NFL Week 2 Betting Predictions - Trends To Influence Week 2 Picks

Nikki Adams

Saturday, September 17, 2016 9:23 PM UTC

Saturday, Sep. 17, 2016 9:23 PM UTC

Emerging NFL betting trends influencing week 2 picks are the subject of this column. Find out what we’ve gleaned from the action on the NFL betting floor before making your last minute NFL picks.

Handicapping the NFL is no mean trick. The empirical approach, which involves pouring over stats, win-loss trends, and ATS trends of the past few seasons is the most common betting strategy football bettors resort to as their starting point. But games aren’t played on paper after all. They’re played on the field, which can make football betting a weird science.

Take Thursday night’s 2016 NFL opener, the NFC East clash between the Jets and Bills that erupted into a shootout between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tyrod Taylor and cracked the 40-point total that closed at the sports betting exchange. Down from an opening 42.5-points or thereabouts depending on your choice top-rated sportsbook. The betting public was all over the Bills and bet down the total to 40 points. Tale told, the Jets came through both SU and with the cover and the 37-31 score cracked the 40-point total with lots to spare.

When in week 1 the home dogs were the smart NFL pick on Thursday Night Football, week 2 served up another dog on Thursday as the smart NFL pick but this time, it was the road dog.

There are 15 more games to handicap for week 2, 14 on Sunday and a lone game on Monday. We look at some of the intriguing NFL betting trends and public reactions for week 2 matchups and serve up discerning thoughts to consider before placing your wagers.

We always encourage bettors to use multiple sportsbooks and shop for the best NFL betting line, a betting philosophy that is underscored by key numbers (such as 3, 6, 7 – some of the most common margins of victory in the NFL). Finding that key number that is most appealing and prompts a wager on a game involves shopping around as not all sportsbooks roll out the exact same line for every single game. Then there is the juice to consider as well.


Titans vs. Lions
Bookies opened with the Lions at -5 or -5.5 but the NFL line is already up to -6 with most sports betting outlets after reopening on Sunday. 5Dimes – one of many sportsbooks that rank high amongst bettors for their great bonuses – hangs the Lions on -7. Early money is mostly responsible for betting up the Lions, largely down to the impressive win over the Colts we’d wager that propelled impressionable bettors on to their bandwagon. Similarly, the sloppy defeat by the Titans to the Vikings in week 1 must have left an indelible impression. Not so smash mouth football, then.  

Late money coming down the wire seems to be going towards the Titans, taking the hefty points on offer. To be fair, 6 is the fourth most common margin of victory over the past 13 seasons while 7 is the second most common margin of victory. Key numbers are important to bookies and typically they won’t move off of the key number rather adjust the juice. Given the difference and significance of these key numbers, laying the 6 or 7 points with Lions or taking the 6 or 7 points with the Titans makes a difference.

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Dolphins vs. Patriots
Way back in April this game hung on -9; that was before Tom Brady’s suspension was upheld. Prior to week 1 and the winning account by the Patriots in Arizona, the early serving of lines on this week 2 clash hung on -4 with the Patriots to the good at home. Nobody knew what to expect of the Patriots in their first four games without Brady but they remained the favourites.

Fast forward to last Sunday, the NFL betting public basking in the glow of the Jimmy Garoppolo inspired win at University of Phoenix stadium, and the bookies reopen on Monday with the Patriots dangling on anywhere from -6 to -6.5 points and, even, -7. To begin with, that’s quite the ringing endorsement if ever there was one, of a relatively unheralded quarterback following just one account. More importantly, the range of NFL betting lines available on this game is significant, exemplifying why it might be important to shop for the best line available.

As mentioned above 6 and 7 are two key numbers because they represent common margins of victories. The half-point (also known as the hook) is offered by several top sportsbooks such as Heritage, bet365, Bookmaker and The Greek. 

There are those Vegas Insiders that would suggest buying the extra half point is a wise move only when the line involves a field goal spread. The idea is: when expectations are for a low scoring game, it makes sense that points would then come at a premium and the score could be close.  Therefore, the hook could be the difference between a winning or losing the bet. In this case, when the spread is so large one can infer the expectation isn’t for a close game at all.

Intriguingly, though, the total on this game opened at 42.5 points but is now trading at 42 and, in some cases, even, at 41.5. So in a sense the public is betting down the total, suggesting a low-scoring affair after all. Just not a close one, if the spread were any indication.

Whichever way you are slicing this game on your week 2 NFL picks, there are several options to tickle particularly where the spread bet is concerned. Laying Pats at -6, -6.5 or -7 is quite the selection. Similarly, the Dolphins, who are coming off a cover in Seattle as the +10 closing underdogs, could strike an appealing pose as the +7 road underdogs. If you’re looking to take the points, might as well shop around for the most points available, right?

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