The 3 Most Popular NFL Bets for Week 8
Betting NFL games can be a blast. Whether you take the time to analyze each line and cash in big, or you do it for the fun -- share your bets with friends and tilt with one another in a group chat. Either way, having another layer of interest in your weekly football-watching is great. A lot of times, whether you like or not, you're not alone, either.
And that's where numberFire's oddsFire tool comes in. oddsFire breaks down the differences in betting odds, lines, and totals across a number of sportsbooks, but it also shows us what percentage of total bets and money is being laid on any line at FanDuel Sportsbook. Using oddsFire, you can then decide if you would like to align yourself with the betting public -- and enjoy the sweat together -- or go against the grain to capitalize on an over-hyped situation.
In this weekly article, we're here to dive into the three lines (one spread, one moneyline, one over/under) getting the most love, with the goal of deciding whether the numbers support or contradict the public's heavy investment.
There are a number of both pivotal and not-so-pivotal divisional matchups on the docket for Week 8. One of the latter variety comes in the form of the one-win, last-place Minnesota Vikings traveling to Lambeau to take on the division-leading 5-1 Green Bay Packers. Needless to say, it doesn't seem like the two teams' second meeting will do much to encourage Minnesota's playoff hopes, nor will it likely influence the Packers' standing.
Still, Aaron Rodgers is looking to start a second win streak after opening the season 4-0 before being blown out by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He may be without the services of Aaron Jones, but Rodgers might not need his talented back to take down this bad Vikings defense. While Green Bay checks in fifth in our rankings on the offensive end, Minnesota is 16th defensively and 20th against the pass. In combination with an 18th-ranked offense, that has led to a 3-3 record against the spread, per Killer Sports. However, they are 3-1 as the underdog, including a one-point loss to the Seattle Seahawks despite a 6.5-point spread in the opposition's favor.
The Packers opened as touchdown favorites, but contrary to the identical 95% of bets and money being laid on their side of this one, that gap has narrowed. They are favored at -118 odds to cover, yet the value is on Minnesota to come off their bye with a road cover.
A much more telling divisional clash will take place in the AFC North, between bitter rivals in the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. Led by the likes of Hines Ward and Ray Lewis, these two squads used to smash each other in the mouths, but now it pits two of the NFL's best offenses against one another. Even with Lamar Jackson struggling early, Baltimore is 17th in overall efficiency and 5th in the rushing department. Meanwhile, a seemingly rejuvenated Ben Roethlisberger has his Steelers 13th offensively, putting up 30.5 points a game to this point.
At 6-0, the Steelers are the league's only remaining unbeaten, and they will be challenged away from Heinz Field. Since John Harbaugh took over in Baltimore, Mike Tomlin's team is 5-7 straight up versus the Ravens, including a 2-3 record since 2015. They have, however, over the entire sample, lost by only 3.92 points per game and have covered in 7 of 12. They are 4-5 when they've been listed as the underdog (they're +3.5 on the spread line).
Pittsburgh opened at +187 and have been, very likely, bet to where they currently stand thanks to 92% of bets and 89% of money going toward them improving to 7-0. They're +155 at another book and +170 or +175 at a few others, so there is some decent value on Pittsburgh if you are thinking about getting in late. Precede with caution, though, as history favors the home team in this old-time rivalry.
Elsewhere, the Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions will face off in a cross-conference matchup, one with a high 50.0-point total despite two very average offenses. In scoring, the Colts and Lions are 14th and 15th, respectively, in points per game, and by way of our metrics they're 26th and 19th, respectively, in offensive efficiency. That is very encouraging for the 75% of bettors putting 78% of the money on this one to hit the under.
It seems like everyone was on the same page from the jump. Since opening at 51.0 points, the total has been bet down at FanDuel Sportsbook and most other books. It makes sense. In addition to their meh overall offensive numbers, the two are 19th and 21st in Football Outsiders' situation-neutral pace. Even in close games (within six points), the favored Colts fall to 28th in seconds per play.
As for this year's trends, they are split exactly down the middle when you consider the combined 12 games for these two. The over and under have hit at an equal rate. However, Indy has seen their games average only 45.3 points, compared to Detroit's 53.5 a game. The Colts' stingy defense should keep this one under 50 points, but if possible, I'd steer clear of such a murky situation.