NFL Betting Trends – Wagering on the Underdogs


NFL Betting Trends- Early Season Results

The 2012 NFL regular season is only three weeks old and we have already seen our fair share of shocking results. There are only three undefeated teams left (Atlanta, Arizona, and Houston) and the two preseason favorites to meet in this year’s Super Bowl (Green Bay and New England) are a combined 2-4.

What this has meant for anyone who enjoys wagering on the games is a number of golden opportunities to cash-in on these crazy results if they were bold enough to think ‘outside the box’. The first big money maker this season has been the surprising Cardinals at 3-0 both straight-up and against the spread. If you would have wagered $100 on the money line for each of their games, you would be up a healthy $895.

The underdogs in general have gotten the best of it, especially in last week’s games. Of the 16 matchups on the slate, the underdog won 11 of them ATS. Even more impressive is the fact that nine teams getting points won their game outright. That means if you would have put $100 on the money line for all 16 games in Week 3, you would have walked away with $965. Through the first three weeks of the season, the underdog has won 45.8 percent of the time SU and a very profitable 61.7 percent of the time ATS. Home dogs have done especially well with a SU winning percentage 63.2 percent and a 68.4 winning percentage ATS.

The home team in general has won 64.5 percent of the time SU, but also has the edge ATS with a 53.2 winning percentage so far. As mentioned, the home dogs have the highest winning percentage ATS, but road dogs have also done quite well; winning 57.2 percent of their games ATS. Teams that were favored at home have only covered 42.9 percent of the time, while favorites on the road have only covered 31.6 percent of the time during the first three weeks.

Turning to the total line, things have been much more even. While the total did stay UNDER in 10 of 16 games this past week, the overall numbers for the first three weeks have 23 games going OVER, 24 games staying UNDER and one game ending in a PUSH. The results on the total line tend to run in streaks considering that nine of the 16 games in Week 1 went OVER. When you look at the final results over the past several years things tend to basically even themselves out. After all, this is what the Oddsmakers get paid to do.

Looking ahead, it is hard to know if the positive trends on the underdogs will continue. As the Bookmakers continue to compile more and more stats on all 32 teams, they will continue to make the necessary adjustments to create a better balance between the favorites and the dogs. This process will probably take a few more weeks to sort itself out, which means we could see a couple of more wild rides until they do.

The one factor that is extremely hard to measure is the immediate impact of the replacement referees on the outcome of the games. This past Monday night’s game between Green Bay and Seattle is a perfect example. Seattle closed as a three-point underdog at home. If that final play of the game would have been called an interception, which is what the general consensus would have called, the Packers would have won and covered. How many more game-changing calls by these inexperienced replacements we will see down the road remains to be seen.


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Dave Schwab

DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.

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