Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:00 PM
It’s been a very interesting NFL season on the totals front. There was talk early on about how defenses had no chance in the modern game because rules favored offenses so much. There were fears that every game would be a 41-38 shootout that made the NFL seem much more like Arena Football than the game we’ve loved for decades.
With just a few weeks to go, that obviously didn’t happen. There have been a few wild and crazy shootouts. But, there are still offenses all over the league that seem to have no idea what they’re doing. And, some of the best teams are “defense first” like Seattle, Carolina, and suddenly resurgent Cincinnati.
But, when you crunch all the numbers, you’ll see that Overs have hit at about a 55% rate this season depending on the time of week you were betting. That’s a stunningly profitable percentage when you’re talking about EVERY game. And, it’s even more surprising when you realize that oddsmakers where concerned about this issue before the season started. They had been forewarned…yet still couldn’t get the numbers high enough even with low scoring offenses all over the league!
The most “Over” teams thus far:
9-4: Chicago, Houston, St. Louis
8-5: Dallas, Detroit, Cleveland, Indianapolis, NY Jets, Buffalo, Jacksonville
Denver had been 11-2 to the Over until the Thursday Night Under vs. San Diego. What most jumps out at me from that list is how we have horrible offenses like Cleveland, the NY Jets, and Jacksonville playing so many Overs. How did that happen?! That was a real blind spot for oddsmakers…not realizing the scoreboard realities of teams who move the ball inconsistently.
Also, the bad defenses of Minnesota, Chicago, and Dallas jump off that list to me. Bettors tend to think about quarterbacks and touchdown passes when betting Overs. Students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping must always remember the role DEFENSE plays when handicapping Over/Unders.
Let’s go to the other end of the spectrum…
The most “Under” teams thus far:
5-8: Kansas City, New Orleans, San Francisco
6-8: San Diego
Only five teams are below marks of 6-7 heading into the weekend. And, it’s possible all five of those teams will make the playoffs. San Diego is a longshot because of tie-breakers…but is still in the discussion. The other four teams will definitely be there.
Again, defense matters when handicapping totals!
Will this 55% rate continue going forward through the rest of December? Personally, I think there’s a very good chance it could stay there or actually go UP! Here’s why:
*Cold weather scoring is going up because of the gloves receivers are wearing
*When games become meaningless, many defenses relax
*Some teams who play great defense may be in position to rest starters once playoff positioning is set
*Offensive players know production will pay off in future contracts
*Many quarterbacks are fighting right now for jobs next year
I’m not suggesting that anyone go out and bet every total every week. You need to be responsible with your own bankroll parameters, and you need to keep reading and reacting on the fly to what you see when watching games and reading boxscores. But, at the very least, you should try to find the best value spots for Over bets from this point forward. Imagine a roulette wheel in a Vegas casino that was 55% black and 45% red. You shouldn’t stand idly by and not take advantage! Find weak spots in the market and attack.
You can always purchase my top side and total releases right here at this very website with your major credit card. My work on these pages is designed to help do-it-yourselfers make better decisions. Additional assistance is always just a few clicks away. Or, it’s a phone call away if you want to talk to one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters home office at 1-888-777-4155.
Best of luck to you in the NFL this weekend. I’ll be back early next week to talk more about early bowl handicapping. The college postseason slate will be here before you know it. If you do all of your prep work properly, you can really hit the ground running once the games begin. The Dean of Sports Handicapping is proud of all the hard work you’re doing. Keep it up!