This Week's Hottest Trends: 5 best trends for betting NFL Week 2

Houston Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) runs off the field after the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium trends
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It’ll be hard to top what we just were treated to with Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season. But Week 2 just might be able to deliver. We’ll of course have free picks on the side and total for every game, which you can view in our NFL picks tab. But right now we’re talking trends.

Trends can be very important and tell you a lot, or they can be completely insignificant. It’s all about parsing what actually matters, and which ones might reveal something not already being factored into the point spread. Here are our top five trends to help you make your Week 2 NFL wagers:

Underdogs went 12-4 ATS in Week 1

What a week for the ‘dogs. Not only did underdogs go 12-4 ATS in Week 1, they went 10-6 straight up. There’s always a lot of uncertainty entering Week 1, and it appears that plenty of lines were seriously mispriced by oddsmakers. Our experts picked nine underdogs last week, and those went 7-2. Some teams, like the Cardinals and Saints, absolutely trounced their opponents despite being underdogs on the spread.

Will that trend carry over to Week 2? We certainly hope not, since this time around our experts have backed 10 favorites and only 6 underdogs.

Road teams went 9-6 ATS

One of the biggest questions about the 2021 NFL season was how the return of fans to the stands would impact games. There was a lot of talk that crowd noise would be a huge thing for road teams to get used to, but it appears everyone may have overcompensated. Crowds clearly didn’t negatively effect road teams too much, as they went 9-6 ATS (Packers/Saints was played on a neutral field).

Visiting squads also went 8-7 straight up. Last year road teams went above .500 for the first time in modern NFL history, which most observers chalked up solely to the lack of fans. But maybe that trend is here to stay. Remember, crowd noise isn’t the only thing that goes into home-field advantage. There are other factors at play, including travel and body-clock issues. As teams have got more modern and analytics-focused in recent years, those issues have become less relevant. We’ve got 10 road teams on the spread this week, so we certainly hope this trend continues.

West teams go 6-2 ATS

The NFC West is widely regarded as the best division in the NFL, and the AFC West has a lot of fans in the media as well. Both divisions showed out in Week 1, and made backers a lot of money. They each went 3-1 ATS, and it very easily could’ve been a perfect 8-0. The 49ers technically didn’t cover the -8.5 as they won by eight, but they were -7.5 for much of the week and led the Lions by 20+ for much of the game.

The Chiefs were a late two-point conversion away from covering the -5.5 over the Browns. It appears both of these divisions really might meet the hype, and it’ll be very interesting to see how much oddsmakers adjust moving forward. We’ve got the West division teams in 7 of their 8 games this week, so we definitely think there’s something here.

Tyrod Taylor is 6-0 ATS in his last 6 starts

This one jumped out to me. When looking at trends we’re looking for things that show oddsmakers are missing something. This suggests that everyone is underestimating Taylor, which certainly tracks. Everyone has acted like this Texans offense was going to be historically bad, when Taylor has demonstrated repeatedly that he’s capable of leading a competent offense.

Since he left the Bills after the 2017 campaign, Taylor has covered all five of his starts. He certainly impressed in his first start with the Texans. Houston dropped 37 against Jacksonville in Week 1, but Taylor still isn’t generating much respect yet. Oddsmakers have the Texans as an underdog of nearly two touchdowns against the Browns in Week 2. Our expert John Hyslop thinks Taylor is going to make it 7-0.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Houston Texans vs Cleveland Browns

Underdogs in division games in the first 3 weeks of the season are 146-91-7 ATS since 2006

This one is interesting. Because this is a pretty large sample size. It seems like there’s a pretty convincing case to be made that underdogs in division games have an advantage early in the season. It makes sense that these rivalry games are even more hard fought and closer, thus favoring underdogs against the spread. 146-91-7 is a win rate of 61.6% across nearly 250 games.

On Sunday, we’ll have five division games. Buffalo/Miami, New England/New York, New Orleans/Carolina, Atlanta/Tampa Bay, and Detroit/Green Bay. Our experts have the favorite in four of those games, so fingers crossed that this trend turns out to be all smoke.

Make sure you check out Pickswise Playbook, our brand new weekly NFL betting show with Chris Rose, Ross Tucker and Jared Smith as they look to make your next bet better! Out every Thursday

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