Fade the Public Betting Trends Week 12

Weekly Staff Confidence Pool (No Spread). NFL Office Pool Cheat Sheet

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.

CLEVELAND BROWNS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS

Public Trend – 61% of the public bets favor Cincinnati

Neither of these teams is playoff worthy, but the Bengals are the better of the two and are playing at home. They are 3-2 at home this season, but are 5-1 ATS in their last six games against division rivals and 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games against the AFC. They Average more then 25 points per game and are facing the Browns who rank 31st in total defense, allowing almost 420 yards per game to their opponents. The Browns are averaging 21 points per game this year and are 0-4 on the road.

Why you may want to fade the trend.

A.J. Green was projected to be back for this game, but he has not practiced at all this week. The Bengals have the worst defense in the league, allowing more than 31 points and almost 450 yards per game to their opponents. Last week they allowed 119 rushing yards to Lamar Jackson and 115 rushing yards to Gus Edwards. The Browns are ranked 17th in offense, posting 355 yards per game compared to the Bengals who post just 329 yards per game. The Browns are 6-4 against the spread this season and are 2-2 against the spread on the road.

OAKLAND RAIDERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS

Public Trend – 59% of the public bets favor Baltimore

The Raiders are one of the worst teams in the league, and have just two wins the entire season. They beat the Cardinals last week on a field goal as time expired and the Cardinals only have two wins as well. The Raiders are just 3-7 against the spread this season and 2-3 ATS on the road. Their offense averages only 347 yards and 17 points per game. Their defense is ranked 26th, allowing 387 yards per game and are ranked 31st against the run allowing 142 yards per game on the ground. The Ravens have the best defense in the league, allowing just 300 yards and 18 points per game. They are 3-2 at home this season and are fighting for a playoff spot. They need this game a lot more than Oakland does.

Why you may want to fade the trend.

The Ravens barely beat the Bengals last week and they are the worst defense in the league. They are 0-4 ATS the spread in their last five games. When your quarterback has to run the ball 27 times in an NFL game, you know things are not good. Joe Flacco is still not practicing, and it looks like Lamar Jackson will start again this week at quarterback. That means a lot of running against a soft run defense, but it also means a lower scoring game. With the Raiders getting almost 11 points before the game even starts, Baltimore’s four-game losing streak against the spread has a good chance to continue.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Public Trend – 64% of the public bets favor Tampa Bay

The 49ers are 0-5 on the road this season, and are averaging just 356 yards and 23 points per game. They are 2-3 against the spread on the road, but are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games against the NFC and 0-5 ATS in their last five games following a bye week. Tampa Bay has the #1 offense in the league, averaging 458 yards per game. Their passing offense is averaging 361 yards per game, over 40 yards per game more than any other team. They are coming off a tough loss on the road to the Giants where they put up 35 points but lost after scoring 21 points in the 4th quarter.

Why you may want to fade the trend.

The 49ers are ranked 10th on defense with just 344 yards allowed and 26 points per game. Tampa Bay’s defense has improved a bit, but they still allow 395 yards and almost 33 point per game. San Francisco is only 3-7 against the spread this season, but two of those wins have come on the road. They generally play their opponents pretty tough and hree of their last four losses have been by a combined 10 points. In their last game two weeks ago, they held Saquon Barkley to just 100 yards from scrimmage, his second lowest total of the season. Tampa Bay is 0-4-1 against the spread in their last five games against the NFC and 2-6 in their last eight games overall.

* graphics and numbers are from covers.com.