NFL Betting Trends: Dak Prescott runs the NFC East
As we enter the final week of the NFL season, there are plenty of juicy trends and eye-catching analytics available to make smart wagering decisions.
Let's break down the latest metrics from around the NFL and determine the trends you should take advantage of in Week 18.
Road underdogs and Unders
Since the start of the 2019 season, road underdogs are 129-104-6 against the spread after a loss. In 2021, road underdogs after a loss have a 41-40-1 ATS record.
In Week 18, there are only two games that fit this mold: the New York Jets at Buffalo and Carolina at Tampa Bay.
Through 17 weeks, the Under is 141-114 overall, and 137-100 in non-overtime games.
In Saturday games, the Under is 3-0. In Sunday night games, the Over is 11-6. That means non-overtime, Sunday afternoon games are 104-84-1 in favor of the Under.
Road underdogs have been mediocre the past few weeks but are still 81-69-3 ATS through 17 weeks, so the previous trend also comes into effect here.
Which team will win an AFC wild card spot on Sunday?
The NFL is a week-to-week league
As we discussed in last week’s column, there is an intriguing trend this season that is hitting at an astounding rate. After going 56-36-1 ATS in the first 16 weeks of the season, teams that did not cover the week prior went 6-1-1 ATS against teams that did cover the prior week.
That puts this trend at 62-37-2 ATS on the season, which is a 63% hit rate. You can't get much better than that in the NFL betting world for a trend with this large of a sample size.
In Week 18, there are six games that fit this mold: Detroit at home against Green Bay, Minnesota at home against Chicago, Houston at home against Tennessee, Cleveland at home against Cincinnati, Miami at home against New England, and the Los Angeles Rams at home against San Francisco.
Dak Runs the East
The NFC East is back in the hands of the Dallas Cowboys this year, but individual division games have always been in the hands of quarterback Dak Prescott. Outside of division games, Prescott is a mediocre 25-30-2 ATS in his career. However, against NFC East teams in his career, he is an astounding 22-8 ATS, including 5-0 ATS this season.
Sun, January 9 2022, 1:15 AM
The Cowboys have covered four consecutive games as road favorites this season and have covered seven of their last eight road games overall. They are also 6-2 ATS in their last eight meetings with the Eagles. Philadelphia is 1-3-1 ATS in their last five division games.
Four years ago today the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles met for the first time in the Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz era.— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) October 30, 2020
This is how it ended. (via @DemBoyzNation) pic.twitter.com/HwxnoKlicZ
Must win vs. must lose
The Indianapolis Colts find themselves in a must-win situation for a playoff spot, while the Jacksonville Jaguars find themselves in a must-lose situation for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. That alone makes this a good bet on the Colts, but there is an even more intriguing trend to jump on here.
Sun, January 9 2022, 6:00 PM
Since 2003, whenever a team with a winning percentage between 51-67% plays against a team with a winning percentage between 0-33% in the final week of the regular season, the better team is 28-19-1 ATS. The Colts are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games as a favorite. The Jaguars have failed to cover seven consecutive games.