NFL Handicapping: Trends and the Public

NFL Football Handicapping Tips: Trends and the Public

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

Trends and Patterns

During your handicapping, you will get besieged with trends, patterns, and systems that are supposed to make you a more powerful force in the world of NFL betting. You will hear things like “take all road dogs” or “always bet on a home team in their second straight week at home if they lost the first home game.”

First of all, if there is a tried and true trend–don’t ignore it. If something is winning, it deserves our attention. At the same time, there are many pitfalls involved with betting blindly, which in essence is what happens when you subscribe to a system or trend. You forego the actual handicapping and instead sign off on what appears to be a statistical edge.

When you begin to pick up on a trend or agree to play a system, you are probably coming in too late. Because the book starts to notice trends before you do. And by the time you start playing it, the action has dried up. The book started making allowances to combat a statistical anomaly.

And it could be an anomaly. Especially when considering the sample sizes of some of these alleged trends. You might see that a team is 12-2-1 against the spread in their last 15 road games as a favorite. Is 15 go-arounds enough to test out anything? And by the time you come in hoping to clean up, that trend is as close as it has ever been to swinging the other way.

Betting Against the Public

Finding security in numbers is a universal phenomenon. People like to feel that their position is supported. But while that might be useful in certain philosophical, religious, or political ideas, you don’t need nor want support when it comes to NFL betting. From a somewhat simplistic, yet valid point-of-view–the public doesn’t win. The book wins. Which side is better to be on?

When you look at the alarmingly low percentage of NFL bettors that are successful, ask yourself if this is a group with whom you want to be on the same side. Then look at the books. They’re still going, making money. So the next time you make a bet and see that 78% of the public is on your side–don’t celebrate. Not that you should blindly bet on the opposite side, but being on the same side as the public is hardly cause for increased confidence. If anything, being in agreement with the general betting public too often should be cause for concern.

The Public Affect on Sides and Totals

This is not a hard and fast rule, but the public likes favorites and overs. It’s not difficult to determine why. Picture the average NFL fan. What do they want? They crave excitement. And that is more available with the better teams and in higher-scoring games. Their betting goes accordingly, where favorites will be over-valued and the quest for action leads to more “over” bets than “unders.”


Knowing that, you might be more inclined to jump on favorites early, knowing that the number will usually only go up. And that especially applies to favorites who also happen to be nationally-loved teams. So if you like Pittsburgh at home at minus 5, that number will usually not go down very much, if at all. But it could very easily go up and leave you with a decision to accept poor value or not.

In most games, the “over” will be favored slightly by the public. It depends on the situation. If two high-scoring teams are playing, you can usually get good value on the “under.” The public craves and therefore predicts heavy action. But it’s surprising how often these supposed shootouts are more tepid than anticipated. It’s important to gauge where the public will fall on a game. It allows you to predict which way the line will move. Most games will not be that obvious. But, for example, if two very-defensive teams are playing, the public could favor the “under.” Sit back and wait for that number to creep downward, then pounce on a good-value “over” bet. Did you know… that you could be wagering on NFL football games at discounted odds? There’s a better than good chance that you’re laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to BetAnySports Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!