Updated: May 24
The NFL’s enforcement this year of rules protecting the quarterback has resulted in a scoring increase as quarterbacks are more comfortable than ever sitting in the pocket. The unbeaten Los Angeles Rams have averaged 34.3 points per games (PPG), and the New Orleans Saints are up to 36.0 PPG. In the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs are humming along with 35.0 PPG to lead al teams in that conference. There are only five teams putting up fewer than 20.0 PPG. And that’s the Miami Dolphins (19.8) PPG, Tennessee Titans (17.4), Dallas Cowboys (16), Arizona Cardinals (13.0), Buffalo Bills (12.6).
This has had a significant impact on football betting total lines. Thus far this year, there have already been 11 games with a betting Over/Under line greater than 52 points. Last season there were only 10 games with a betting total over 52 THE ENTIRE SEASON!!!
More notable is the fact so far this season 8 of the 11 games (73%) with a total over 52 have gone over the total by an average of six points. Last year, of the 10 games with a total over 52, only 3 games went over the high total with 2 pushes as well for a percentage of only 33% going over the total.
This week, the schedule features two games with totals over 52: the Falcons-Buccaneers game has a total of 57 and the Sunday night matchup between the Patriots and Chiefs has a total of 59.5. The Broncos-Rams matchup total started at 52 and public betting has caused this total to drop to 51.5 as bad weather is expected in Denver. The Patriots -Chiefs total of 59.5 marks only the fifth game since the 2000 season to have a total greater than 59 with the most recent game to exceed this total being the 2016 matchup between the Packers and Falcons which went over this high total with a final score of 44-21.
This week both primetime games, the Monday nighter between the Saints-Redskins and Thursday nighter between the Eagles-Giants sailed over the total.
The message of this analysis to NFL bettors is “When in doubt, BET THE OVER!!!”