NFL betting trends for the Ravens, Chargers, Saints, Giants and Washington that you can bank on throughout the 2021 season. Plus, updated regular season win total odds.
Justin Herbert showed off a cannon arm in his rookie season, throwing 31 TD passes and averaging 289 passing yards per game
NFL Betting Trends for the Ravens
The Ravens are one of three NFL teams this season favored to win its division at plus-money. The other two are Dallas and San Francisco, and it’s a testament to how tightly packed the competition is at the top of the AFC North. RB JK Dobbins injured his left knee in Week 3 of the preseason and after an MRI, the team confirmed a torn ACL. Dobbins will miss the 2021 season, making Gus Edwards the RB1. With Mark Ingram gone (Texans), the depth at running back is a concern. As a rookie, Dobbins led all RBs in 2020 with 6.0 yards per attempt.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 10.5 OV -140
Pre-draft NFL Win Total Odds: 11 OV -125
2020 Record: 11-5
Average Wins 2018-20: 11.7
Odds to win the Division: +120 (1st place)
Net Strength of Schedule: 10th most difficult
Baltimore reshuffled the deck with its offensive line this offseason and it could take time for the unit to gel. We’re seeing their team total anywhere from 10.5 OVER (-140) up to 11.5 UNDER (-140), which presents a big ‘middle’ opportunity for anyone that pegs this team to go 11-6 SU.
Baltimore opens the season on Monday Night Football in Las Vegas. The current line is Ravens -4.5. Check the latest Week 1 NFL odds at my site.
- HC John Harbaugh’s regular season road record since 2017 is 23-7 ATS (77%).
- HC Harbaugh’s record vs. the AFC West is 17-9 OVER (65%).
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Los Angeles Chargers Trending up in Herbert’s Sophomore Season
Upticks on the Chargers’ win total clearly indicates how the NFL betting market feels about Justin Herbert’s offense. After a dazzling rookie season, Herbert set the bar high and like the Broncos and Raiders, Los Angeles knows it’ll take a lot to dethrone the Kansas City Chiefs. A 9-8 record this year is reasonable but with a rookie head coach, 10 straight up wins will be a stretch.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 9.5 UN -115
Pre-draft NFL Win Total Odds: 9 UN -115
2020 Record: 7-9
Average Wins 2018-20: 8
Odds to win the Division: +430 (2nd place)
Net Strength of Schedule: 10th easiest
The Chargers’ average Over/Under odds in 2020 was 47.9 points. Their current total for Week 1 in Washington is 44.5 and the first half total is 21.5. In Herbert’s first year, he was 6-2 OVER (75%) on the road but note this first half trend suggesting potential value on the UNDER.
- When the first half total is between 21.5 and 24.5, the UNDER is 56-25 (69%) during the past 10 seasons for any team that had a win percentage between .400 and .499 the previous season.
The Chargers won four-straight times to finish the 2020 season, going 4-0 ATS.
- In Week 1, non-divisional teams that finished the previous regular season on a hot streak are 49-28 UNDER (64%).
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Post-Brees Era Begins for the Saints
First-ballot Hall of Famer Drew Brees has left the building. Jameis Winston, infamous for his 33 touchdown, 30 interception season that capped a five-year stint with the Bucs (2019), takes over the No. 1 spot after a QB battle with Taysom Hill. Winston looked good in a preseason win over the Jags, going nine for 10 with 123 yards and two TDs, but he attempted just 12 passes all of last year. I need to see what kind of progress he’s made in terms of decision making, before boosting his QB rating to anything greater than ‘average’.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 9.5 UN -160
Pre-draft NFL Win Total Odds: 9 OV -110
2020 Record: 12-4
Average Wins 2018-20: 12.7
Odds to win the Division: +430 (2nd place)
Net Strength of Schedule: 8th most difficult
Pro Football Focus ranks the Saints O-Line at 4th overall entering the 2021 season. Led by RB Alvin Kamara, they also have one of most potent offensive weapons in football. Kamara was third in the league last year with 1,688 yards from scrimmage, and first overall with 21 TDs.
It’s worth noting that WR Michael Thomas will miss the first 1-2 months of the season recovering from ankle surgery. Marquez Callaway is the name to look out for in the early going. The second-year WR out of Tennessee was third in routes-run last year when Thomas was out. Emmanuel Sanders was second and he’s gone to Buffalo. Tre’Quan Smith was the leader but it was Callaway that hauled in both of Winston’s TD passes against the Jags. The two of them have developed chemistry and HC Sean Payton is well aware of it.
As part of the new 17-game schedule, teams will now play five inter-conference games per season instead of four. That suits HC Payton just fine.
- Including his Super Bowl win over the Colts, Payton’s record vs. the AFC since 2008 is 30-19 ATS (61%).
Keep an eye out for tightly lined games involving the Saints this season. No Brees means fewer lopsided spreads for this group and they’ve produced a solid record against close competition.
- The Saints are 67-46 ATS (59%) in games where the line is within 3.5 points of Pick em.
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NFL Betting Trends for the New York Giants
Along with NFL betting trends, I’m tracking futures betting odds for you throughout the summer. For preseason power rankings and Super Bowl odds, visit my NFL Team Previews HQ!
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 7.5 UN -150
Pre-draft NFL Win Total Odds: 7 OV -110
2020 Record: 6-10
Average Wins 2018-20: 5
Odds to win the Division: +400 (3rd place)
Net Strength of Schedule: 14th most difficult
Other than throwing a couple of nice looking bombs, QB Daniel Jones has done little to inspire confidence during his 26 NFL starts. He has had to deal with a lot of injuries to playmakers, and WR Kenny Golladay, who inked a $72 million deal with New York this offseason, is already dealing with a hamstring.
QB Saquon Barkley (knee) practiced last week and should be ready to play at some point in September, but he is running behind an O-Line that’s dead last in the PFF rankings. Match that with New York’s 2nd toughest strength of schedule for running backs, and it’s difficult picturing the Giants as an eight-win team.
In 2020, Jones was pressured fourth-most times per game among all NFL QBs.
- In home games where Jones was sacked more than twice, he is 1-7 SU and 2-6 ATS.
The Giants open the season against the Denver Broncos, whose defense didn’t allow a single touchdown during the preseason. There are few holes in the Broncos D and this betting line has already moved from Pick em to Broncos -1.5 points.
The following NFL betting trends apply to both sides and totals.
- Since 2010, the Giants home record in games where the line is within +/-3 points of Pick em is 10-19 ATS (35%).
- During those 29 games, New York played 10 overs and 19 unders, a 65% hit-rate for UNDER bettors.
Note that the current streak for unders in this trend is 8-straight, dating back to 2018. As of today, the total on this contest is 42.5 points.
Defense Rules for Washington Football Team
Ryan Fitzpatrick joins Washington and his aggressive, nothing to lose, style of play will inject Ron Rivera’s offense with the energy it often lacked in 2020. But make no mistake, defense is now the cornerstone of this franchise. Chase Young earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and along with Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Montez Sweat, this unit is ready to take it to the next level.
2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 8.5 OV -120
Pre-draft NFL Win Total Odds: 8 OV -135
2020 Record: 7-9
Average Wins 2018-20: 5.7
Odds to win the Division: +220 (2nd place)
Net Strength of Schedule: 6th most difficult
Matchups against Buffalo, Green Bay and Denver – all three away from home – make for an incredibly difficult first half of the season for Washington. QB Fitzpatrick’s return to Ralph Wilson will be an awesome start to Week 3’s Sunday lineup, and as the starter, Fitz has a 20-14-2 ATS (59%) record in non-conference play.
- Washington’s September home record since 1989 is 20-36 ATS (36%).
That’s the worst overall ATS win percentage for the opening month of the season during that time. Some NFL betting trends are meant to be broken, and Washington did win its home opener vs. the Eagles last year, but they followed it with five consecutive straight up losses.
- Fitzpatrick’s September home record tilts to the high side at 11-4 OVER (73%).
Here is a scenario that will be live four times in 2021. Games are listed below.
- Washington’s non-divisional road record off a home game is 17-11 ATS (61%).
Week 4 at Buffalo: Line opened at Bills -6; currently Bills -7
Week 7 at Green Bay: Opener was Packers -6.5; current line is Packers -4
Week 11 at Carolina: Opening line was Washington -.5; currently Panthers -1
Week 13 at Las Vegas: Opener was Washington -.5; current = Raiders -2.5