Anomaly or trend?
Flashing lights, bone-crunching hits, and highlight playmaking, all are customary during football season. And then, of course, there is the betting. Through three weeks of the 2022 NFL calendar, a few atypical betting trends are beginning to stick out like a sore thumb.
The sportsbooks’ purpose is to attempt to split results at a perfect 50/50—yet they have failed in their mission thus far, especially in the game total market, where the “under” has hit 63.8% of the time.
the oddsmakers are not doing what they have been advertised to do
According to information provided by Covers.com, the oddsmakers are not doing what they have been advertised to do, giving the betting public a chance to capitalize on their mistakes.
Variance in the NFL
As detailed above, the category straying the furthest away from a 50/50 split is the over/under. Of the 48 games that have been played, 31 (63.8%) have gone under the estimated total.
dogs have posted a record of 28-18-2, giving them a 60.9% hit rate ATS
Another category of teams that have found success is underdogs against the spread (ATS). The dogs have posted a record of 28-18-2, giving them a 60.9% hit rate ATS. Spread underdogs only need to lose by a maximum specified amount of points or win outright to cover the spread.
Much the opposite, spread favorites are only getting the job done 39.1% of the time. That number also does not change at home or on the road, as favorites have also won exactly 39.1% of spread bets at both destinations.
As one might expect, the most successful category of team is the moneyline favorite. However, there is a large variance in their success based on whether or not they are traveling. Home moneyline favorites have won 66.7% of matches, while road favorites are only winning 57.1% of the time.
Road moneyline underdogs are the least successful group of teams (33.3% win rate), while home moneyline underdogs are not much better (35.7%).
Conclusions from data
What about the areas that the oddsmakers have nailed spot-on?
Well, that list is fairly short in the NFL, and it only has to do with location. Both home and road teams are exactly 50% ATS thus far; home moneyline teams have won 52.1% of the time, while road moneyline squads win 45.8% of the time.
Vegas is still learning how to control this year’s market
Aside from that, there is more deviation than expected in different areas of the betting market. This goes to show that Vegas is still learning how to control this year’s market and that many of the teams are unpredictable.
Bettors could consider adjusting their strategy moving forward and using techniques such as hedging to protect themselves from pitfalls. They could also rally behind the numbers until a noticeable adjustment is made by the bookies.
There are still 15 weeks of action left in the NFL season, but the early data suggests that sports betting, at least this season, is not as much of a coin flip as it is made out to be.