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Top-10 NFL betting trends from the first 12 weeks of 2013

25 November 2013

With just one game left in Week 12 of the NFL schedule, we're almost two-thirds of the way through the season. We've learned a lot about all the teams; there have been some teams that have done exactly what we expected, while others have surprised their fans by either exceeding expectations or underperforming.

For bettors, hindsight is always 20-20. While these trends may not hold for the rest of the season, here are the top-10 NFL betting trends for the 2013 season we wish we'd known about before the season started.

10. Bet against the Patriots on the road
A perennial favorite to make a deep run in the playoffs, the New England Patriots always face high expectations from both fans and bettors. This year, the team struggled early to find a rhythm, especially on the road. The Pats are just 2-3 on the road, and 1-4 against the spread. If you picked against the Patriots in the spread all their road games, you'd sport a spiffy 54.5 percent ROI.

9. Take the Eagles moneyline on the road
While the Patriots have struggled mightily on the road, the Philadelphia Eagles have been great on the road, often against long odds. Their 5-1 record away from Lincoln Financial Field is impressive on its own, but the fact that the Eagles were underdogs in four of those games makes it even more impressive. The Eagles' lone loss on the road came in Denver, and picking the Eagles to win their first six road games would have yielded a 74.2 percent ROI.

8. But bet against the Eagles at home
As good as the Eagles have been on the road, they've been just plain awful at home. Their 1-4 record at home is the worst in the NFC, and they were the favorites in all four of those losses. They were seven-point favorites over the Chargers in Week 2, five-point favorites over the Giants in Week 8, and three-point favorites over the Chiefs in Week 3 and Cowboys in Week 7. Add it all up and you'd have a whopping 125 percent ROI picking against the Eagles on the moneyline at home.

7. Take the over on any Rams game
Over/under lines can be incredibly difficult to predict, but if you'd taken the over on any game the Rams have played this year, you'd have a nice 9-2 record with a 47.9 percent ROI. The St. Louis defense struggled early, and their offense has been hot of late to get the Rams over the number in every game except low-scoring outings against the Seahawks and the Cowboys.

6. Bet the over with the Broncos
It's no surprise that the Denver Broncos have a potent offense. But their defense has also allowed its share of points. The point total in Broncos games this year has averaged more than 65 points, and Denver games hit the over in the first eight weeks of the season. The offense has slowed down a bit (and the oddsmakers have adjusted their lines accordingly, as well), but including Sunday night's 34-31 loss against the Patriots, Denver games have hit the over in 9-of-11 games so far this season, for an impressive 47.9 percent ROI.

5. Take the over on the Vikings, too
Speaking of overs, no one has beaten the over better than the Minnesota Vikings this year. Vikings games beat the number in 10-of-11 contests this year for a 56.2 percent ROI. Combine a terrible defense with a team that has decent special teams weapons and a running back like Adrian Peterson and you've got a formula for hitting the over.

4. In fact, take the over unless the Ravens or Chiefs are playing
If you bet the over on every game so far this NFL season, you would actually have won money, going 96-77-2 for a 5.9 percent ROI. That's not that much, but it isn't often that you can make a blanket statement like "Bet the over" and beat the vig. However, if you took that advice and added an "except when the Chiefs or Ravens are playing" clause, you'd have done even better, as both teams hit the under in 8-of-11 games this season. Using that system would net you a 90-61-2 record, or an 13.6 percent ROI.

3. Take the Saints against the spread at home
The New Orleans Saints have been great at home this year, going 6-0, but they've also been great against the spread at home, sporting a 5-0-1 record against the number in the Superdome. If you'd bet on the Saints to cover the spread in the Superdome every game this year, you'd have a nice 75.2 percent ROI.

2. Bet Jets moneyline at home
No one has had a more schizophrenic season than the New York Jets, but if you'd bet on them to win all their home games this year, you'd be a happy camper. The Jets pulled off upset wins over the Buccaneers (Week 1), the Patriots (Week 7) and the Saints (Week 9) that were huge scores for those that saw them coming. Picking the Jets to win at home so far this year would have yielded a 102 percent ROI.

1. Bet against Houston on the moneyline
The Texans have been a major disappointment this year. After starting the season 2-0, Houston has lost nine straight games. They were favored to beat Baltimore on the road in Week 3, and then were favorites in home games against the Rams, Raiders and Jaguars. Yes, they even lost to the Jaguars, who were listed at +450 on the moneyline, in their Week 12 game yesterday. If you wanted to double your money, betting that Houston would lose would have done you well so far this year, providing a massive 103.5 percent ROI.
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Best of Aaron Todd
Aaron Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.

Aaron Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.