Analysis

To Fade or Not to Fade: Week 8 NFL Betting Narratives

Betting Week 6 NFL

Every week I’ll dissect various narratives affecting NFL betting lines. This is vital, considering most bettors digest these same narratives weekly. The betting public is more grandiose than ever. While that’s exciting, it also means sportsbooks can lure and fool action junkies into taking a lousy wager based on repeated narratives purported by the media. My job is to ensure these narratives do not trick you. 

Let’s get into some Week 8 betting narratives.

Heavy Favorites Aren’t Reliable Anymore

FADE

This feels true, but in reality, this is only a Tampa Bay Buccaneers problem. The Buccaneers have been favored by double-digits or more in three consecutive weeks. This was the result:

  • TB was -10 against the Falcons in Week 5; they won by 6
  • TB was -10 against the Steelers in Week 6; they lost by 2
  • TB was -13 against the Panthers in Week 7; they lost by 18!

Double-digit favorites have been profitable for nearly a decade, but this year they’re 4-4 against the spread (ATS). The Bills are 2-0, the Packers are 1-0, and the Rams are 0-1 ATS under the same circumstances. Again, it’s really just the Bucs’ problem.

It’s not shocking if you look at some of Tampa’s metrics. They rank 27th in touchdown red-zone percentage (47.37%), and they allow more red-zone touchdowns than 30 other teams – opponents score six points on a whopping 76.47% of their red-zone possessions. The Bucs are also bottom-third in the league in points per game, yards per play and third down conversion rate. These are not reminiscent of Tom Brady-led teams, and it’s time to hit the panic button if you’re a Tampa Bay supporter. Things are off.

This week the Bills (-11) are double-digit favorites against the Green Bay Packers, and the Philadelphia Eagles (-10.5) are double-digit favorites against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Surprisingly, the Eagles have yet to be favored by more than 6.5 points this season. Still, that line is a massive leap for Philadelphia. They’re playing an improved Steelers team that’s also covered ATS in Weeks 6 and 7. 

The Packers are in full desperation mode and couldn’t be in a worse spot headed to Orchard Park Sunday night. Aaron Rodgers is using the giant spread, the first double-digit underdog experience in his career, as extra motivation.

When asked about the betting line, Rodgers said, “I’m not worried about this squad. In fact, this might be the best thing for us. This week, nobody’s going to give us a chance to go to Buffalo on Sunday Night Football with a chance to get exposed. Shoot, this might be the best thing for us.”

We’ll see if his words transfer to his supporting cast. He’ll need all the help he can get against a juggernaut Bills squad that’s outscored teams 79-10 in two home games this season. The Packers lost by a combined 24 points to the New York Giants, New York Jets and Washington Commanders in the last three weeks. The NFC North may be out of their hands if they don’t improve.

2022 Is a Weird NFL Betting Season

DO NOT FADE

This is unequivocally true. 

Top NFL bettors across the country are commenting on the absurdity they see every week. Big underdogs are winning straight up; historically elite favorites aren’t covering, and surprise teams like the Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons just keep covering the spread.

The real enemy of our collective wallets is betting on favorites of seven points or more. So far this season, favorites of seven points or more are an astounding 7-16 ATS (30%). If you eliminate the Bills, the record moves to 4-16 ATS; not good! 

It gets better. Away underdogs are hitting at an astounding 59% ATS this season. Take it from me; that just doesn’t happen. Despite a pass-first league that’s seen exponentially higher scoring entering the 2022 season, under-bets are hitting at 60% this season. That includes overtime games. 

So yes, it’s just a weird year in NFL betting. If you’re one of the 6,000+ contestants in this year’s Circa Survivor Contest, the biggest survivor contest in the world, it’s extremely likely you’ve already been eliminated. After seven weeks, only 125 entrants remain. I was a part of a 20,000-entry survivor contest at BetOnline, and I was eliminated last week thanks to the Bucs’ loss at Carolina. Many of those big favorites of seven points or more were the culprits in our demise.

Betting on the NFL is never easy, but this year is different. Don’t get too down on yourself, and know that many of us, even the pro handicappers who bet for a living, are struggling. We can at least take comfort in that and remember – regression is coming!

This Weird Season Means I Won’t Make a Profit

FADE

Let me start by saying gambling addiction is real. If you feel like you’re losing control of your ability to limit your bets or bet sizes, take it seriously and seek help. American sports are year-round; learn better behavioral tactics from a professional therapist before you get back in the action.

Betting on football or any sport isn’t made for everyone. Professional handicappers say it all the time, and it’s true. Most of us lose 45% of the time, and that’s considered good! If you win at a 55% clip and your unit allocation is consistent, you can win a ton of money in this industry. But losing 45% of the time must affect your psyche. It’s common sense. It’s also something psychologists call a negative feedback loop, and it can gravely affect your mental state. In cases like this, the best approach you can take from a betting perspective is to modify your bankroll management. 

That means betting less, and that means betting lower unit sizes. I know it doesn’t sound very sexy, but it can make all the difference.

In Week 7, I took this approach. I was averaging around 20 plays per week this season in the NFL (overconfident alert!), but I limited myself to only 11 wagers last week. The result: 8-3, +7.55 unit Week 7. Limiting your exposure won’t always lead to more wins, but it will leave less of your bankroll at risk. That alone is a winning recipe.

Remember: Winning in gambling sports is as much about your personal mental health and preparation as the game itself. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before putting money down on your wagers weekly. I ask myself many of these same questions to ensure I’m not sprinting down the wrong path.

  • Do you have any biases heading into the weekend?
  • Is there a quarterback, coach, or team you absolutely can’t stand? Is that overshadowing objective data or observable team tendencies? 
  • Are you managing your bankroll consistently?
  • Do you spend too much money on risky wagers like parlays or multi-leg teasers?
  • Are you betting on something simply because someone told you it’s a good take? 
  • Are you doing your own analysis?
  • Are you putting enough time and effort into the angles you’re betting on?
  • Are you getting caught in analysis paralysis?
  • Are you ignoring observable team tendencies and/or inconsistencies?
  • Are you only risking what you can afford to lose?

Betting on the NFL is extremely hard. There’s a reason why few handicappers last for more than a few seasons. Always bet with caution, and always stay on top of your own mental health. That’s priority number one, and you’ll be surprised how often that leads to more wins.

WATCH MORE: The Eagles Put the NFC on Notice

 

 

 

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