NFL betting odds favor the favorite this week, the underdog has a fighting chance, and the public is evenly split on whether or not to make a wager on the game. We break down the teams and give you our analysis of who will win and which game the public is most likely to take action on.
The defending NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals host an underachieving Atlanta Falcons team this week. The Cardinals are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a bye week, and they have one of the most formidable offenses in the league. They scored at least 30 points in each of their last three games, including a 49-point outburst against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4. The problem is that the Cardinals are a very inconsistent defense, as they allowed at least 21 points in each of their first four games before picking up four defensive touchdowns in one game against the San Francisco 49ers back in Week 5. The Cardinals have a very difficult schedule down the stretch, as they will face the Seahawks, 49ers, and Green Bay Packers in back-to-back weeks, and the Atlanta Falcons will come to Phoenix in the final week of the regular season. The betting public is very much aware of how dangerous this offense can be, as shown by the 51% of bets placed on the under in the Cardinals game compared to only 37% of bets on the over. This number could easily switch in the other direction if the defense plays well, but it is safe to assume that most people have at least some faith in the offensive capabilities of this club.
New York Giants
The defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants host a 3-2 Washington Redskins team this week. The Redskins are 2-4 ATS in their last six games, including a 21-point home loss to the Minnesota Vikings last week. This is a completely different story than the 1-4 team that many handicappers expected to see in 2017. The loss to the Vikings was a crushing defeat, as it was evident that the Giants had outmaneuvered them at every turn and were clearly the better team. The difference is that the Redskins have allowed 58 points per game this year, the most in the NFL. This is an area that the Giants need to shore up if they are going to have any chance at a successful 2018 campaign. The offense has been relatively disappointing, particularly with Eli Manning taking over for the suspended and questionable Ben McAden. Manning has certainly shown an improvement, completing 68% of his passes for 16 touchdowns against only 4 interceptions. The team is only winning due to stellar defensive play – they are currently ranked 3rd overall in scoring defense (20.5 PPG) and 3rd against the pass (16.5 PPG). Despite these numbers, the betting public still has no confidence in this unit, as the over/under was set at 41 points in the Giants game, resulting in a minus-10% payout. This is another example of the public lacking confidence in a team that is supposed to be much better than its performance would have you believe.
The defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks host an overachieving 3-1 Chicago Bears team this week. The Seahawks are 8-4 ATS in their last 12 games at home, winning by an average of 20.5 points per game. They were heavily favored to win this game before the season started, as most experts had them pegged to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. They have actually allowed only 19 points per game so far, which is nearly half of what they gave up in their first three home games. For some reason, the betting public does not seem to have faith in this team, as evidenced by the 43% of bets placed against them. The over/under was set at 43 points in the Bears game, resulting in a minus-8% payout. The public is way off on this one and should probably stop believing everything they read or watch on TV. The Seahawks are a very real threat to make a run at an undefeated season.
The Carolina Panthers host a 1-3 Miami Dolphins team this week. The Panthers were 7-2 ATS in their last nine home games before hitting the bye week. Since that time, they are 4-2 ATS, which is still an above-average record. They are one of the most consistent units on the road, where they are 4-0 ATS in their last four games, but they have not performed well at home, where they have only won two of their last 11 games. The betting public has a lot of confidence in this team, as evidenced by the 65% of bets placed on Carolina this week. The over/under was set at 43 points in the Panthers game, resulting in a plus-4% payout. It will certainly be interesting to follow this team in the coming weeks, as they have several significant games on the road, beginning with a Week 6 matchup against the New England Patriots. This is a team that could certainly have a chance to make some noise in the NFC playoff race.
This week the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots host a 3-1-1 San Diego Chargers team. The Patriots are 16-2 ATS in their last 18 games when playing on a Saturday, which is a phenomenal record. They are 18-2 ATS in their last 20 games overall, which is even more impressive. They have the best overall record in the NFL this year and have been one of the most reliable teams all year long. The betting public seems to have a lot of faith in this team, as evidenced by the 68% of bets placed on New England this week. The over/under was set at 41 points in the Broncos game, resulting in a plus-14% payout. The San Diego Chargers only have one win this year, and it came against the New England Patriots in Week 1. Since then they have struggled, as evidenced by their 3-1-1 record. The lack of offense has been a major problem, as the Chargers only have 17 points per game, tied for the 5th lowest total in the NFL. Their biggest wins have been on the road, where they are 4-1 ATS in their last five games and have outscored their opposition by a combined 75-34 over that span.
Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams are 4-2 ATS in their last six games overall, including two dominating victories over the Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco 49ers. Most experts had the Rams pegged to struggle in 2018, particularly on the road, where they are 1-4 ATS in their last five games. They are coming off a bye week and will look to regain their dominant form against a struggling Detroit Lions team. The Rams are one of the most popular picks this week due to their recent success, as they are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games and have outscored their opposition by a combined 147-79 in those contests. The betting public seems to have a lot of confidence in this team, due in large part to their hot streak, as the over/under was set at 41 points in the Rams game, resulting in a plus-16% payout. It will be interesting to see if that confidence continues, as they have quite a bit of competition right now, including the Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, and Green Bay Packers. They also have a challenging schedule down the stretch, which includes a road game against the NFC Champion Minnesota Vikings in Week 14. This is a team that could make some noise in the NFC playoff race if they continue on this hot streak.
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are coming off a bye week and will face a New York Jets team on the road this week. The Jets are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games, which is simply unacceptable, as they were expected to be a contender in the AFC this year. The betting public seems to have no confidence in this team, as evidenced by the 46% of bets placed against them, and this week’s game is actually the only time this year that the Packers have received less than 50% of the betting action. The over/under was set at 42 points in the Packers game, resulting in a minus-6% payout. The Jets actually scored 27 points in their Week 2 matchup with the Miami Dolphins. It has now been six weeks since then, and they have not scored a single touchdown against any team. They have been outscored by a combined 76-45 in those six straight losses, which includes their 31-point defeat at the hands of the Miami Dolphins in Week 2. This will be a difficult task for the Packers, as they had quite a bit of success against the Jets in their most recent matchup, winning by a combined 14 points. The betting public is definitely aware of how poor the Jets have been this year, but it is hard to fathom how they continue to get significant action.