NFL Week 16 Best Bets and Analysis: Data Driven Public Betting Trends

NFL Week 16 Best Bets and Analysis: Data Driven Public Betting Trends

I can’t believe it but Christmas week is here already! Welcome back to Happy Hour Sports, the only place to get updates on public betting trends. The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind for me, but I’m happy to be writing again for a fun Christmas Eve slate. 

NFL Week 16 has quickly arrived and as always we are here to bring you the best betting trends, information, and predictions to prepare you for the slate. Here you will find the best ways to bet on premier matchups like the Arizona Cardinals and the Chicago Bears or the possible game-of-the-year matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins.

I am already 2-1 in Week 16 thanks to the early games this week, but I’m looking for a big week after a few mediocre ones (3-3 last week). First things first, favorites and the public continue to be the story of 2023. Favorites have covered over the underdogs significantly more times in the past few weeks, and it is one of the reasons the public is doing so well.

Per usual we will take this point a bit further later, but through the first seven weeks, the public is a staggering 122-95 ATS (a 56% win percentage). The lack of star power at quarterback is a major reason, in my opinion, as to why the public is covering at a remarkable rate. When teams cannot even put up a fight, it makes it more difficult to cover. Often the teams that need to put up fights are the underdogs, so put those two points together and week after week the public continues to perform well. 

It becomes an interesting point in my opinion because it points us to start looking at the public betting data through a lens that involves actual gameplay. The public is seemingly seeing things well because they are hitting more bets than not. Traditionally this wouldn’t be the case, so something on the field must be triggering that display. 

As for the other metrics we track here, the money percentage and sharp differential are kicking it up a notch, which is exactly what we thought would happen to close out the year. We have so much film and data on these teams now, so you would expect people with more money (and sharp bettors) to perform better after having a rough start to the year. But we will cover all of this in a minute. 

If you are new here, welcome to Happy Hour Sports, my name is DJ and I track how the public and money do each week in the NFL. We want to take the phrase “fade the public” further because everyone talks about the betting public and money data, but when those numbers are brought up, there is no context around them. People assume high tickets on one side is bad, and high money on the other side is good. However, we are here to prove those claims right or wrong, every single week.

Our goal with Sharpen the Public and the weekly articles on this website is to provide context to the numbers and develop discourse regarding the data. If you are ever curious as to when the public does good, or what sharp differentials are strong indicators that a bet is the sharp side, then you have come to the right place. Follow the podcast and listen to us break everything down each week!

With that out of the way, it’s time to get into this week’s best bets and analysis. Here you will find the bets that I place every week and some discussion on why I am taking most of them. We’re not trying to be those Twitter handicappers that scream max play at you, we want you to trust us. Don’t forget you can always find my recaps of the weeks here as well – detailing where things went wrong and how I did. Last week was not the worst, but a step in the right direction as I went 3-3.

It’s already week 16 and the games and data are beginning to stack up. We have all of last year to help influence our picks for this year and with the influx of bettors entering the market (evidenced by the bet totals last week); the sky’s the limit for where we can take our information and bets. 

Deej Record from Week 15: 

  • Bets: 3-3

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Week 16 NFL Betting Trends

Since we are already through week 15, that means we have official data to report regarding the public betting trends to influence our Week 16 bets. Check out the full recap article and many other NFL pieces at our NFL BETTING PICKS. Additionally, the recent podcasts always break down the updates to the trends. If you missed that, here they are:

  • Public Betting Percentage: 122-95 ATS (56%)
  • Money Betting Percentage: 115-102 ATS (53%)
  • Sharp Differential: 110-107 ATS (51%)
  • Public on Over: 56-67 (45%)
  • Money on Over: 38-45 (45%)
  • Sharp Diff. on Over: 25-23 (52%)
  • Public on Under: 54-39 (58%)
  • Money on Under: 76-59 (57%)
  • Sharp Diff on Under: 98-71 (58%)

Now, we are the only people who provide deep recaps on these numbers like this every week; but, we are also the only sports betting brand that will dive deeper into these numbers and tell you important ranges that trends emerge from the already crazy trends you see above. 

The major thing I’ve wanted to make note of for the rest of the year, is the fact that aside from the public doing well throughout the whole season; the public is even better when there is more than 60% of the bets on one side. Generally, the betting public (aka whenever there are more tickets on one team than another) is 27 games over .500. They are 16 games over .500 when there are more than 60% of the tickets on one side, a true public side. 

Time and time again I bring up how we need to have context surrounding public betting data, and the above paragraph is evidence of that. Not only to break down narratives around the public, which I talk about all the time, but to also use this information to our advantage. This is the only place on the internet that would tell you to back the public this year because you would make money, and it worked!

Although this analysis is subjective, it sparks a discourse about public betting data, a topic I find fascinating and a key reason for my weekly engagement. Despite anticipating a decline in public performance by year-end, it’s essential to avoid blindly supporting or fading specific ranges of public confidence. Additionally, we can shift our focus to metrics like sharp differentials and money as the 2023 season concludes, since I harp on the public enough. 

Looking at other metrics, through week 16, when the sharp differential has been between 10 and 14 % on a team, those teams are 27-14 ATS, which continues to be the best trend ATS this year! Other crazy trends include a 61% win percentage when the under is between a 5-19% sharp differential, we accidentally dubbed this the Double D trend on the podcast a few weeks ago. Money percentages on the over continue to be strong in the second half of the year, and as overs continue to hit – I expect this trend to remain consistent.

From a spread standpoint, with the public remaining the talk of the town we need to understand what that means. The public is nearly exponentially better than they were at this point in 2022, so is the general betting public smarter? Are lines getting worse, where more people can take advantage? So many questions can be derived from the one point of the public performing well, and that has been a point of emphasis on the recent episodes of Sharpen The Public. 

After another few good weeks, I think the public begins to lose in on these next Sundays. They are on their way down from their high in Week 15 of 9-5, and in Week 16 they dropped to 9-7. The public did cover again on Thursday when the Rams beat the Saints, but failed to cover with the Chargers last night. So maybe this is the beginning of the public’s demise?

Every game is different, and I want that to be clear. However, as we continue to track the general public betting trends over the season, we will have more information than the average bettor, and we don’t need much logic to bet better than them. Anyway, let’s get into the picks because I cannot wait for this slate!

Note that I am writing this around 9:30 am on Sunday morning, so as bets come in these percentages will change. Although, they should remain relatively close to what they are now. Sometimes I will have late plays because I take public trends into account and those constantly update, so follow me @DeejHHSports on twitter to see those picks. Before we get into the picks I will plug the website one last time, thanks for checking us out! We are a small sports brand that is slowly growing. We provide daily and weekly content around the sports we love, so please consider sticking around and subscribing!

Week 16 NFL Best Bets and Analysis

Seattle Seahawks vs Tennessee Titans (+3), Total 41.5

A story as old as time includes Mike Vrabel and the Titans being underdogs at home. This is the quintessential trap game for Seattle after a huge emotional win against the Eagles on Monday night last week. Now they must travel across the country on a short week to face Ryan Tannehill. Adding metrics to the party, the Titans defense has been much better than it seems as of late. They are allowing the fewest Redzone touchdowns and rank in the top 15, and top 10 for best defenses in yards per play allowed and yards per rush allowed, respectively. Seattle is going to have a difficult time getting back into things as Geno sat out last week, and last time they played on a short week they got demolished by the Niners. I am of the opinion that Ryan Tannehill is very hungry for a win after watching Will Levi’s take over all year. The public is split on this one, but the money is heavy towards the Titans, as in the sharp differential. I beat it to death in the intro, but I am expecting big closing weeks from the money and sharps – and we align here. 

The Play:  Titans +3 -110 (1u)

Indianapolis Colts vs Atlanta Falcons (-2.5), Total 44.5

The Colts season has been very good, given the adversity in injuries they have had to deal with. A good reason for the strong season is the offensive prowess that Shane Steichen brings to their offense. They aren’t the best team in the AFC, but they do enough to get things done and it’s a reason I like the over today in Atlanta. Defensively, the Colts are the 6th worst in terms of points allowed per game, giving up 24.5. Good thing for Atlanta’s inconsistent offense is that Taylor Heinicke is getting the start at quarterback, so I’m anticipating a nice boost without Desmond Ridder (as I do not think he is good enough to start in the NFL). Hopefully Arthur Smith has also realized he should play Bijan Robinson and if that happens, the Falcons shouldn’t have many issues moving the ball on this Colts defense. Same with the Steichen’s offense against this Falcons defense that has not been tested lately (Bucs, Panthers, Jets, and Saints were their last 4 opponents). The public loves the over, and we know that they do better later in the year betting overs. 

The Play: Over 44.5  -105 (1u)

Dallas Cowboys vs Miami Dolphins (-2.5), Total 48.5

The game of the day on Christmas Eve comes to us in the form of the Cowboys in Miami to face the Dolphins. The story for both of these teams this year has been how does either stack up against actually good teams? Well, we get to find out today as Tua is going to have to work some magic to figure things out against this strong Cowboys defensive front (and secondary). To add more question marks to this one, the winds for this game are set to be around 15 mph at kickoff. So, both teams are likely going to have a rough time getting the ball down the field in the air. Now, Tyreek Hill is back in this one and he doesn’t need air yards to take it deep. However, with a total of 48.5, a lot more than Tyreek Hill is going to need to happen to get to that number. There’s a reason this opened at 52.5 and has been slowly bet down all week. Expect the Dolphins offense to start far slower against this Cowboys defense, while the Cowboys offense also starts sluggish based on what happened last week in Buffalo. I ultimately think the Cowboys edge this one out, but I don’t see many points happening. Additionally, the public likes the over, but the money LOVES the under. This has been a recipe for cashing all season long.

The Play: Under 48.5 -110

Plays without a writeup:

  • Vikings +9/Texans +9 Home dogs with sharp diff.
  • Cardinals +4.5 (Podcast play)

The Leans (May take some of these closer to kickoff)

After getting such an incredible response to start the season this year, I think I want to continue to give out my leans in games that I am not even betting on because it may help others with their decisions. So if you have seen my recent Reddit posts you will see that I update these as the weeks go on. Based on all the current public betting information, here is what I am thinking for Week 16 of NFL!

    • Commanders/Jets – I don’t have a read on this one whatsoever. Sam Howell shouldn’t do much against this Jets D, but the Jets offense sucks. I like the Jets though.
    • Packers/panthers – I like the Panthers, but have not wanted to back Bryce Young all season and that is the case again here.
    • Jaguars/Bucs – I like the Jaguars but have little faith in their offense with the Trevor Lawrence question marks. Might take this one closer to kickoff.

Thanks for reading! If you guys like what you see or have any comments/critiques, please let me know on Twitter, I appreciate all feedback. Please also follow the podcast and share the website! I will see you on Tuesday with another recap episode of Sharpen the Public.

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This is an article written by DJ Bianco

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