Fade the Public Betting Trends Week 13

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 is a tough one and the public backing really feels like the ‘right’ play in many games this week. We call out the ones that have some potential for an upset, but this may be the week to ‘follow the trend’ in some cases.

CLEVELAND BROWNS AT HOUSTON TEXANS

Public Trend – 66% of the public bets favor Cincinnati

Fresh off a big Monday night win, where Houston scored 34 points on a tough Tennessee defense, they play another home game against the Cleveland Browns who are on second consecutive road trip. The Texans are 8-2 in their last team games, including 4-1 at home. They are 4-1 against the spread over their last five games and are allowing just 20 points per game to their opponents. The Browns are just 2-3 over their last five games and are 1-4 in their last five games on the road. The Browns are only averaging 23 points per game this season while they are giving up almost 26 points per game. Houston is averaging over 24 points per game for the season, but are averaging over 27 points per game over their last five games.

Why you may want to fade the trend.

The Browns are actually 7-4 against the spread for the season, and are 3-2 ATS on the road. They are averaging only 23 points per game for the season, but are scoring 25 points per game over their last five. The Texans are playing back to back home games but are practicing on a short week after playing on Monday night and are just 2-3 against the spread at home this season. The line is moving farther toward the Texans, making Cleveland +5.5 an interesting ‘contrarian’ play.

LOS ANGELES RAMS AT DETROIT LIONS

Public Trend – 71% of the public bets favor Los Angeles

The Rams are one of the hottest teams in the league, and are coming off a big Monday night win against Kansas City. They are 10-1 overall this season and 4-1 on the road. Detroit is in a death spiral, just 1-4 in their last five games and 1-4 ATS. The Rams are averaging 35 points per game compared to Detroit who is averaging just 21. The Rams are coming off a bye week and are well rested while the Lions are banged up with Kerryon Johnson still not practicing and Marvin Jones Jr Jr. placed on Injured Reserve this week.

Why you may want to fade the trend.

Detroit has been scrappy this season, and they are actually 6-4 against the spread in their last 10 games and 3-3 ATS at home. The Rams are 9-1 in their last 10 games, but are 3-6 against the spread. Their defense is averaging over 25 points allowed per game, and they are just 2-3 on the road against the spread. It seems unlikely that the Lions will beat the Rams, but with a 10 point spot, the Rams traveling West to East after a long bye week and the Lions playing tough at home, it’s possible that the Lions might cover in this game.

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Public Trend – 64% of the public bets favor Carolina

Tampa Bay has improved a bit on defense, but they are still giving up over 30 points per game to their opponents. They are just 2-3 at home against the spread this season and are 3-6 ATS overall. The Panthers are 6-5 overall and still have an outside shot at a playoff slot, while Tampa Bay is basically playing for pride. Tampa is just 3-2 at home this season and are 1-4 in their last five games.

Why you may want to fade the trend.

The Panthers have had three consecutive losses, including giving up 10 points late in the 4th quarter to lose to Seattle last week. They are just 4-6 against the spread this season and are 1-4 ATS on the road. They are just 2-3 in their last five games. The Buccaneers are coming off a big home win against the 49ers, where they only allowed three second half points and Jameis Winston put up over 300 yards passing and he spread the ball around to eight different receivers vs. focusing on Mike Evans for the entire game.

* graphics and numbers are from covers.com.