Contrarian Bettors Primed for Profits as We Enter “Overreaction Season” in the NFL
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ravens HC John Harbaugh.
- The betting public has historically overreacted to things they see in the first week of the NFL season, which has led to value in Weeks 2 and 3.
- Using The Action Network's betting tools, we break down how to take advantage of this phenomenon.
After Week 1, plenty of us are making grandiose assumptions.
Lamar Jackson is the next Patrick Mahomes! Marlon Mack is rushing for 2,000 yards this year! The Dolphins are going to lose by 40 points every game this year! Well, that last one might actually be true…
The thing is — Week 1 is just another random week in the grand scheme of things. The large majority of the extreme performances are bound to come back to earth very soon. The Ravens aren’t as good as they were on Sunday, nor are the Dolphins as bad.
If these things had happened in Week 7 or something, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Since it was Week 1, though, everyone overreacts. They think that what we saw last week will be indicative of what we see for the rest of the 2019 season.
How do I know this? Well, quite frankly, the data proves that over the next two weeks, the public doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about.
Teams getting at least 70% of spread bets are just 59-97-4 (37.8%) against the spread in Weeks 2 and 3. In all other weeks, they are 460-457-19 (50.2%), with the ever-random Week 17 being the best week for public teams (32-23-1, 58.2%).
Sometimes I see people joke about betting on the opposite side of what they actually like — the gambling version of The Opposite.
This is a viable option over the next two weeks if you’re the type of person who typically bets on super-public teams.
Perhaps an even better betting option is to apply this method to the moneyline.
It hasn’t really worked for huge underdogs so you’re better off taking them on the spread, but all unpopular favorites and dogs up to 7.5 points have been straight money in this system.
There are currently a lot of games in which one team is getting close to or more than 70% of bets that could end up fitting this system this week:
- Cowboys (86%, -4.5) at Redskins
- Bears (82%, -2.5) at Broncos
- Panthers (82%, -6.5) vs. Bucs
- Patriots (81%, -18.5) at Dolphins
- Chargers (80%, -2.5) at Lions
- Browns (77%, -2.5) at Jets
- Eagles (76%, -1.5) at Falcons
- Chiefs (73%, -7.5) at Raiders
- Titans (67%, -3) vs. Colts
Lots of popular road teams this week!
More often than not, betting percentages tend to get closer to 50/50 as the week progresses. I’d guess that the teams currently at 80% or more will stay above the 70% mark by week’s end, but the rest I’m not too sure about.
Can you guys stomach betting on Jameis Winston getting less than a touchdown after his Week 1 performance? What about the Dolphins getting lord knows how many points by week’s end?
It will be hard to click that “confirm bet” button on some of these teams, but this is the time to bet with your brain, not with your gut.