas line is -3.5 or lower. Yet the public has some clear favorites this week and that presents some unique opportunities for people looking to go against the trend.

BUFFALO BILLS AT HOUSTON TEXANS

Public Trend – 62% of the public bets favor Buffalo

Houston is banged up. Deshawn Watson was knocked around pretty hard against the Cowboys last weekend and he has been limited in practice all week. Lamar Miller suited up for the game, but was only available in case of emergencies and did not play a snap. Will Fuller V is nursing a hamstring injury and Keke Coutee was a game time decision going into the Dallas game. Both have partially practiced this week. Buffalo was an underdog at home last week, but their defense fired up and they beat the Titans with last minute field goal. They are 2-3 against the spread this season, and the line has moved far enough to give them 10 points in this game.

Why you may want to fade the trend.

Even with a 10 point spot in this game, this is still the Buffalo Bills that we’re talking about here. They’re averaging just over 12 points per game while their defense is allowing over 23 points per game. The Buffalo passing game ranks dead last in the NFL with an average of only 121 yards per game and they have 7 interceptions against just 2 passing touchdowns. What little offense they have is generated on the ground and the Texans have the 8th best rushing defense in the league, allowing just 95 yards per game and only 1 rushing touchdown all season. They held Ezekiel Elliott to just 54 rushing yards on 20 carries last week. Watson and Miller both practiced this week and are expected to play. The Buffalo passing defense is stout, giving up only 234 yards per game, but they have allowed eight passing touchdowns and have only three interceptions. Watson has thrown for 375 or more yards in each of the last three games and is averaging over 324 yards per game for the season. If the Buffalo pass defense can’t get to Watson, it should be no problem for the Texans to cover the big spread at home.

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT WASHINGTON REDSKINS

Public Trend – 61% of the public bets favor Carolina

The Public watched the Saints roll all over Washington on Monday night, and with Carolina getting points as they travel to Washington this week, it made sense for them to pile on the Panthers. The Panthers have the league best rushing attack, averaging 154 yards per game on the ground. Both teams have played 4 games, but the Panthers are averaging 26 PF a game while Washington is averaging less than 21.

Why you may want to fade the trend.

The Washington collapse on Monday night was bad, but for their other three games, the were allowing just over 14 points per game. The defense is ranked #5 in the league, allowing just 320 yards per game including the Monday night loss. Their rushing defense is allowing just 95 yards per game (#6 in the league). Carolina’s defense is ranked 20th in the league, averaging over 375 yards allowed per game. Despite being at home after a bye week, the Panthers kicked a 63 yard field goal as time expired to beat the visiting Giants 33-31. Washington and Carolina offenses are nearly equal with Carolina averaging less than 7 yards per game more. This game is essentially a ‘pick ‘em’, but the public is heavily backing the Panthers due to the lopsided Washington loss on Monday night being fresh in their minds. Washington has a slight edge and should be able to pull out the win at home.

CHICAGO BEARS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS

Public Trend – 59% of the public bets favor Chicago

*Note some sites have Chicago receiving 62-61% of the public action.

Chicago destroyed Tampa Bay two weeks ago and are the surprise team of the 1st quarter of the season. Their defense is red hot and their offense finally clicked in the 48-10 thumping of Tampa back on September 30th. The Bears are coming off a bye week and face their former offensive coordinator Adam Gase who left Chicago to take over the head coaching job in Miami. Chicago has the #2 defense in the league, allowing less than 295 total yards per game. Miami’s offense is one of the worst in the league, ranked 30th with just 288 yards per game. The Bears are giving up less than 17 points a game and the Dolphins are scoring less than 20 points per game on offense.

Why you may want to fade the trend.

The Dolphins are a different team on the road than at home. They are 2-0 against the spread at home and have averaged more than 27 points per game in front of the home crowd. The Bears are coming off a bye week to go on the road against their former coach. Although they are 3-1, the Bears have struggled on the road, losing their opening game in Green Bay with a spectacular 2nd half collapse and squeaked by the Cardinals back in week 3 16-14. The public is behind the Bears, expecting them to come in hot, but has the makings of a potential upset, especially if the line stays at +3.5 for the Dolphins.

* graphics and numbers are from covers.com.