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Whether you want to tail or fade the public, knowing the public betting trends – bet percentages and money percentages – is vital to making intelligent sports wagers. This is the place you’ll find these trends each week for the 2021 NFL season. We will also be tracking how the public’s picks do all season.

NFL Betting Trends for Week 2

 

Some notes on the Week 2 betting trends:

  • The public’s favorite bet right now is Kansas City -3.5, which is seeing a whopping 98% of the ATS handle right now
    • Even as of Friday, the Chiefs are still seeing 94% of the ATS money, the most lopsided handle of the week
  • The most lopsided handle for over/under bets right now is the Cowboys vs Chargers game, which has 97% of the early money on the over (55)
    • Some money has come in on the under in Dallas vs LA, but 72% of the money is still on the over. This is no longer the highest percentage of the week, though
    • The over (48.5) in Detroit vs Green Bay is now the most lopsided, with the overt seeing 80% of the money

Public’s Betting Record

Week Public’s Record Against the Spread
1 5-11

The public got off to a rough start this season, going 5-11 against the spread in Week 1. You can see which teams they were backing below.

NFL Betting Trends for Week 1

*All bet and money percentages updated as of September 10

Here are some high-level notes for Week 1:

  • The most LOPSIDED GAME of the week in terms of ATS (against the spread) betting handle is the Packers vs Saints, where 91% (as of Friday) 92% of the money is on Green Bay -4 (as of Friday) -3.5. We are also seeing lopsided ATS money percentages in the following:
    1. 49ers vs Lions: 89% of money bet against the spread is on San Francisco -7.
      1. Down to 88% as of Friday.
    2. Ravens vs Raiders: 88% of ATS money is on Baltimore -4 (spread down to 3.5 as of Friday).
      1. Down to just 77% as of Friday. This is likely due to Gus Edwards and Marcus Peters getting hurt in practice yesterday, leaving Baltimore with Ty’Son Williams and newly signed Le’Veon Bell, Latavius Murray, and Devonta Freeman in the backfield.
    3. Cardinals vs Titans: 87% of ATS money is on Tennessee -2.5; this might change quickly once AZ sports betting goes live on September 9th, though.
      1. We were right! This is down to 76% of the money on Tennessee and Arizonans still have time to get some bets in on their Cardinals.
    4. Seahawks vs Colts: 86% of the money is on Seattle -2.5. The Seahawks continue seeing more and more of the money as we approach the weekend.
  • The most LOPSIDED GAME of the week in terms of ATS bet count is the Ravens vs Raiders. A whopping 92% of the bets made against the spread in this one are on Baltimore -4
    • This is down to just 83% as of Friday
    • The Packers -3.5 is now the most bet side of Week 1, seeing 86% of the bet count
  • The public is only siding with ONE UNDERDOG to cover right now: the Philadelphia Eagles (+3) vs Atlanta Falcons. At the moment, 60% of the ATS betting handle is on the underdog Eagles
    • This is now down to 58% of the handle being on Philadelphia
  • The TOTALS BET the public likes the most for Week 1 is Over 45 in the Jets vs Panthers game, where 88% of the over/under money is on the over
    • This over only has 76% of the handle now
    • The over in Cleveland vs Kansas City (54.5) now has the highest percentage of money on it, seeing 77% of the handle
  • There are currently seven nine UNDERDOGS seeing the majority of the moneyline betting handle in their respective games:
    1. Jaguars vs Texans: 63% of the moneyline handle is on Houston at +135 odds
      1. Updated to 61% on Friday
    2. LA Chargers vs Washington Football Team: 60% of the money is on Washington at +100 odds
      1. There is now more money bet on the Chargers to win (55%), but they have moved to being the underdogs now, so the public is still on the dog
    3. Jets vs Panthers: 59% of the money is on New York at +210 odds
      1. Now 60% of the moneyline handle on the Jets
    4. Eagles vs Falcons: 95% of the money is on Philadelphia at +160 odds
      1. Now 92% of the moneyline handle on the Eagles
    5. Steelers vs Bills: 61% of the money is on Pittsburgh at +250 odds
      1. More money coming in on Buffalo to win has pushed this down to just 57% of the moneyline handle being on Pittsburgh
    6. Broncos vs Giants: 71% of the money is on New York at +135 odds
      1. Now just 67% of the moneyline handle is on the Giants
    7. Dolphins vs Patriots: 55% of the money is on Miami at +140 odds
      1. More money continues coming in on Miami to win. We’re now seeing 64% of the moneyline handle on the Dolphins
    8. Vikings vs Bengals: money coming in later in the week has resulted in 54% of the handle being on Cincinnati now
    9. Cardinals vs Titans: after Arizona launched sports betting, we’ve seen the percentage of the moneyline handle on the Cardinals jump from 26% to 56%
  • There are two signals of potential SHARP ACTION so far in Week 1:
    1. Vikings vs Bengals: only 54% of the bets are on Minnesota -3, but 82% of the ATS money is on the Vikings, signaling some bigger bets placed on MIN
      1. Only a 15% difference now on Friday
    2. Broncos vs Giants: only 54% of the bets are on Denver -3, but 78% of the money is on the Broncos, signaling some bigger bets placed on DEN
      1. Only a 16% difference now on Friday

We’ll keep these updated as the week progresses!

Looking for the latest NFL odds? – Get current spreads, totals, and moneyline odds for all upcoming games this week here.

What Are NFL Betting Trends?

Online sports betting sites are very good at bookkeeping. Every single bet they take from a customer is recorded and stored in their system. Using all these financial transactions, we can sew together trends based off the total number of bets placed and total amount of money bet on any given game, whether it be the moneyline, spread, or total.

What are Money Percentages?

You’ll often hear money percentages referred to as the “% of handle”. First off, the betting handle is simply the total amount of money wagered on an event, often broken down by bet type.

The money percentage simply pools all the money wagered on any game together, first sorting it by the type of bet (moneyline, against the spread, or over/under), and then breaks down what percentage of the handle is bet on each side.

The money percentage (obviously) tells you which side the money is on, and can give you a better picture of who the sharper bettors are siding with.

What Are Bet Percentages?

Bet percentages are frequently referred to as “% of tickets” or “% of bets”. Tickets are just a term used for all the bets placed – when you make a bet, a ticket is created.

To get the bet percentage, you look at all the bets placed (regardless of the amount of money risked on each one), again, sorting first by the type of bet, and then look at the percentage of tickets on each side of the game.

This is a more square way to look at NFL betting trends, since a $1 throw-away bet holds the same weight as a $1,000+ play.

How Can Bet Percentages and Money Percentages Signal Sharp Action?

As mentioned, ticket percentage does not consider the amount risked on each ticket, and just counts each bet placed. If we compare the bet percentage and money percentage of the same team (for the same bet type), you’ll know something is up if they are not relatively similar.

For example, if Team A has 78% of the tickets bet against the spread, but only has 50% of the money, we now know the bets being placed on Team A are quite small – or the bets being placed on Team B are quite large.

A large difference between a team’s bet and money percentages can help signal sharp action. In order to calculate this, just subtract their bet percentage from their money percentage. If the result is a positive number, you’ve got larger bets being placed on this team. If the result is a negative number, you’ve got larger bets being placed on the other team.

This is not 100% accurate in signaling sharp action, however. It does provide an early sign, but you’d need to know the total handle bet on the game to properly sniff out sharp action. For example, if a game only has $1,000 wagered on it, you can throw out the idea of sharp action.

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After working in TV, Matt turned his focus towards numbers, specifically odds. He has been with us since 2016 and serves as SBD's Editor-in-Chief, credited with creating our futures trackers, SBD's score predictor, SBD Sharp, and his own model for calculating NFL SOS, among other products.