Are Team Trends a Profitable Sports Betting Strategy?

Posted 1 year ago |  Betting Guides  |  0 comments

Following trends can be useful a tool for identifying profitable sports betting opportunities, but they should never be the sole basis for making a bet. There are also many other factors to consider, such as injuries, the overall performance of the teams and individual players, weather, etc.

Additionally, due to personnel changes, both on the player and coaching side as well as rule changes within a sport, trends can change quickly and may not be indicative of future results. Learning how to identify which trends are relevant, and which trends are misleading, is an important skill that every bettor should develop over time.

It is also important to understand the difference between individual team trends and league-wide trends. The more recent, and the more specific a trend is, the more relevant it is going to be.

What is a “Betting Trend”?

The most simple example of a betting trend would be something like “The home team covered the spread in 70% of the games in Week 1 of the NFL”.

While this is an extremely simple example (and not one you should ever pay any attention to), with the right tools you can make the trends as complex as you want, to the point of overfitting them with meaningless parameters to improve the result a couple of percent.

An example of an overfitted trend would be “The Los Angeles Lakers are 5-0 ATS as home favorites in games played on a Tuesday with a starting time between 7pm and 8pm and coming off a game that went under the total”. It is also important to understand the difference between individual team trends and league-wide trends, which we’ll dive into a bit below.

What Makes a Good Trend in Sports Betting?

Often value is found where not everyone is looking. Profitable trends specific to totals, 1st half, or other more exotic bets may fly under the radar, preventing bookmakers from adjusting the lines accordingly.

Weather trends can be highly profitable in both college and professional football. High winds affect the passing game, and this is particularly relevant when betting totals. Bookmakers are often slow to make a move on weather, giving bettors the opportunity to get out in front of the line movement.

The majority of our handicappers include an analysis with their picks and you’ll find that many use trends as part of their reasoning for a certain prediction. If you are not a subscriber to a service yet, take look at our free sports picks page for free samples. You can also find “Yesterday’s Plays” near the bottom of each handicapper’s page, where you find a summary of yesterday’s picks with the write ups included.

What Makes a Bad Trend in Sports Betting?

Let’s dig into a couple of examples of trends you more often than not are better off not paying any attention to.

Day of the week trends: You will probably see trends that show how a team performs on a certain day of the week. Most of the time these trends are totally useless, with the exception being some prime-time football games on Thursday or Monday nights. Even Monday Night Football trends should be considered bottom of the barrel when it comes to value. While players are people too with private lives and to a certain extent need to accommodate the schedule of their families and partners, one must assume that they do everything to minimize the effects on their profession.

Long-term trends predate the current roster and coaching staff: These may still hold some value when comparing programs in college sports, but they have almost no value in professional sports. Tom Brady with the Bucs is not the same Tom as he was with the Pats. Not only is he older, but hardly anyone can disagree that Bill Belichick got the most out of him.

Any trend can become irrelevant if the bookmakers have moved the line to compensate for the said trend. A simple example of this would be an ATS favorite that has won 10 in a row straight up, but has failed to cover in all of those games. In the 11th game, because they are 0-10 ATS in their last 10 games, they are only asked to cover -1. This line makes the ATS trend irrelevant, and the 10-0 straight up trend far more significant.

Sports Betting Trends to Follow

The most relevant trends include home/away splits. It’s very common to see certain teams perform better at home than they do on the road, and often these splits can be so dramatic that the bookmakers are unable to properly compensate.

Another significant trend is head-to-head matchups, how a team has performed versus a specific opponent in previous meetings. It’s important to note that the more recent the previous meeting, the more relevant these trends will be. If the teams last played 4-5 years ago, which is not uncommon when it comes to college sports, you better pay no attention to how the previous meetings went.

Meanwhile, if a team just put a beating on an opponent a couple of weeks ago, there are two ways took look at it. On one hand, you better believe the losing team will come out fired up and looking for revenge, but the winning team clearly had their number in the previous meeting. This is when you need to put your own handicapping skills to the test and figure out where the edge is.

Situational trends can also be useful, identifying how a team has performed as a favorite, as an underdog, coming off big wins or big losses, or when playing on short or long rest. Perhaps a team is co

Sports Betting Trends to Fade

A good rule of thumb is to never be late to the party. This means if everyone on #GamblingTwitter is talking about betting division unders in the NFL, your window of opportunity has probably already closed. Bookmakers will adjust the numbers when it becomes clear that the public is jumping on any given trend, which eliminates any value.

Betting teams on hot streaks to cover because the trends suggest it might be profitable is usually a fool’s errand. With every game that the favorite wins and covers, the line usually becomes more inflated.

Team-specific Trends

An example of a team trend would be: “The New England Patriots have covered the spread in five straight games. Let’s go Pats!” 

While this would be another example of a trend you would not want to pay attention to, something like the Patriots ATS and totals results in the 1st quarter, 2nd quarter, 3rd quarter, or 4th quarter is something we would recommend you to look into Also how certain teams react to upset wins or blowout losses could be interesting angles to explore.

Situational trends are more relevant to certain teams, and less relevant to others. Head coaching trends can be very profitable, such as NFL teams off a bye week. They say that nothing good lasts forever, and while Andy Reid was 10-4 ATS off a bye week with the Eagles, he’s just 8-6 ATS off a bye with the Chiefs.

Rivalries often result in trends that don’t otherwise make sense. Divisional underdogs are often a favorite of savvy bettors, and public money can prevent the bookmakers from moving the line to match the trends that might favor the underdog.

How to Find Sports Betting Trends

Many professional sports bettors have their own detailed databases they can run queries against, but not everyone is that lucky. If you are looking to get started, look into SDQL, a tool our handicapper ProSportsPicks is fond of.

You can also use Covers matchups tool to find trends for specific matchups.


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