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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM

We’ve come back with a special Saturday report to discuss the surprisingly high Week Two scoring in Preseason football and to check in on Over/Unders for tonight’s six games. First, let’s run through the fireworks shows from Thursday and Friday’s action.

Arizona beat Oakland 31-27 (58 total points)

Jacksonville beat New Orleans 27-24 (51 total points)

Minnesota beat Buffalo 36-14 (50 total points)

Cleveland beat Green Bay 35-10 (45 total points)

Cincinnati beat Atlanta 24-19 (43 total points)

Carolina beat Miami 23-17 (40 total points)

Detroit beat Baltimore 27-12 (39 total points)

Tennessee beat Tampa Bay 30-7 (37 total points)

You might be thinking that those don’t represent a full slate of high scoring games. That looks like a normal scattering of scores from a typical week of pro football But, you’re using regular season standards to evaluate Preseason games! Exhibition totals are typically in the mid to high 30’s. We had six clear Overs in that group…followed by the 39 in Detroit/Baltimore that was close to expectations…and the 37 in Tampa Bay that was only one point below the closing number.

That’s a very high scoring skew because there aren’t any games in the 20’s…or even at 36 or less! The range goes from 37-58, with 43-45 being the midpoints. Oddsmakers were expecting the midpoints to be about a touchdown less than that.

Scoring is higher than the market expected. And, that has led to Overs being bet in five of the six games that are on the schedule for Saturday Night (at least as of press time). Let’s quickly run through those in rotation order…

*Jets/Giants opened at 36.5, and has stayed at 36.5…representing the only game that hasn’t moved yet. (And, frankly, it’s hard to bet Over in a Jets game given how erratic Sanchez and Tebow have looked in TV coverage of practice this week!)

*Kansas City/St. Louis opened at 35.5 but is currently at 37.

*Washington/Chicago opened at 36 but is currently at 37.

*San Francisco/Houston opened at 36 but is currently at 37.

*Seattle/Denver opened at 37.5 but is currently 38.5 (and that crosses a key number of 38, which is common for NFL totals…meaning it’s a bigger move than it looks at one point).

*Dallas/San Diego opened at 37 but is currently 38.

You can see what we mean about Preseason totals generally sitting in the mid to high 30’s. There’s not a 40 in the bunch even though six of the first eight games this week have made it to 40 or higher.

Are there any in-game trends this week that would suggest that the market needs to make an overall adjustment? Our sources point out a couple:

*First, we have replacement referees who may be influencing games in a way that helps the Overs. They could be calling holding and offensive interference less often, particularly in the red zone. There’s a set of sharps who were sure that the replacement refs would impact totals…and they’ve naturally linked these topics together.

*Second, several coaches are looking hard at the quarterback position, and throwing many more passes than you’d expect in August. That was certainly true in a couple of Friday Night games (be sure you’re reading all the boxscores!). High passing volume lengthens games because of all the incomplete passes, and creates the potential for cheap points off of turnovers. And, if replacement refs are letting linemen hold  more often…that just encourages additional passing.

Will the trend continue Saturday Night? We’ve heard all sorts of opinions about that from our sources in Las Vegas and offshore. The math guys will automatically play Unders because they figure any short term tendency is going to regress to the mean. They’ll tell you that the low 30’s and high 20’s are still due to happen…which means they’ll happen TONIGHT! The “conspiracy theory” types who have been watching the refs closely are looking for scoring to continue. They see one-point adjustments in a week where the results are suggesting the totals are off by at least a field goal and possibly more.

What should YOU do? Our VSM experts are here to help. And, one even has a HUGE release on an Over/Under for Saturday Night!

*Jim Feist has just posted his NFL Preseason TOTAL OF THE YEAR! Pay just $50 for what Jim says will be the very best Over/Under option of this entire preseason. This may be the single biggest release we’ve had from Jim Feist since he joined the VSM team. Bonus selections from the NFL and MLB are included.

*Jim Hurley’s Network has a rare Preseason GRAND SLAM on the Saturday card. It’s rare indeed to have four gradings this big on an August slate. Play the games individually, and all the two-game, three-game, and four-team parlays your bankroll can responsibly handle. Just $20.

*Coach Ron Meyer has an NFL Triple Crown on Saturday Night, with three “Locker Room” picks from the six game schedule. You also get two baseball releases on the $20 report. That’s just four bucks a play from the only man in the handicapping industry who’s actually been on the sidelines for an NFL Preseason game!

Be sure you check the home page of this website and the “buy picks” page every day for big news on big money plays from our Vegas legends. If you’re going to beat the market, you need to THINK LIKE A SHARP and BET LIKE A SHARP! The sharpest minds in handicapping are always waiting to hear from you at VegasSportsMasters!

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