Fade the Public Betting Trends Week 11

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.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS

Public Trend – 60% of the public bets favor Kansas City

I’ve seen as much as 80% of the public money going toward Kansas City in this game. And why not? They are 8-2 against the spread this season and 5-0 on the road. Their offense is #3 in the league, posting 423 yards and 35 points per game. They’re on a four-game winning streak and everything seems to be clicking for them now. The Rams are undefeated at home, but are just 2-3 against the spread. They’ve struggled lately, losing to the Saints 45-35 two weeks ago and nearly lost to Seattle last week before posting 16 points in the 4th quarter to win 36-31

Why you may want to fade the trend.

This game was originally scheduled to be played at a neutral site in Mexico City but the NFL has cancelled that and the Rams will now play at home where they are 5-0 this season. The Rams are actually ranked higher than Kansas City on offense, posting 448 yards per game. Their defense is ranked 13, giving up just 355 yards per game compared to Kansas City who is giving up 410. This game is expected to be a shoot-out in prime time and it’s possible that both teams could put up 35 or more points. The public is still hot and heavy for the Chiefs though, making the Rams a good counter-play. They are at home with a better defense and slightly better offense. Covering a 3 point spread is very possible.

HOUSTON TEXANS AT WASHINGTON

Public Trend – 60% of the public bets favor Houston

Washington gave up over 500 yards of offense to Tampa Bay last week, including 406 yards passing to Ryan Fitzpatrick. They are 26th in total offense, averaging just 337 yards and less than 20 points per game. Their receiving corps is decimated by injuries and they are pulling people from the stands to play receiver. The Texans have the 9th ranked defense in the league, giving up just 336 yards per game. Their offense is ranked 14th, averaging 369 yards and 24 points per game. They are coming off an extended bye week (their last game was on Thursday November 1st), giving Deshaun Watson’s ribs some much needed rest. With Demaryius Thomas now opposite Deandre Hopkins, he has the best wide receiver corps he’s ever played with.

Why you may want to fade the trend.

Teams has struggled coming off the bye week this season, and while Watson certainly needed the rest, its possible the rest of his team could come out very flat. Washington has a rabid fan base, and being a home underdog will have the Washington faithful fired up for this game. The Texans are just 4-5 against the spread compared to Washington who is 6-3 (3-2 at home). Through their first nine games, Washington has given up just 175 points (less than 20 per game) and they should play the Texans pretty close in this game. Having the extra three points could make the difference and it’s a good contrarian play form the public who clearly favors the well-rested Texans.

CINCINNATTI BENGALS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS

Public Trend ** Some Sites show the Ravens getting 66% of the Action

The Bengals may have the better record, but their defense has been a turnstile this season. They’re ranked dead last, allowing 454 yards and 32 points per game, worst in the NFL. Even with two weeks to prepare and playing at home, New Orleans hung 51 points on them last week. A.J. Green has not practiced all week and will not play this week, leaving Andy Dalton without his best weapon. In contract, the Ravens have the #2 defense in league, allowing just 305 yards and just over 17 points per game. They are coming off a bye week and desperately need a division win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Why you may want to fade the trend.

As mentioned above, teams have struggled this season coming off a bye week, and the Bengals are a great example having been blown out at home last week. The Ravens are just 4-5 against the spread this season, and only 2-2 at home. Their offense is mediocre this season, ranked 15th , averaging just 366 yards per game. Even worse for Baltimore, Joe Flacco is injured and may not play this week either. The weather in Baltimore will be chilly for this time of year, with game time temperature being near 40 degrees with a chance of rain. If the Ravens come out flat and get down early, the Bengals will focus on the run and could squeak out a cover in this one.

* graphics and numbers are from covers.com.