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NFL betting trends: Underdogs, Unders continue to pay off

Midway through the 2022-23 NFL season, underdog and Under bettors are seeing green

In an NFL season dominated so far by underdogs, head coach Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks have been particularly feisty in that role, going 5-2 ATS. Overall, the Seahawks have covered in four straight games. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
In an NFL season dominated so far by underdogs, head coach Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks have been particularly feisty in that role, going 5-2 ATS. Overall, the Seahawks have covered in four straight games. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)Read moreChris Coduto / Getty Images

If your NFL bankroll is thinner today than it was at this time last week, it’s likely because you wagered on a bunch of favorites or Overs in Week 9. Or both. Not only was that a bad strategy last week, but as NFL betting trends reveal, it’s been a bad strategy all season long.

From Thursday night to Monday night and all points in between, the NFL season so far has been incredibly “under”whelming — from both a side and total perspective.

We delve into the season-long dominance of underdogs and Unders — as well as unveil the hottest and coldest spread-covering teams — in our Week 10 NFL betting trends report.

Dogs still having their day

Nine of 13 favorites prevailed straight-up in Week 9, but only four of those favorites covered the point spread. Granted, two teams — the Bucs (16-13 over Rams) and Vikings (20-17 over Commanders) — pushed as a 3-point chalk.

Still, underdogs finished 7-4-2 ATS in Week 9. That continued one particularly wild NFL betting trend: Favorites have yet to cover more games than underdogs in any given week — and we’re halfway through the 2022-23 campaign.

Favorites and underdogs have pushed on three occasions — Week 1 (8-8 ATS), Week 6 (7-7 ATS) and Week 7 (7-7 ATS). Otherwise, more dogs than favorites have covered every week.

For the season, favorites are winning 61.5% of all games (83-52-1 SU). However, underdogs are cashing at a 56.5% clip (74-57-5 ATS).

Putting that in real-money terms, if you bet $110 on every underdog to cover the point spread this season, you would be up $1,130.

The SU/ATS discrepancy has been most prominent in prime-time games, with favorites going 18-10 SU but 10-18 ATS. The breakdown:

  1. Thursday Night Football: Favorites 6-3 SU/4-5 ATS

  2. Sunday Night Football: Favorites 7-2 SU/3-6 ATS

  3. Monday Night Football: Favorites 5-5 SU/3-7 ATS

Additionally, NFL bettors who have been laying points with road favorites or any midsize favorites (home or road) also have a lighter wallet.

That’s because while road favorites are 32-24-1 on the scoreboard, they are 24-30-3 at the wagering window.

Meanwhile, favorites of 6.5 points or more are a stout 27-14-1 SU but 16-26 ATS.

Week 10 features three road favorites:

  1. Falcons -2.5 at Panthers (Thursday Night Football)

  2. Saints -1.5 at Steelers

  3. Cowboys -5 at Packers

There also are three teams laying at least 6.5 points (all at home):

  1. Chiefs -9.5 vs. Jaguars

  2. 49ers -7 vs. Chargers

  3. Eagles -10.5 vs. Commanders (Monday Night Football)

» READ MORE: Falcons vs. Panthers prediction: Back Atlanta as a small road favorite on TNF

How low can you go?

As good as NFL underdog bettors have had it, those who like to wager on low-scoring games are smiling even wider.

Last week, nine of 13 contests stayed Under the total. With that, the Under is now 79-55-2 for the season — meaning 59% of the first 136 contests have fallen short of the posted total.

Had you wagered $110 on every game to stay Under the total, you’d be sitting on $1,850 of profit.

Similar to this season’s favorite/underdog NFL betting trends, there hasn’t been a single week yet in which more Overs have cashed than Unders. However, there have been four pushes: Week 3 (8 Overs, 8 Unders), Week 4 (8-8), Week 7 (7-7) and Week 8 (7-7-1).

Also, like underdogs, Unders have shined under the prime-time spotlight, going 17-10-1 (63%).

Two more noteworthy NFL betting trends as it relates to totals:

  1. When oddsmakers post a total of 49.5 points or higher, the Under is 14-6-1 (70%). There is one such total this week: Jaguars vs. Chiefs (49.5)

  2. 56.8% of all games (76 of 136) have ended with the teams combining for 43 points or fewer. In Week 10, five of 14 games have a total of more than 43 points

» READ MORE: NFL MVP odds: Hurts closes gap in battle with Allen, Mahomes

Underappreciated but overproducing

So which NFL teams have been money as an underdog this season, and which have been profitable to the Under?

Starting with the former, three squads have been especially strong: Atlanta (6-2 ATS as a dog), the New York Giants (5-1 ATS) and Seattle (5-2 ATS).

The Falcons are actually a road favorite Thursday night against the Panthers, while the Giants come out of their bye as a 5.5-point home favorite Sunday over Houston.

However, Seattle — which has cashed in four consecutive games — is a 3-point underdog at Tampa Bay (which, as we note later, has the NFL’s worst point-spread record overall and one of the worst at home).

When it comes to totals, as you might guess, a slew of squads have put cash in the pockets of Under bettors. Most notably, the Colts (8-1), Broncos and Bills (both 7-1) and Bucs (7-2) have been the strongest Under teams, followed closely by the Rams, Titans and Giants (all 6-2).

Combined, those seven are 47-11 to the Under (81%).

As for teams that have trended more Over than Under this season? There aren’t many.

In fact, through nine weeks, only the Browns (5-2-1), Eagles (5-3) and Lions (5-3) have played at least two more Overs than Unders.

The moneymakers

At the season’s halfway mark, three squads are tied at the top of the point-spread standings: The Cowboys, Giants and Titans are all 6-2 ATS.

Among that trio, Tennessee has been the most profitable of late, cashing in six consecutive games. This week, the Titans are a scant 2.5-point home favorite against Denver. Tennessee is 3-1 ATS as a chalk.

Dallas, which was idle last week, is 6-1 ATS in its last seven. That’s part of a sizzling 19-6 ATS regular-season run that dates to the start of the 2021-22 season.

As previously mentioned, the Cowboys — who are 3-0 ATS when laying points this year — are a 5-point favorite at Green Bay on Sunday.

Other positive NFL betting trends:

  1. Cincinnati, which has a bye in Week 10, has covered in six of its last seven and is 14-3 ATS in its last 17 overall (playoffs included)

  2. The Jets, also on bye this week, have cashed in five of their last six and are 4-0 ATS on the road

  3. Despite failing to cover as a 14-point road favorite at Houston last week, the Eagles are still 12-1 SU and 8-4-1 ATS as a double-digit favorite since 2014. Philadelphia, which is 4-0 ATS at home, is laying 10.5 points to Washington on Monday night

  4. The Chargers, who eked out a win and cover at Atlanta last week, are now 4-0 ATS as a visitor. As noted above, they’re a touchdown underdog at San Francisco on Sunday

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

The money-takers

On the other side of the proverbial coin, Tom Brady and the Bucs remain the NFL’s least profitable team. Since cashing in its first two games, Tampa Bay is 0-6-1 ATS.

That push, of course, came against the Rams last week. The defending Super Bowl champs are barely ahead of the Bucs in the ATS pecking order at 2-5-1.

Five other teams join Los Angeles at three games under .500 from a wagering perspective: The Colts, Jaguars, Packers, Panthers and Saints are all 3-6 ATS.

Of that group, Green Bay and Jacksonville (1-5 ATS last six) have been crushing bettors lately. Additionally, Miami fell to 1-5 ATS in its last six games after falling short as a 4-point road favorite in last week’s 35-32 win in Chicago.

Other negative NFL betting trends:

  1. Tampa Bay (0-4-1 ATS) and Kansas City (0-4 ATS) have yet to cover at home this season. Again, the Bucs host Seattle and the Chiefs entertain the Jaguars on Sunday

  2. The Colts, who are catching 5.5 points at Las Vegas in Week 10, are 1-4 ATS on the road

  3. New Orleans is laying points at Pittsburgh on Sunday despite being 0-3 ATS in true road games (not counting London)

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.