NFL Week 5 Recap: What bettors learned

Bettors learned last weekend that they can lean on the NFC East and that the Bills are rightfully the oddsmaker’s favorites to win Super Bowl 54. They also found out that this may be the year of the “Under” with 10 more games going under the posted total, some of them way under.

The NFC East
What was the weakest division in the NFL over the last few seasons suddenly is, by far, the best in football. Featuring the Philadelphia Eagles only undefeated team in the league, the Dak-less 4-1 Cowboys and the surprising NY Giants, the NFC East has proven so far that they can win. But do these teams cover against the spread? Remember, the oddsmakers are way ahead of 99% of bettors and they will adjust accordingly as the season rolls on. Sure the huge upsets by the GMen and Cowboys were easy ATS wins and both surprising teams are 4-1 ATS, but the Eagles failed to cover in a poor performance against the Cardinals. The 5-0 the Birds are just 3-2 ATS so far in 2022. They are 6-point favorites Sunday night at home vs. the ‘Boys. And the Giants are still getting no respect, despite being just one of three, 4-1 ATS teams. They are getting 5.5 points at home vs. the Ravens (3-2 ATS).

Bills SBLVII odds still dropping
With 13 weeks left in the NFL regular season, Buffalo has cemented itself as the Super Bowl favorite, now down to just 4-1 to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in February. Much of the reason for their success is the play of star QB Josh Allen. Allen again delivered vs. the Steelers and now is less than 2-1 to be the 2022 NFL MVP at the top sportsbooks online, like FanDuel. The 26 year old is number one in yards passing, #2 in touchdowns and has the 4th best QBR in the league. This week is the big face-off against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, where Buffalo is favored going into Arrowhead. Bettors are lining up on Kansas City, and despite that, the odds are trending to Bills (-3). The Bills crushed Pittsburgh 38-3 and have put up 20 or more in all five games this year. Still, four of those games have gone under and that is one of the biggest trends so far in NFL betting in 2022.

Under betting
Have NFL defenses figured it out? Are defensive coordinators doing more homework in 2022? Or are linesmakers taking advantage of bettors penchant for wagering on Over?

Historically, totals have been on the rise over the last twenty years, peaking at 49.6 in 2020. But last year that trend finally turned and totals averaged 46.5. This was just the third time since 2000 that average points dropped by more than half a point. After years of point totals increasing, due in-part to rule changes and pass-happy offenses, all three of those total point drops have occurred over the last eight seasons.

So far 47 games have gone under the total, that’s good for 59.5% and betting under would have turned a profit for bettors. What was quite shocking in Week 5 was how many game not only went under, but were a no-sweat bet for under gamblers. Seven of the 10 unders last week went under by 10 or more points. The opening game of the week between the Broncos and Colts saw just 21 points scored and the trend continued with the 13-6 Texans shocking win over the Jags (under by 24) and the Patriots shut out of the Lions.

Part of the trend is due to injuries at QB, but defenses have been riding high. Tampa Bay has held opponents to less than 15 point three times so far. They face Pittsburgh who we knew would struggle this year. The total opened at 43 and is up to 44 in a game where I wonder if the Steelers will even get to 10. With 9 games on the board posting totals of 44 or less, oddsmakers are noticing. The total for this Thursday night’s awful game between the Commanders and Bears is just 38.5. The New England at Cleveland total is 41.5 and the 2-3 Rams head to Carolina where the total is 42. All of these games can go under even with those low totals. Until the top teams start producing or the bad teams find a way to score, Under the total is a good bet . . . for now.

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