The 3 Most Popular NFL Bets for the Wild Card Round
Betting NFL games can be a blast. Whether you take the time to analyze each line and cash in big, or you do it for the fun — share your bets with friends and tilt with one another in a group chat. Either way, having another layer of interest in your weekly football-watching is great. A lot of times, whether you like or not, you’re not alone, either.
And that’s where numberFire’s oddsFire tool comes in. oddsFire breaks down the differences in betting odds, lines, and totals across a number of sportsbooks, but it also shows us what percentage of total bets and money is being laid on any line at FanDuel Sportsbook. Using oddsFire, you can then decide if you would like to align yourself with the betting public — and enjoy the sweat together — or go against the grain to capitalize on an over-hyped situation.
In this weekly article, we’re here to dive into the three lines (one spread, one moneyline, one over/under) getting the most love, with the goal of deciding whether the numbers support or contradict the public’s heavy investment.
On Saturday afternoon the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills will open up the 2020 postseason, and it appears the betting public can’t wait. This game has been the focal point for the majority of bettors, both in terms of spread and the total.
As far as the spread is concerned, the line opened at 7.0 points in Josh Allen and the Bills’ favor. It has since fallen to 6.5 points with the Bills’ side at slightly shorter odds: -112 to -108. To date, 81% of the bets and 86% of the money associated with those bets has been laid on the home team. Is the gap that large, though?
Per our power rankings, the Bills are seven spots better than the Colts and more than five points better on a neutral field. Buffalo — according to Killer Sports — was also 10-5 against the spread and 5-2 against the points on their home turf. They averaged a margin of +5.43 points in all seven games, but in wins alone, that climbed to +7.8 points with four wins by 10 or 11 points. Meanwhile, the Colts were 5-3 versus the spread on the road, yet they failed to win or cover in either of the two games they were listed as underdogs. Taking the Bills to cover seems to be a wise bet when you consider the recent trends.
The same can be said for this one going for at least 52 combined points. Killer Sports tells us that while the Colts saw the over hit in 9 games, the Bills did so on 11 occasions. Both teams had them and their opponents combine for at least 51.4 points per game in the regular season.
On the road, six of Indy’s eight road games went beyond the set total, including two of their three games in which the total was 50-plus points. On the other side, Buffalo had the over win out in four home games with an average of 51.7 points at New Era Field.
Needless to say, 81% of bets and 85% of the money is being invested on the high side of the total — though it’s odd that the total has actually dropped one point since the open. In other words: beware of betting the total. The Bills against the points is the better of the two options.
Of the half-dozen games set to take place on Saturday and Sunday, the masses have flocked to the game with the second-largest spread, and they’re pounding the favorite. And that’s Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are drawing 87% of bets and 95% of the total money.
The Bucs have remained 7.5-point favorites at FanDuel Sportsbook but have been bet up to 8.0 and 9.0 at other books. They’re expected to best the NFC East champs by more than a touchdown in Washington. As a result, the moneyline has gone from -366 at the open to where it is now (-400), which would return $25 for every $100 bet. But that’s value compared to the -429 odds at Caesars.
Tampa is far from likely to drop this game. Not only is Brady is 30-11 in his 41 career playoff showings, but of Tampa’s 11 wins this year, they took 10 in which they were favored. Six of those were on the road.
As for Washington, of their seven victories (yes, only seven), just three took place at FedEx Field. They won a single contest in which they entered as home underdogs. Back the Bucs if you have the bankroll to make a win worthwhile.