NFL Odds: Overreactions Can Be Costly When Betting Week 2

The public loves Pittsburgh this Sunday


September 16

When it comes to betting the NFL, Week 2 is generally one of the most difficult slates to beat.

That’s because many bettors fall into the ol’ fashioned recency bias trap and put too much stock in Week 1 results. For example, the market is well-aware that the New England Patriots laid an egg in Miami.

Yet despite the betting public basically sprinting to the window to fade the Patriots offense and bet the Pittsburgh Steelers, the line has moved from PK to Patriots -2/2.5. This is the definition of reverse line movement, where sharp players are opposite the public.

Respected bettors don’t seem to care about last week, so why should you?

“There’s a big gap between being knowledgeable about sports and being proficient at betting sports,” professional bettor and “The Hustle” host Chris Thurston told NESN. “Most people can’t believe that the Patriots are favored this Sunday after that dud last weekend against the Dolphins.

“Those same people watched the Steelers beat Joe Burrow and the Bengals and put two and two together. If you ask most people which team wins this weekend, they’ll say Pittsburgh. But there’s a learning curve to sports betting. Learning how to avoid overreacting to one result is one of the most challenging things.

“The biggest mistake bettors make is focusing on the past and not the present and future.”

Thurston whacked the Patriots at PK on Monday to get ahead of the curve.

Another NFL game that’s getting “Pros vs. Joes” action almost everywhere is the Chicago Bears at the Green Bay Packers. Chicago upset the San Francisco 49ers last weekend and Green Bay only scored seven points against the Minnesota Vikings. And while most American sportsbooks are reporting 70% of tickets on the Bears, the line has moved toward the Packers.

“Green Bay is still my seventh or eighth highest-rated team in the NFL,” Thurston said. “I’ll be using the Packers in contests this weekend. Chicago is getting a ton of credit for beating San Francisco in a swimming pool and the narrative has gone from the Bears are going to suck this year to the Bears can play with anybody.

“But the Packers opened -8 and it’s ticked up to -10 everywhere. The movement is eye-opening.”

Thurston also warns bettors about overextending themselves early in the season.

“People think they have all the answers after one week and they’ve got everything figured out,” he said. “Then they bet the entire board and blow through their bankroll in Weeks 2 and 3.

“It’s such a long season. It’s OK to save your bullets, rein it back a bit and find out what these teams are all about.”

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Thumbnail photo via Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

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