Market Slow to Notice Totals Trends


I'm starting to hear more and more talk about Over/Under bets in pro football. I think there are a few reasons for this:

*College is winding down, and squares (the general public) are looking for ways to keep their action going once it falls off the weekend schedule entirely.

*It's been an extreme year for Overs thus far, and word is spreading amongst squares that there's value to be had.

*Oddsmakers are trying to figure out what to do because they've been undershooting the mark in way too many games.

*Sharps are complaining because many of their old school totals approaches aren't working this year.

So, if I'm in conversations with any element of the legal sports betting market right now, the topic eventually turns to what's going on with NFL totals. That means it's time for ME to start talking about totals more in my web articles.

We'll catch up today with team trends. There are a few extremes out there that you may not have noticed.

9-2: New England and Dallas
8-2: Jacksonville
8-3: NY Jets and Detroit
7-3: Cleveland, Houston, Atlanta, and Arizona
6-3-1: Seattle

That's about a third of the league at 67% or better on Overs results...with nine out of 32 NFL teams at 70% or higher.

So, we're not talking about oddsmakers and the market in general undershooting a couple of teams.

*New England and Dallas play Overs almost every time they take the field! And, Dallas had that low scoring season opener with Washington...meaning they're 90% Overs since then. It's been fairly obvious that New England has a great offense, but a bad garbage time defense since the opening week. Oddsmakers still haven't properly captured that in the numbers.

*The NY Jets are supposed to be a defensive minded team that plays low scoring games because they shut people down, and their offense runs clock. They're priced that way. But, that's NOT what's happening! The defense has some holes in it...and Mark Sanchez is getting some things done in the air.

*Cleveland? Cleveland! How thinks of the Browns as a team that plays high scoring games? Nobody...which is why they're consistently sneaking over low totals thanks to the influence Mike Holmgren has had in putting together an offense.

That's just the top half of the story. If there are just as many teams playing a lot of Unders, then I might be overstating the advantage. Let's see how many extreme Under teams there have been.

2-8: Chicago
3-7: Green Bay


Only two teams have seen Unders in 70% of their games or more, compared to the nine we were looking at with the Overs. Chicago's a surprise because Mike Martz was supposed to create an explosive offense with Jay Cutler at the helm. The offense has been bad, but the defense has been terrific. That's led to a lot of Unders. Green Bay's been forced to change its stripes a bit from early season plans...leading to a team that tries to run out the clock with a lead so they can avoid more injuries.

TWO TEAMS are showing meaningful Under tendencies out of 32. Most of the league is in the hunk between 4-6 and 6-4 percentage-wise. The mistakes that are being made by the market are showing up at the high end of the spectrum.

As you handicap the Sunday and Monday NFL action, I strongly encourage you to look for spots where the market is still lagging reality. You can't do that with New England and Dallas because they've already played their very high scoring Over games for the week! There are other teams the market has been out of synch with. And, we might see some of the 6-4 or 4-6 teams start trending more in their directions here in the final weeks of the season.

by Las Vegas linesmaker Nick Bogdanovich


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