NFL Betting Trends Report: It’s A ‘Dog Eat Favorite World

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41), safety Rudy Ford (5) and cornerback Shaquill Griffin (26) and other teammates celebrate after Allen's recovery of a Buffalo fumble
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Generations from now, sports bettors will look back at Week 9 of the 2021 NFL season the same way this generation looks back at The Great Depression:

Holy crap, I can’t even imagine what it was like to live through that!

Indeed, last week was not for the faint of heart (or wallet), as underdogs went 10-4 ATS with seven outright victories, including two stunning upsets by double-digit underdogs.

Amid all the crumpled-up betting slips, though, several strong NFL betting trends held up in Week 9 — namely, four of the top five ATS teams cashed again and three of the four worst ATS teams did not.

We reveal each of those teams, as well as detail other interesting NFL point-spread and Over/Under tendencies, in the Week 10 NFL Betting Trends Report.

All statistics based off closing numbers per

Trends Last Week Season Overall
Favorites SU 7-7 83-54
Favorites ATS 4-10 58-77-1
Over/Under 7-7 61-73-2

Underdogs Fetching Big Bucks

Denver Broncos safety Caden Sterns motions to the Dallas Cowboys fans after he intercepts a pass during a game
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As you can see, while favorites are delivering on the scoreboard (prevailing at a 60 percent clip), underdogs are getting it done at the betting window with a 56.6 percent season-long cash rate.

The biggest discrepancy exists with big favorites. Teams laying 6 points or more are 41-14 SU but just 24-30-1 ATS. This trend was particularly pronounced in Week 9, when favorites of 6 points or more went 4-4 SU but just 1-7 ATS. That one spread-cover occurred in the week’s first game, as the Colts (-10) took out the Jets 45-30 as a 10-point chalk on Thursday night.

From there, two double-digit favorites went down (Bills -16 at Jaguars and Cowboys -10 vs. Broncos), as did the Saints (-6.5 vs. Falcons) and Rams (-7 vs. Titans). Additionally, the Ravens (-7 vs. Vikings), Chiefs (-7 vs. Packers), and Steelers (-7 vs. Bears) failed to cash as hefty favorites.

Looking specifically at double-digit favorites, they remain a respectable 15-3 SU for the season. However, after going 8-3 ATS through Week 7, they’re 2-4-1 ATS the past two weeks.

Another area where underdogs are producing a big profit: prime-time games. Favorites are 18-9 SU in marquee Thursday/Sunday/Monday night matchups, but ’dogs are 19-8 ATS. Since Week 4, pups have cashed in 14 of 18 prime-time contests.

Interestingly, this week’s slate of marquee matchups features a trio of road favorites: Ravens -7.5 at Miami (Thursday), Chiefs -2.5 at Raiders (Sunday), Rams -4 at 49ers (Monday).

How have road faves done this season? 34-16 SU, but only 26-24 ATS.

How ’Bout Them Cowboys?

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy reacts on the sidelines
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Most of the NFL betting world was stunned to see the Dallas Cowboys’ perfect ATS season end in an outright loss to the 10-point underdog (and Von Miller-less) Denver Broncos. We were stunned, too — stunned that it took this long for Mike McCarthy’s sideline ineptness to cost his team and those who wagered on his team.

McCarthy’s insane decision to go for it on fourth down on three early-game possessions failed, helping Denver jump out to a 30-0 lead on the way to a 30-16 victory that resulted in the Cowboys’ first ATS defeat in eight games. (McCarthy’s fourth-down success rate this season is now down to 35.7 percent, which is a Hall of Fame-level batting average for an MLB player but a Hall of Shame-level average for an NFL coach.)

Obviously, the Cowboys’ 7-1 ATS start is still damn impressive, especially considering they were an NFL-worst 5-11 ATS in 2020. But it’s not good enough to keep Dallas atop this week’s point-spread rankings.

That throne now belongs to the Green Bay Packers, whose dreadful Jordan Love-led offense finally found the end zone in the nick of time at Kansas City in Week 9. When kicker Mason Crosby — who missed two makeable first-half field goals — split the uprights on the extra point, the Packers (+7) snuck through the backdoor in a 13-7 loss.

While Green Bay’s seven-game SU winning streak ended, it cashed for the eighth consecutive week and in the process leap-frogged Dallas at 8-1 ATS.

The Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans sprung two of the seven outright upsets in Week 9 to improve to 7-2 ATS. Rounding out the top five from a point-spread perspective is Indianapolis, which trounced the Jets on Thursday night to move to 6-3 ATS.

‘Uncovering’ The Best Of The Worst 

Travis Kelce is tackled by Green Bay Packers defensive back Chandon Sullivan
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The answer: Death, taxes, and the Kansas City Chiefs failing to cover the point spread.

The question: What are three stone-cold locks in life?

By allowing Love and the Packers to score that garbage-time touchdown Sunday, Kansas City burned bettors yet again. (Well, except those bettors who were savvy enough to predict that Aaron Rodgers would get the ’rona, an event that nearly broke the Internet and sent the Packers-Chiefs point spread soaring from Chiefs -1 to Chiefs -7.)

K.C. is now 2-7 ATS this season, including 0-5 ATS at home. And if you think that’s bad, well … hang on, because we’re about to explain how it’s far worse.

The only squad keeping Kansas City out of the ATS cellar is the Washington Football Team, which finally didn’t cost its backers money last week, but only because WFT was on bye. As such, Washington remains 1-7 ATS heading into this week’s home game against Tampa Bay.

Like the Chiefs, the Jets (+10 at Indianapolis) and 49ers (-5.5 vs. Arizona) failed to get to the window once again. Both fell to 2-6 ATS.

Trending In Different Directions

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (right) pitches the ball to running back Aaron Jones (left) against the Kansas City Chiefs
Image Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

With or without Rodgers back under center, the Packers will put their eight-game spread-covering streak on the line in Week 10 when they host Seattle (which may or may not have Russell Wilson back under center). Green Bay is a consensus 3.5-point chalk.

It’s an intriguing clash from an NFL betting trends perspective, given that the Packers are also 3-0 ATS at home this season, while the Seahawks have cashed in three straight games overall, three of four on the road, and three of four as an underdog.

Other NFL wagering trends worth monitoring in Week 10:

— The Colts (-10.5 vs. Jaguars) are on a 5-1 ATS roll; Jacksonville hasn’t covered in consecutive games all season.

— The Titans (-2.5 vs. Saints) have cashed in five straight games; New Orleans is 3-0 ATS as an underdog and has alternated ATS wins and losses in all eight games.

— The Buccaneers (-9.5 at Washington) are 0-4 ATS on the road; WFT is 0-4 ATS at home and 0-5 ATS as an underdog.

— The Steelers (-9 vs. Lions) are an NFL-worst 0-4 ATS as a chalk; winless Detroit (coming off a bye following a 44-6 loss to the Eagles) has alternated spread covers all season. 

— The 49ers (+4 vs. Rams) are 0-4 SU and ATS at home; Los Angeles has failed to cash in three straight.

And, finally, we come back to the Chiefs. Andy Reid’s club is now 3-16-1 ATS in its last 19 regular-season and playoff games, and yet … Kansas City is favored once again in Week 10, laying 2.5 points Sunday night at Las Vegas. The Raiders’ record this season when not favored (four games as an underdog, one pick ’em contest): 4-1 SU and ATS.

Over Here, Under There

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson catches a touchdown pass against the Baltimore Ravens
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Some quick NFL totals trends to chew on:

The Under is 5-0 in Green Bay’s last five overall; 4-0 in Kansas City’s last four overall; 6-1 in Jacksonville’s last seven overall; and 5-1 in Detroit’s last six overall (including 3-0 Under on the road).

The Over is 4-0 in Minnesota’s four road games; 3-1 in Las Vegas’ four home games; and 5-1 in Indianapolis’ last six overall.

Lastly, the Under is 28-16-2 this season in AFC vs. NFC matchups (this week’s interconference games: Saints at Titans, Lions at Steelers, Vikings at Chargers, and Eagles at Broncos). And the Under is 12-6 in prime-time games the last six weeks.

ATS Standings

Packers 8-1
Cowboys 7-1
Cardinals 7-2
Titans 7-2
Colts 6-3

Washington 1-7
Chiefs 2-7
49ers 2-6
Jets 2-6
Bears 3-5
Buccaneers 3-5
Jaguars 3-5
Ravens 3-5

Over/Under Standings

Colts 6-3
Cowboys 5-3
Falcons 5-3
Bucs 5-3
Jets 5-3
49ers 5-3
Ravens 5-3

Seahawks 1-6-1
Broncos 2-7
Packers 2-7
Panthers 2-7
Jaguars 2-6
Steelers 2-5-1