Where Is The Public Betting & Should We Follow Them With Our NFL Picks?

David Lawrence

Saturday, September 19, 2015 5:29 PM UTC

Saturday, Sep. 19, 2015 5:29 PM UTC

The American betting public has now had a week in which to see teams play regular season football, instead of just guessing based on the preseason. You can feel how the public is processing last weekend’s results and carrying those attitudes into the newest round of NFL betting.

Which inclinations make the most sense, and which ones seem to be true cases of overreacting to only one game of the season, with 15 still left to play?


Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns

NFL Odds: Titans -2 at BetOnline

This is a situation in which an overreaction seems to be at work. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a uniquely bad team, one of the two worst in the league alongside the Oakland Raiders. Crushing the Bucs might look good on paper and it’s certainly nice that the Titans did it, but one should not suddenly think the Titans have arrived solely because of that. Marcus Mariota played a lot better than most people ever thought he would in his NFL debut – that is very much worth pointing out. However, Mariota’s competition wasn’t special. Cleveland is not an elite team by any stretch of the imagination, but the Browns will be at home, and they’re going to play with a lot of energy as Johnny Manziel will get the start. Cleveland’s secondary, with the likes of Joe Haden, could very well pose a much stiffer challenge to Mariota than the Bucs ever did. There’s reason for Tennessee being favored on the NFL odds here but the public is piling in here and it could be a mistake.

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St. Louis Rams vs. Washington Redskins

NFL Odds: Rams -3.5 at Bovada

The Rams do look better with Nick Foles relative to Sam Bradford at quarterback. However, they played at home against a Seattle team which was missing Kam Chancellor. The Rams also allowed 18 straight points and a kick return for a touchdown and nearly let the game slip away. This is a team which could be very good this season but it has not yet proved to the NFL that it can follow one really good win with another – especially going from at home to on the road. The Redskins are almost certain to not amount to much in 2015 but they pushed the Miami Dolphins – a team which has narrowly missed the playoffs in recent years – in Week 1 before falling short. The Rams should be favored but the line has gotten too high. The public is all over St. Louis to the point that they’re laying more than three on the road. Before placing your NFL picks, remember that their running backs are banged up and they have a questionable receiving corps. That could spell trouble on the road.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints

NFL Odds: Saints -10 Pinnacle

The Saints represent the smartest public reaction to a betting situation. New Orleans is not yet a team which has shown that it is back after stumbling through the 2014 season. They had a lot of problems in the red zone last week, their receiving corps is a work in progress and their defense (read: secondary) is really banged up. However, a lot of people are betting them because of how bad the Bucs looked last week. To get shredded by a rookie making his first regular season start is beyond description. Tampa Bay is such a mess that the Saints – as mediocre as they might still be – should run wild. However, remember that this is still a divisional game and people are probably overreacting a bit too much to what we saw last week. The Saints should win but it could be close.

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