Week 2 in NFL betting is generally known for the reactions — specifically overreactions — from Week 1, and there’s a lot of that going on as perceptions are shifting after the first wave of games. For this week’s DraftKings Sportsbook betting insights and analysis, we take a look at how betting patterns have changed in large part due to the results of each team’s first game. You can also check back in on Sunday to see how lines have moved over the weekend leading up to the 1:00 p.m. ET start times.
Sunday Line Movement Update
A few of the trends from Friday have continued into the weekend, both going with the public sentiment and against it. Here’s a look at how things have changed from the beginning of the week to Friday and to Sunday.
- Eagles went from -3.5 to +1.5 to -1 and now to -1.5 (more on this below)
- Falcons have moved from +4.5 to +3 since Friday
- Colts have crossed the key threshold from -2.5 to -3.5 since earlier in the week
- Packers/Lions total had risen to 49.5 and is now up to 50.5
- Jaguars steam continues as they’ve reached +7.5 and still moving
The first three games from this list are especially notable as they don’t seem to align with what people think. Over in Green Bay and the Jaguars to cover are two of the most popular bets on this week’s slate, but the other ones are all contradicting overarching bettor sentiment.
The Cowboys have some injuries to their OL and defense, so that may be impacting the Falcons numbers. The Eagles and Colts are actually contrarian favorites, so the line movement in those two games is more alarming. Some small percentage of bettors could be moving those lines, because most bettors are actually backing the road underdogs in those spots.
Los Angeles Rams at Philadelphia Eagles
There’s plenty to cover for NFL Week 2 but the situation in Philadelphia seems to deserve an additional amount of attention. The line movement for this game is highly unusual, with significant swings in the betting odds:
The Eagles were heavy favorites when this line opened before the season and remained that way until the first week began, but Week 1 performances seem to have caused some dramatic shifts in the betting odds. The Eagles played extremely poorly on offense against the Washington Football Team, especially in the second half, scoring 17 points, but getting shut out in the final two quarters. Bettors seem to be eyeing those late game struggles, but they also are likely being influenced by the strong performance from the Rams, who had an impressive win over the Dallas Cowboys.
With that said, it’s interesting to see that the betting line has actually come back in the Eagles direction, despite the fact bets and handle percentages (see below) are skewed heavily towards the Rams. This has the looks of an overcorrection, where some amount of shifting was justified due to the Eagles looking worse and the Rams looking better, but it’s also probably true that the Eagles will make some positive adjustments in Week 2. It’s not clear who deserves to be favored in this game, but it is apparent that some fraction of bettors saw Eagles +1.5 as a favorable number.
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Betting Splits Breakdown
For Week 2 overall, the trends reflect some of the same stuff that’s going on with the Rams and Eagles. The teams that played well in Week 1 are generally getting most of the betting action, such as the Bills, Steelers, Packers and Jaguars, to name a few.
Much like Week 1, the betting percentages actually align very closely to the handle percentages, meaning that there isn’t really a game where bigger bettors have a substantially different stance than the smaller bettors. The one minor exception to this is the Giants/Bears game, where the Giants are getting 60% of the bets, but only 45% of the handle. This isn’t a huge difference, however, and we’ll likely start seeing much bigger disparities than this in the coming weeks.
How the Lines are Moving
- Rams +3.5 to +1
- Bills -3.5 to -5.5
- Jaguars +11 to +8
- Rams/Eagles 48.5 to 45.5
- Broncos/Steelers 43.5 to 40.5
- Ravens/Texans 53.5 to 50
- Falcons/Cowboys 50.5 to 53.5
- Lions/Packers 46.5 to 49.5
With those large bet and handle numbers comes significant line movement, and, in addition to the Rams, the Bills and the Jaguars have seen stark changes in their betting lines this week. The Jaguars are a particularly interesting case because large underdogs don’t usually tend to be that popular, but the Tennessee Titans were extremely unimpressive in a close win in Week 1, while the Jaguars played well against the Indianapolis Colts. The line for this game has been trending downward throughout the week and it wouldn’t be a surprise for that to continue considering how lopsided the betting action is.
Looking at the totals, a few games are moving towards the under despite disproportional betting on the over, and it’s likely because the handle percentages are either split or slanted towards the under for all three. For the two games where the total has gone up, it seems pretty clear that we’re seeing the result of Week 1 reactions here, too; where the teams in question were involved in high scoring Week 1 games and bettors are expecting more of the same in Week 2.
Themes for the Week
As previously mentioned, Week 2 tends to be about reactions to Week 1 and this year is no different. The teams that played well in their first game are the most bet on teams across the board, and the inverse is true for the teams that played poorly. The totals have also gone up for teams that played high scoring games and down for teams that played in low scoring games, so this effect covers both spreads and over/unders.
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