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Week 4: NFL Betting Primer

As you might imagine, working as a sports betting content creator is an absolute dream job, but like in every other form of employment, there’s definitely some pet peeves.

One of the most annoying things I encounter on a daily basis is chatter from know-it-all bettors on social media who love throwing around the term “square” to either discredit a bettor or a particular pick. Those same people often love to lecture people on “public money” coming in on one side of a bet or the other.

The topic came up on this week’s Guys & Bets podcast (which you should be listening to every week) and I found myself rather fired up after being called a square for picking the Patriots to cover the spread vs the Bills this week.

Yes, there are plenty of square bettors and plenty of square betting options every day, but the negativity of the square narrative is becoming an overly convenient thing for people to lean on and if you’re overly reliant on it, it could be costing you money.

If you’re new to betting, I implore you to not fall into the trap of putting all your eggs into one basket with trying to fade “square bets” — aka bets supporting teams with a big public following.

Each week, I see countless people coming up with reasons to fade the Patriots and even reports of sharp action against them, and I don’t understand it. Over the last five seasons, the New England Patriots, who have a massive following, are the No. 2 ATS bet in the NFL, covering at a rate of 63.6 percent. If you, as an NFL bettor, are winning spread bets at that rate over five years, then you’d be an incredible success.

Over the last five seasons, the New England Patriots, who have a massive public following, are the No. 2 ATS bet in the NFL, covering at a rate of 63.6 percent.

What about the Patriots’ equivalent in college football, the Alabama Crimson Tide? Well, they’re not at New England’s level, but they’ve been a profitable spread bet in three of the last four seasons, hitting at 54.8 percent in this span.

How about Duke basketball this past season when the Blue Devils were the greatest attraction in college basketball in decades because of Zion Williamson? All they did was go a profitable 15-10 ATS in the regular season before Zion’s sneaker exploded vs North Carolina.

How about the New York Yankees, whose odds have been so high in most games this season that you have to take them on the runline to even see a modest return on your wager? All they’ve done is become MLB’s most profitable runline bet, posting a profit of +19.8 units as of September 26.

It doesn’t get much more “public” than those four teams, so don’t listen to the “public money” and “square” crap on social media. Ultimately, bets come down to individual matchups and the betting performance of “public” teams varies across sports and seasons.

So, tune out the noise and remove those types of narratives from your handicapping strategy. Track line movement and if it’s at a spot where you like it and you have the stats to back it up, fire away. Sports betting is about winning money, and if making “square” bets can get me there, then I’ll happily be the sharpest square around.

Greasy Moneyline Parlay Rules

Speaking of bets that aren’t considered sharp, my Greasy Moneyline Parlays are off to a fantastic start at 4-0 this season, which brings the lifetime record to 10-3 for +8.91 units. If you’re not familiar with my weekly GMPs, here’s an example from a few weeks ago:

Basically we’re parlaying massive favorites — usually five to six — with a goal to get to EVEN money or a little bit better. Although it might look like I’m just blindly pairing the biggest favorites I can find, there are actually rules to creating a GMP and I do handicap each game to determine the probability of an upset.

The rules are quite simple and are as follows:

  1. Be greasy, not greedy. No more than six bets on the ticket
  2. Nothing lower than -300
  3. No NHL or MLB
  4. Max of two of the following: soccer, UFC, college basketball, NBA
  5. Can’t have more road than home teams on the ticket

Don’t bend or break these rules. I often get messages with people adding in more games. This significantly reduces your chances of winning. I also get messages with people sending me their version of a GMP and it’s filled with teams below the -300 threshold — that’s not a Greasy Moneyline Parlay, it’s just a parlay.

Up until this point, a college football game has never lost on a Greasy Moneyline Parlay. The Packers losing a home game to the Cardinals blew one up, the Bucks losing to the Suns killed one and Providence broke our hearts in a college basketball game vs UMass. 

Be on the lookout for a GMP each and every Friday during football season on my Twitter feed, and another reminder to be greasy, not greedy and to KEEP CHASING THAT PAPER!

Here’s the best stats and trends for every Week 4 NFL game:

Eagles-Packers
  • Through three games, the Packers have a first-half point differential of +7.33. The Eagles are at -9. The first-half spread for this game has GB at -3.
  • Green Bay leads the league in turnover differential at +6.
  • The Packers are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games at home in September.
  • The Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last five games on the road.
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Eagles' last four games on the road. (Avg combined score: 33.25)
  • The Eagles are 9-3 SU in their last 12 games at night.
  • The Packers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games at night.
  • The Eagles are 1-5 SU and ATS in their last six games vs the Packers.
Patriots-Bills
  • The Patriots beat the Bills twice last season, 24-12 at home and 25-6 in Buffalo.
  • In the Belichick era, the Patriots are 14-4-1 ATS in Buffalo with 12 double-digit wins.
  • The Patriots are 7-0 SU in their last seven games on the road vs the Bills. (Avg winning margin: 14.86)
  • The Patriots are 8-0 SU in their last eight games. (Avg winning margin: 20.63)
  • The Patriots still haven’t allowed a defensive touchdown this season. Buffalo has a league-worst opponents red-zone TD percentage of 100.
  • The Patriots are 9-1 SU and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games vs divisional opponents.
  • The total has gone OVER in 18 of the Bills' last 25 games at home. (Avg combined score: 46.08)
Browns-Ravens
  • These teams split their season series last season with Baltimore winning 26-24 at home, and Cleveland winning 12-9 at home.
  • Ravens games this season have had a league-high average combined score of 56.67.
  • The Ravens are 21-2 SU in their last 23 games at home in September.
  • The Ravens are 9-2 SU in their last 11 games after a loss.
  • The Browns are 1-26 SU in their last 27 games as road underdogs.
  • The total has gone OVER in the Browns' last five games vs their division on the road.
  • The Ravens are the only team in the NFL that hasn’t committed a turnover. The Browns have committed five.
Buccaneers-Rams
  • The total has gone UNDER in seven of the Buccaneers' last nine games. (Avg combined score: 45.44)
  • Rams games have had an average combined score of just 42 points this season.
  • The Buccaneers are 1-5 ATS in their last six games in the late afternoon.
  • The Rams are 7-1 SU and ATS in their last eight games.
  • The Rams are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games as a double-digit favorite.
Chargers-Dolphins
  • The Chargers have a first-half point differential of +8.33. The Dolphins have a league-worst -16.33.
  • The Chargers are 7-2 SU and ATS in their last nine games on the road.
  • The Chargers are 10-2-1 ATS in their last 13 games after an ATS loss.
  • The Dolphins are 0-6 SU in their last six games. (Avg losing margin: 29.33)
  • The Dolphins are 5-15 ATS in their last 20 games at home in September.
  • The Dolphins are 12-1 SU in their last 13 games when hosting a West Coast team.
Chiefs-Lions
  • The Chiefs are 14-5 ATS in their last 19 games as road favorites.
  • The Chiefs are 10-0 SU and ATS in their last 10 games in September.
  • The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Lions' last 10 games. (Avg combined score: 36.6)
  • The Lions are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games before a bye.
Jaguars-Broncos
  • The total has gone UNDER in five of the Jaguars' last six games. (Avg combined score: 32.33)
  • The total has gone UNDER in 11 of the Broncos' last 12 games. (Avg combined score: 38.5)
  • The Broncos have the second-worst opponents red-zone TD scoring percentage at 85.71. The Jaguars have the fifth-best at 40%.
  • The Broncos are 0-6-1 ATS in their last seven games as home favorites.
  • The Broncos are the only team in the NFL that hasn’t forced a turnover.
Panthers-Texans
  • The Panthers are 2-9 SU and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games.
  • The Texans are 7-2 SU in their last nine games at home.
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Texans' last five games at home. (Avg combined score: 32.6)
  • The total has gone UNDER in three of the Panthers' last four games vs the Texans. (Avg combined score: 40.25)
Raiders-Colts
  • The Raiders are 2-14 SU and 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 games on the road.
  • The Colts are 7-0 SU in their last seven games at home. (Avg winning margin: 13.29)
  • The Colts are 10-0 SU in their last 10 games as home favorites.
  • The total has gone OVER in the Colts' last four games at home in September.
Seahawks-Cardinals
  • The Seahawks swept the Cardinals last season, but only won by three points in each game.
  • Seattle has the best red-zone TD scoring percentage at 88.89. Arizona ranks 30th at 36.36%.
  • The Seahawks are 6-0 ATS in their last six games after an ATS loss.
  • The total has gone OVER in six of the Seahawks' last seven games. (Avg combined score: 52.86)
  • The Seahawks are 2-8 SU and 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 games on the road in September.
  • The total has gone OVER in three of the Cardinals' last four games. (Avg combined score: 50.75)
  • The Cardinals are 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games vs their division at home.
Titans-Falcons
  • The Falcons are 15-5 ATS in their last 20 games at home in September.
  • The Titans are 5-17 ATS in their last 22 games on the road vs teams with losing records.
  • The total has gone UNDER in four of the Falcons' last five games at home. (Avg combined score: 44.8)
  • Titans games this season have had an average combined score of just 39.67 points.
Redskins-Giants
  • These teams split their season series in 2018, with the Giants winning 40-16 at home in December, and the Redskins winning 20-13 in D.C. in October.
  • The total has gone OVER in the Redskins' last three games. (Avg combined score: 52.33)
  • The Redskins are 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS in their last six games vs divisional opponents.
  • The total has gone OVER in 10 of the Redskins' last 13 divisional road games.
  • The total has gone OVER in four of the Giants' last five games. (Avg combined score: 56.6)
  • The Giants are 2-7 SU and 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine games at home.
Vikings-Bears
  • Bears games this season have had a league-low average combined score of 29.67.
  • The total has gone UNDER in three of the Vikings' last four games vs the Bears. (Avg combined score: 37.25)
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Vikings' last four games on the road. (Avg combined score: 33.75)
  • The Vikings are 0-5 SU and ATS in their last five games as an underdog.
  • The Bears are 8-3 SU and ATS in their last 11 games at home.
  • The Bears are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games vs divisional opponents.
Cowboys-Saints
  • The Cowboys have a first-half point differential of +8.33. The Saints are at -0.33.
  • The Cowboys rank second in net yards per play. The Saints are 25th.
  • The Saints are 13-3 SU and ATS in their last 16 games at home after consecutive road games.
  • The Cowboys are 6-1 SU in their last seven games.
  • The Saints are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games.
Bengals-Steelers
  • Pittsburgh won both matchups vs the Bengals last season, 16-13 at home and 28-21 in Cincinnati.
  • The Bengals are 6-0 ATS in their last six games on the road.
  • The Bengals are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games vs divisional opponents.
  • The Steelers are 14-1-1 SU in their last 16 games vs divisional opponents.
  • The total has gone OVER in 12 of the Steelers' last 16 games at home. (Avg combined score: 56.25)
  • The total has gone OVER in six of the Steelers' last eight games vs their division at home.
  • The Bengals are 0-8 SU in their last eight games vs the Steelers. (Avg losing margin: 6.88)