This is an abridged version of Trend Wisely for Week 10. Will be back with the typical deep dive next week. That said, there’s a great TV-watching slate this Sunday with five morning games and six afternoon games. Truly a rare occasion for the NFL schedule. You should be locked and loaded into the NFL RedZone all day long! The only thing that can make better is winning money on the games. Doing my best to help with that part by researching NFL Week 10 Betting Trends.
Your picks shouldn’t be based solely on NFL historical betting trends. There are a multitude of things to consider. Trends are just one variable. However, one variable might be the tie breaker you need to make a bet.
Please reach out to me on Twitter if there’s anything you want a deeper dive on or particular info you would like to see for upcoming weeks. A lot of these that I will be writing about were once gut opinions or ideas of mine that I dug into and #showmethedata on!
Please note: I have removed games that contradict over multiple trends from the “Targets” list
NFL Week 10 Betting Trends
Historically Reliable Teams
Dating back to the Ron Rivera days, the Carolina Panthers are historically good coming off a road loss. They’re 21-12 ATS after their last 40+ road losses. In a small sample size, this success hasn’t yet transitioned into the Matt Rhule regime. Still, I think this is a good spot for them against Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers come into Sunday’s game in desperate need of a bounce back spot. I suspect a lot of the market will be banking on Tom Brady and his weapons. However, don’t forget the Panthers kept it close against the Chiefs last week and only lost by two points. My feeling is they keep it close again this weekend.
Target Sides: CAR +6
How Mid-Season Byes affect Teams
For the purposes of this article, I am defining a mid-season bye as Weeks 7 through 9. We have four teams coming off byes this week. Before we rush to bet these well-rested teams, let’s dig into the trends.
Surprisingly, teams who go on the road after a mid-season bye are 33-21 SU and 36-18 ATS since 2010. Meanwhile, the mid-season bye week teams who stay at home the following week have done poorly: 37-33 SU and just 27-43 ATS (Overs hitting at a 43-26-1 rate). Don’t fall victim to the mid-season bye bias (bye-as). Play it smart with these teams.
Target Sides: CIN +7.5, HOU +4, PHI -4, SEA +2.5
Target Totals: SEA/LAR o54.5
Early Down Success Rate (EDSR) Mismatches
In week 4, I talked about EDSR, one of Warren Sharp’s favorite statistics. Almost every 3rd and 4th down is reactive due to the distance needed for a first down. Many times the 4th quarter is reactive based on the score differential between teams. EDSR eliminates these conditions and only looks at how teams do (offensively and defensively) on 1st and 2nd downs in the first three quarters of a game. In the biggest mismatches this season, the better team went 15-9 SU and 11-13 ATS (tough run in Week 9, so banking on a bounceback). Here are this week’s biggest mismatches.
Target Sides (The differentials listed compare the EDSR of the target team to the EDSR of their opponent on the other side of the ball)
BAL -7 (Run Offense +18, Run Defense +10, Pass Defense +9, Pass Offense +1)
LV -3.5 (Pass Defense +22, Pass Offense +6, Run Offense +5, Run Defense +5)
PHI -4 (Pass Defense +27, Run Defense +9, Pass Offense +3, Run Defense -5)
Pace of Play & Explosive Play Rate
Defined as a rush over 10 yards or a pass over 15 yards, explosive plays are a good stat for us to use to dial in on totals to bet. Theoretically, if a team is really good at hitting explosive plays on offense and they face a team who gives up a lot of them on defense, that is a recipe for a game where possession is constantly changing. With shorter drives (and more of them ending in scoring plays), this increase in offensive opportunities should help lead to higher scoring games. When it comes to pace, there are two things to consider. Seconds per play tells us how quickly teams are breaking the huddle and snapping the ball in order to increase pace, and overall plays helps us compare expected offensive opportunities. Comparing how teams rank in these two pace categories (in neutral game scripts) with the Vegas Totals can help determine some spots to target. This trend is 7-5 (win-loss) since I combined the two of these.
PIT/CIN o46 (10th highest total, 6th in explosive plays, 5th in sec/play, 1st in plays/gm)
PHI/NYG o44.5 (12th highest total, 13th in explosive plays, 4th in sec/play, 5th in plays/gm)
NO/SF u49 (5th highest total, 14th in explosive plays, 14th in sec/play, 7th in plays/gm)
JAC/GB u49 (5th highest total, 5th in explosive plays, 13th in sec/play, 13th in plays/gm)
Underdog Movement off the Lookahead Line
If you have been reading this every week, you should be well versed in reviewing lookahead lines by now. If you need a refresher, make sure to go check out the Week 2 article. This is a trend that I started tracking to good success last year and it is already off to a great start in 2020. All told, underdogs in any of these situations have now gone 33-16 ATS even though they have only gone 17-32 SU. Here’s a reminder of the three different buckets I am tracking for underdog line movement. It’s important to check back in on these right before kickoff on Sunday morning to make sure you get the closest to the closing line as possible. On the other hand, if you see any of this drastic line movement during the week and you can lock in the underdog at an inflated price, then feel free to do so.
Line Movement towards the Underdogs – When the line moved more than 1.5 points towards an underdog they are only 8-14 SU but 14-8 ATS. Target Sides: CIN +7.5 (opened as +10.5)
Favorite Swapped Sides – This trend is now 3-2 SU, 4-1 ATS, and 3-2 Over to the team that closed as the underdog this season. Target Sides: CHI +3 (Opened as CHI -1.5)
Line Movement towards the Favorites – When the line moved more than 1.5 points towards a favorite, they are a chalky 15-6 SU, but only 6-15 ATS. No games currently fall under this category for Week 10.
That wraps it up for the Week 10 edition of Trend Wisely. Good luck this week, I hope to see some winning ticket screenshots!
Record to date on Target Sides/Totals
OVERALL: 76-63-5 (54.7%)
Week 1: 15-8-1 (65%)
Week 2: 10-10 (50%)
Week 3: 5-6 (45%)
Week 4: 7-5-2 (58%)
Week 5: 5-10 (33%)
Week 6: 8-8 (50%)
Week 7: 10-3-1 (76.9%)
Week 8: 10-5 (66.6%)
Week 9: 6-8-1 (42.8%)