Fade the Public Betting Trends Week 8

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.

A quick note before we dig into this week’s picks. Jeff Pasquino has a weekly column on betting against the spread called ‘For The Win’. Each week he gives his take on every NFL game, and makes his prediction on who will win or cover. At the end of the article, he calls out some of his favorite games and bets. Jeff’s been on a crazy hot streak as of late and it’s worth checking out if you’re looking to get a different take on which games to bet.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS AT NEW YORK GIANTS

Public Trend – 66% of the public bets favor Washington

The Giants are in free-fall, and they look and play like a team that has given up. They are 1-6 overall, and 0-3 at home against the spread. Their offense is averaging less than 20 points per game. Their defense wasn’t exactly top shelf, giving up 367 yards and more than 26 point per game. Then they traded Damon Harrison and Eli Apple away. They are also playing on a short week after a Monday night loss to the Falcons. Now they face a Washington team that is 4-2 against the spread and coming off a big home win against their hated division rival the Dallas Cowboys. Washington is in first place, looking to extend their lead with another much-needed division win. Their defense is ranked 5th in the NFL, allowing just over 325 yards per game. They are 3rd in the NFL in rushing yards allowed – 87 per game, and held Ezekiel Elliot to just 42 yards from scrimmage last week.

Why you may want to fade the trend.

The Washington offense is a banged up. Jamison Crowder, Adrian Peterson, Paul Richardson Jr, and Chris Thompson have all been limited or sitting out of practice. They’re 21st in total offense, posting just 337 yards per game and averaging just 21 points per game. Despite having two weeks to prepare and praying at home, the Cowboys missed a last second field goal to send the game into overtime. The Giants scored 14 points in the 4th quarter and nearly pulled off an upset against the Falcons. They are playing at home in a game which has moved to being a ‘pick em’. Washington is banged up and primed for a let-down after he near miss with the Cowboys. Look for the Giants to play tough in this game and the home team just might pull out the victory.

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS

Public Trend – 60% of the public bets favor Green Bay

The Packers are coming off a bye week after a win on Monday night against the visiting 49ers. Aaron Rodgers has not been the same since week one, and the extra rest will do him good. The Packers offense was averaging over 24 points per game before the break and they have battled back into second place in their division, with their playoff hopes looking brighter every week. The Rams coasted to an easy victory against the 49ers last week and are the only undefeated team left in the league, but they have looked vulnerable at times. Cooper Kupp is still not practicing and will likely miss this week’s game. The line on this game started at -8 and has moved a full point and a half toward the Packers. This has caused the public to jump all over the big spread, hoping the Packers will cover.

Why you may want to fade the trend.

The Rams are 2-1 against the spread at home, and their offense is #2 in the league, averaging over 446 yards per game. Todd Gurley is having a career year, and Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods have filled in nicely while Kupp is on the sidelines. Their defense is ranked 7th in the league, allowing just 327 yards per game. While the Packers won their Monday night contest against the 49ers, they didn’t exactly blow them out of the water. San Francisco on the road on Monday night hung with them until late in the 4th quarter in a game that Green Bay should have easily won. They are 0-2 against the spread on the road this season and have looked very vulnerable on the road with losses to Washington and Detroit. Aaron Rodgers is the key to victory for the Packers, but he can’t win if he’s not on the field. The Rams will lean hard on Todd Gurley like they have these last few weeks, and should roll all over the visiting Packers.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS VS DETROIT LIONS

Public Trend – 60% of the public bets favor Detroit

The Lions have won their last two games, and are coming off a big win in Miami after their bye week. They’ve finally found their running game, and Kerryon Johnson has 358 yards on the ground over the last four games. As a team, Detroit is scoring almost 27 points per game and they are 5-1 this season against the spread. The Seahawks are struggling to stop the run, and their defenses yields over 120 yards per game on the ground. They’ve had trouble on the road this season, and will be making the dreaded ‘West Coast to East Cost’ trip again with a 1;00 PM Start. They have three wins this season, but they’ve only beaten bad teams who have a combined 5-15 record.

Why you may want to fade the trend.

Two weeks ago, Seattle nearly beat the undefeated Rams at home, losing by just 2 points 33-31. They’ve played tough in all of their losses, and are allowing less than 20 points again including the 33 to the Rams. Their run defense may be soft, but their total defense is ranked 6th, allowing just 326 yards per game. They are traveling West to East, but are also coming off a bye week so they should be well rested. The Lions may be scoring almost 27 points per game but their defense has actually allowed 1 more point than they’ve scored through the first six games. Their run defense is actually worse than Seattle, allowing almost 140 yards per game on the ground (28th in the league). The line have moved to -3 on this game, making Seattle very attractive given how close they play their opponents. Look for both teams to run the ball a lot, but if Seattle can keep it close, they should be able to cover this game.

* graphics and numbers are from covers.com.