Five NFL Betting Trends to Note Before Week 1 Kicks Off

  • The NFL season kicks off Thursday, September 7
  • Teams with the best records weren’t profitable in 2022
  • The Bengals have finished in the top five ATS three straight seasons
  • Brock Purdy is 7-1 against the spread in eight career healthy games 
NFL logo on locker room floor
VegasSlotsOnline News has put together five NFL betting trends from last season that may serve you well going into this season. [Image:]

NFL betting is back!

The 2023 NFL season is just a week and some change away, and that means that sports betting is about to take off once again.

Football season has proven to be the busiest time of the year for sportsbooks. The American Gaming Association estimated that over 16 million Americans would bet over $50bn on the Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, and even more states have opened their markets since then.

But before the NFL season can properly resume, the gambling public must be aware of THESE betting trends from the 2022 season. 

Top five NFL betting trends

#1: Don’t be fooled by the top teams

Only two of the five teams with the best records in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills, made money in spread betting and the Bills generated a profit of less than 2% (assuming -110 odds). 

When factoring in the postseason, the Bills also dipped into the red, meaning that, of the top teams, only the Niners were profitable from start to finish last season.

 Those five teams (and their results against the spread) were:

  • Kansas City Chiefs: 14-3 record, 6-10-1 ATS 
  • Philadelphia Eagles: 14-3 record, 8-9 ATS
  • Buffalo Bills: 13-3 record, 8-7-1 ATS
  • Minnesota Vikings: 13-4 record, 7-9-1 ATS
  • San Francisco 49ers: 13-4 record, 11-6 ATS

The Chiefs in particular stand out. They won the Super Bowl and have been the best team in the league over the past half-decade, but they were a bottom-10 team against the spread. 

oddsmakers take advantage of the good faith the Chiefs and other great teams build

The takeaway? The oddsmakers take advantage of the good faith the Chiefs and other great teams build and move the line higher than it should be.

#4: Bet the Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals have finished in the top five in performances against the spread in each of the past three seasons. That includes two third-place finishes in 2022 and 2021 and a fifth-place finish in 2020.

Including the playoffs, the Bengals have put together a 36-19-1 record against the spread. Assuming -110 odds for every outing and a $10 bet on every game, that means that Bengals spread bettors would be up just under 25%, or 1.25x their investment. That’s a phenomenal return for blindly picking the same team with no further thought.

The Bengals are in a sticky situation to start the year as Joe Burrow recovers from a calf strain, but don’t count them out from being amongst the league’s best when he gets back on the field.

#3: Fade Bryce Young?

The last three quarterbacks taken first overall—Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow, and Kyler Murray—are 0-2-1 straight up in their NFL debuts and are 0-3 against the spread. That’s bad news for Bryce Young, who was taken first overall by the Carolina Panthers earlier in the summer. 

recent history does not support a bet on the Panthers

Young and crew are 3.5-point underdogs on the road against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1. That number crosses a significant value (three points) and therefore gives more value to their line, but recent history does not support a bet on the Panthers. 

That said, the Panthers were 2-0 against the spread when playing the Falcons last year and covered by an average of 6.75 points—once by one point, and once by 12.5 points. One of these trends will lose out in Week 1.

#2: Brock Purdy the magic man

Excluding an NFC Championship Game in which he tore his UCL and was unable to throw the ball, Brock Purdy ripped off a 7-1 record against the spread as a starter for the 49ers. 

His first start came in a 33-17 win over the Miami Dolphins in early December, which sparked an eight-game win streak for the eventual NFC runners-up. His only healthy non-cover was a three-point win over the Las Vegas Raiders on a 10-point line.

Purdy and the Niners are 2.5-point favorites against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the San Fran QB, however, as he will be returning from surgery on his throwing arm and has to take on a menacing Steelers defense. 

Pittsburgh, for what it’s worth, was also excellent ATS in 2022, finishing the year 10-6-1.

#1: Speaking of the Steelers…

T.J. Watt is the face of the modern Steel Curtain defense, and with good reason. Pittsburgh not only went 8-2 straight up in games Watt appeared in last season, but it also went 8-2 against the spread and covered in four straight outings to close out the season.

a head coach in Mike Tomlin that does not have a losing season on record in 16 years with the team

Expectations still aren’t that high for the Steelers because of the congestion in the AFC North provided by the Bengals and Baltimore Ravens, and, to a lesser extent, the Cleveland Browns. But this is a very talented team with a head coach in Mike Tomlin that does not have a losing season on record in 16 years with the team.

Kenny Pickett had a perfect passer rating and led touchdowns on all five drives he played in the preseason. His ability to ascend the quarterback rankings in 2023 will be instrumental in determining how far the Steelers progress.

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