2020 - 2021 NFL Betting Trends

Betting trends can be invaluable to an NFL bettor looking to wager on a game. Why is this? Well, betting trends cover a wide range of topics, and are based on actual results from the past. These pieces of information are able to put together an overall scenario of how a particular game might play out. Bettors who choose to do research on trends give themselves a much better chance of winning the wager, versus going in without. The fact that a team has fared well in one aspect of the betting line over another could very well be the difference when betting on NFL games, for which betting trends are designed to be an indicator.

Betting trends are an aspect of betting that has varying impact on the actual outcomes of a game. It is important to take trends in their proper context, and as such, that is what this page will be devoted to. We want to explain to you how to properly use trends, so you don’t get fooled by people trying to use them incorrectly. Trends can be a big part of a good betting strategy, but they need to be part of that strategy, not all of it.

What Are Betting Trends?

Simply put, betting trends are previous results that people use to indicate future outcomes. For example, you might take a look at the Kansas City Chiefs as they play the New England Patriots and note a couple of different trends.

The Chiefs have been held without a touchdown in the first half only three times under Patrick Mahomes. All three of those times were against the Patriots.
The Over is 4-1 in the Chiefs last five games.

These are examples, so don’t take this too seriously, but let’s look at each of them and try to understand how they can be used to inform betting.

How To Use Betting Trends

The first trend indicates that the Patriots are uniquely suited to handle Patrick Mahomes out of the gate - no other team has accomplished this feat against Mahomes. It might be something that pushes a bettor to bet the first half Under, for example. The second trend indicates that the Chiefs, generally, score a lot of points, and that the sportsbooks haven’t properly accounted for that necessarily. What it does not tell you is that the Over will hit. The most important thing to remember when using trends is that past results are not a guarantee of future performance. The more general a trend is in terms of scope, and the more limited the sample size of a trend is, the less useful it tends to be. For example, take a look at the following:

  • The Tennessee Titans are 2-6 ATS this season.
  • The Tennessee Titans are 8-8 ATS this season.

The key thing to understand here is variance. There is a range of expected outcomes that could happen on the way to going 8-8 ATS on the season, and it’s important not to get fooled by low sample size trends. Going 8-8 ATS on the season isn’t something that happens via a normal distribution. You don’t go 0-1, 1-1, then 1-2, then 2-2, then 2-3, then 3-3. Losses and wins ATS happen much more randomly than that. Does it matter that the Titans are 2-6 ATS? Yes. But you need to examine how and why those results have occurred, not simply look at that 2-6 ATS number and assume that they will be a bad spread bet. It is entirely possible for a team that is 2-6 ATS in Week 8 to be 8-8 ATS by Week 17.

Trends With Added Variables

One thing that you’ll see a lot is trends like this:

  • Under is 3-1-1 in Raiders last 5 games after putting up under 90 yards rushing in their previous game.

What does that actually tell you, though? At first glance, it looks like it’s saying “The Under does well when the Raiders are coming off of a bad rushing game”, but does that actually make sense? What connection does the Under have with the Raiders not being able to run the football well in a previous game? The answer is that there honestly might not be one - the sample size is so low, and the stat itself is so specific, that results like this could and do occur at random. It genuinely might not mean anything that the Under is 3-1-1 when the Raiders are held under 90 yards in a previous game. It might simply mean “The Raiders aren’t very good at scoring points and so they hit the Under a lot” because teams that aren’t good at rushing aren’t good at scoring points either. So, when are these trends useful? Generally, the answer is something like “when the trend applies to the upcoming game, not the previous one, and not much has changed about the teams in question.” So, for example, something like:

  • Raiders are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games @ Kansas City.

This is an example of a trend that might hold up the next time the Raiders play Kansas City. The Raiders have not managed to cover the spread in their last four attempts against KC. Not much has changed about the composition of the teams in recent years - Patrick Mahomes has been running the Chiefs for a bit now, and Derek Carr is still under center for the Raiders. The big thing you should take away from this is that trends can inform your betting process, and give you a jumping off point to think about the matchup, but they do not hold a ton of predictive value. They are not a substitute for doing your own legwork and analysis on a matchup.

How To Wager With NFL Betting Trends

Bovada SportsbookBettors can use the information on this page to inform their wagering, and choose to act on it and place a bet, or could use it to steer clear of such a wager. Either way, the idea of betting trends are to paint as complete of a picture as possible for a matchup that you are interested in. As long as you use them as tools, and not as a complete picture, you be good to go.

Once a particular side of the wager has been chosen, the next step is to place a wager. There are a lot of great USA betting sites that take wagers on NFL games. These sportsbooks will feature odds for every game on the schedule, both in the preseason and the regular season, so you can bet on almost anything you can find a trend for. If you found a trend for head to head matchups, or Over/Unders, or the spread, you can put your money behind it at any of the amazing online sportsbooks.

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