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Bettors Piling On Undefeated Patriots And Chiefs In NFL Week 4 Action
29th September, 02:48I provide insight on U.S. sports-betting & information you can bet on.
New week, same theme. Bettors are piling on and supporting the high-powered and undefeated New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs again in NFL Week 4 action. Teams with the next most bets at William Hill are the Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys.
"Our biggest needs are the Bills, Lions, Browns and then the Saints," Nick Bogdanovich told me. Bogdanovich is the Director of Trading for William Hill US, America's largest sportsbook operator with sports betting locations in Nevada, New Mexico, Bahamas, West Virginia, Indiana, Mississippi, Iowa, Rhode Island, Delaware and New Jersey.
The Patriots, Chiefs and Cowboys are all 3-0. The Ravens are 2-1. But the Bills (3-0) and Lions (2-0-1) are also unbeaten, while the Saints (2-1) come off a road win as underdog at Seattle, and are looking for redemption after losing at Dallas last season 13-10 as a 7-point road favorite to snap the Saints 10-game winning streak.
William Hill tweeted the betting data for Week 4 prior to Thursday's Packers and Eagles game. They will tweet the update again Sunday morning. The percentage of bets and money being wagered on the Patriots and Chiefs is one-sided and enormous.
The Chiefs are taking 93% of the bets and 86% of the money at noted William Hill sports betting locations. The Patriots are taking 87% of the bets and 88% of the money.
The Patriots have dominated three winless teams, out-scoring the Steelers, Dolphins and Jets by a combined 106-17. New England currently has the fourth highest DVOA ever measured through three games according to Football Outsiders. Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) measures a teams efficiency by comparing success on every single play to a league average based on situation and opponent.
The Dolphins are trending towards historically bad, and Miami is the worst DVOA team ever tracked through three games. The Dolphins are the biggest underdog again in Week 4, taking 15 points at home against the banged up Los Angels Chargers, whose injury report shows they will be thin at a few positions against the Dolphins. That's why the line has dropped to even 14 at some sports books including FanDuel, and Miami showed a bit better last week in defeat against Dallas, although the floundering fish offense still only managed 283 yards at 4.2 yard per play on the road in a 31-6 loss.
The Patriots defense has yet to allow an offensive touchdown, although they have played the three worst offenses as the Jets, Dolphins and Steelers rank bottom three in total offense per game. New England is allowing a league-low 199 yards per game at just 3.5 yards per play. The Bills quarterback Josh Allen is likely to struggle some passing into an exceptional Patriots secondary. Along with the Bills strong top-5 defense allowing 299 yards per game at 4.8 yards per play, bettors have driven the total down to 41.5 with less scoring expected.
Pro Football Focus points some key players stats into Week 4, noting too the strength of the Patriots run defense, which has not allowed a single run or 10 yards or more this season. The Dolphins have allowed 20 such running plays.
Pro Football Focus provides data-driven NFL rankings, stats, and player grades for every team and player. Along with being a resource to NFL teams, PFF provides fantasy football advice and betting projections.
As Sunday approaches and kickoffs near, those betting percentages will change with even more money wagered on the games. But don't expect the bets and money to stop piling on the Patriots, Chiefs and top teams as favorites.
That's a common theme at many sportsbooks, including FanDuel Sportsbook, which takes the most bets in New Jersey.
Going into the weekend, FanDuel Sportsbook reported to me that the highest percentage of spread bets were on the Chiefs (90%), Texans (85%), Patriots (84%), Giants (82%), Colts (80%), Jaguars (77%) and Seahawks (77%) with Seattle becoming a more popular play as the line rises on the road against the winless Arizona Cardinals. As of Saturday afternoon, the Chiefs were taking more than 95% of the spread bets, and FanDuel Sportsbook had moved both the Chiefs and Patriots off the key number of 7 and up to 7.5-point favorites.
Regional bias is very real, as fans and most bettors support their favorite teams. "Betting on the Patriots is strongest in Rhode Island by a country mile," Bogdanovich said.
In New Jersey, the bets on the Giants are rising to more than 82% with New York a 3-point favorite over the winless Washington Redskins. New York Giants fans feeling a bit better with rookie QB Daniel Jones now the starting quarterback after he passed for 336 yards and totaled four touchdowns leading the Giants and a dramatic comeback win over the Bucs last week.
The sportsbooks are starting the weekend with more money as most bettors supported Green Bay (-4) in the Packers 34-27 home loss Thursday to the Philadelphia Eagles. It was another game that caused significant uproar after the Packers decided not to run the ball on four straight downs at the Eagles 1-yard line in the fourth quarter trailing by 7 points. I didn't bet, so no bias but apparently the Packers new coaches didn't get the memo or research stats and probability. According to Pro Football Focus, quarterback sneaks on third and fourth downs with two yards or less to go have converted a first down 84.1% of the time. It could have been a touchdown, and the Packers made matters worse when QB Aaron Rodgers threw an interception from the Eagles 3-yard line in the closing minute trailing 34-27.
But the sportsbooks weren't complaining about the outcome.
"We had a great night with the Eagles winning," CG Technology sportsbook director Tony DiTomasso told Vegas Insider. "It was one of our better games of the year."
Not only will the sportsbooks need the Lions, Bills and Browns to cover the point spreads, but one or two winning outright would help as well as the Patriots and Chiefs will be popular teaser bets. Bettors can bet on two or more teams and move the line at least 6-points. So a bettor can wager $120 to win $100 on the Patriots (-1) and Chiefs (-1) on a 6-point teaser, and if they both win by at least 2-points, the bettor wins.
Most bettors lost in Week 3 supporting the favorites, who went just 6-10 ATS. We haven't seen big upsets through three weeks, as favorites of more than 6 points are 18-1 straight up (SU), but just 9-10 against the spread (ATS). The only team to win as an underdog of more than a touchdown was Tampa Bay (+6.5) at Carolina in the Buccaneers 20-14 win. Some lines have hovered and moved just above and below 6 points, and now this week there are six favorites of 7-or-more points.
While the Ravens (36 points per game), Patriots (35 PPG), Chiefs (34 PPG) and Cowboys (32 PPG) lead the league in scoring and pile on the points, the sportsbooks will be desperately pulling for the those teams to turn the ball over and turn the tide in favor of the underdogs in the biggest bet games of the weekend.