Betting Trends to Influence Week 3 Sunday NFL Picks Against The Spread

Cleveland Browns Players

Saturday, September 24, 2016 11:19 PM GMT

In this column, we look at how NFL lines move in response to betting trends over the course of the week, highlight the most intriguing of the lot and suggest the best lines to shop across sports betting platforms.

Patriots smash Texans and sportsbooks emerge winners
For the second time this season the Patriots defy the NFL odds as the underdogs. In week 1, Patriots came through as the massive +9 underdogs in Arizona. In week 3, they came once again in a 27-0 decimation of the Houston Texans at home despite collective public betting against them. There are several lessons to be learned from the outcome of Thursday Night Football. Don't bet against the Patriots at home and be wary of collective public betting. If everyone sees something, the opposite is likely to happen. Therein lies the theme of this week's edition of this column.

Let's sift through the NFL betting board in search of one-sided betting and determine whether the right move is to fade the public or not, all while considering current prices on offer.

Cards vs. Bills (+3.5)
The NFL betting line on this game opened around the +5 to +5.5 mark depending on your sportsbook of choice. Early sharp money on the Bills, however, whittled the line down to -4 almost immediately, prompting money towards the road chalk as a result.

According to SBR consensus betting polls, the Cards have 61.72% of the tickets taken by contributing sportsbooks and almost 53% of the money. It appears that the line is now trending lower, to -3.5 with the best price available with Pinnacle (a sportsbook that sports one of the highest limits in the market): Cardinals -3.5 (+100).

Consider the Bills non-existent defense and a 0-2 SU mark on the season, which puts Rex Ryan on the hot seat, it's no wonder the public is betting against the Bills. Plus, the Cardinals are 4-2 ATS in their last 6 road games and 11-3 SU in their last 14 games. Good reason to shade the Cards, if you want.

Free NFL Picks: Cards -3.5
Best Line offered: at 5Dimes

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Browns vs. Dolphins
Three weeks into the season, the Browns are starting their third quarterback after RGIII and Josh McCown succumbed to injury in successive games. Rookie Cody Kessler is slated to make his NFL debut, an unknown and unproven entity. Adjusting for the quarterback change odds makers opened this game with the Dolphins laying -7 or -7.5 but early action was all over the Dolphins and the line has now moved to -10 at most sportsbooks.

Clearly, the NFL betting public is betting once again against a rookie quarterback, which is a good enough NFL strategy when the team et al also don't appear to be up to snuff. (This isn't anything like Super Bowl champions Denver Broncos starting Trevor Siemian – a rookie he may be but surrounded by some of the best players in the game there is value in their stock).

That said, do the Dolphins warrant that many points? They are 0-2 SU on the season with defeats to Seattle and New England and, for the most part, their offense is suspect behind an unpredictable and inconsistent Ryan Tannehill.

As it is, the public is collectively jumping on the home favourite. SBR consensus betting polls reveal the Dolphins have almost 57% of the tickets taken and 68.27% of the money. When the collective is laying that many points with the home favourite despite evidence suggesting otherwise (Miami are 2-9-1 ATS in their last 11 home games and 1-5-0 ATS in its last six meetings with Cleveland), it might be a sign to fade the public.

NFL Picks: Browns +10
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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