A good handicapper or bettor will always budget plenty of time in the database before pulling the trigger on his / her wagers. But deciphering and interpreting a database is only as insightful as the imagination and intuition of the individual doing the querying. So let's take a look into King's brain before we get into the 2018 NFL season.
1) Yes, the NFL is a passing league. And fans love it when a lot of points are scored in a game. But if you are of the opinion that NFL team scoring is trending upwards as of late, then think AGAIN. After peaking in the 2013 season with an average of 46.8 combined points per game... last season's (2017) average was only 43.4. That's almost 3.5 points per game LESS than four seasons ago. And that average of 43.4 ppg was the LOWEST scoring season since 2009.
2) Many OU bettors believe that a lot of rushing plays (and rushing SUCCESS) in a game leads to lower-scoring results. It makes sense too. The average rushing play takes about 40 seconds off the game clock, while the average passing play takes up about 8-12 seconds. For the longest time. I had a hard time understanding this important facet of the game. But actually, the opposite is true. Case in point: Last year, in the first 12 weeks of the season... NFL non-division games actually went 50- 16 O/U (76% Over) when one team rushed for 140 or more yards. That includes 90% Over the Total (9-1 O/U) when BOTH teams in a game rushed for 140+ yards!
3) Wanna talk about offensive 'free-falls'? It starts with the ARIZONA CARDINALS. From 29.4 ppg on offense in 2015... to 26.1 ppg in 2016... to only 18.4 ppg last season. That's a 37% production drop in terms of ppg in a 3-year period. Last year, Arizona went 2-9 O/U when the OU line was greater than 39 points.
4) On the other hand, if you are searching for the most opportunistic time to bet a Cardinals OVER, consider this: In the last six years, ARIZONA games have gone 10- 2 O/U (83% Over) when the OU line is a LOW 39 or less points.
5) Give the BALTIMORE RAVENS some points in an 'expected' low-scoring game... and then go the OTHER way. Baltimore's best OVER situation has been: 12-1-1 O/U in the last ten years as GAME 14 or less UNDERDOGS of +3 > points, when the OU line is 41 or LESS points.
6) When you are looking to Go LOW in a Ravens game, the best moneymaking opportunity is when they are playing CRAPPY same-conference opponents. BALTIMORE has gone 1-11 O/U in the last two seasons versus all AFC opponents with a current winning percentage of < .400.
7) Two years ago, the best OVER team in the AFC Conference might surprise many bettors. It was the BUFFALO BILLS, who went 12-4 O/U in that 2016 season. Their best OVER situation of the last three years has been at HOME... when the OU line is > 42 points. These games have gone an almost-perfect 11-1 O/U.
8) It doesn't get any 'squarer' than this for the Bills: Home = OVERS... Road = UNDERS... BUFFALO has gone an amazing 3-19 O/U in the last six years on the ROAD, when the OU line is greater than (>) 41 points. That's 86% Under the Total!
9) Coming up next in alphabetical order is the CAROLINA PANTHERS. And in terms of OU results, these CATS are the exact opposite of the team listed right above them. CAROLINA has gone a PERFECT 12-0 O/U on the ROAD in the last four seasons versus very good teams with a current W/L percentage of > .600. These games have averaged an OVER-whelming 58.5 combined points per game.
10) But put the Panthers at home... in a 'chalk' role... against fellow NFC South Division opponents... and the UNDER is the play. CAROLINA has gone 3-24-1 O/U as division home FAVORITES of < 10 points since way back in the 2000 season!
11) Despite a solid #6 ranking in Red Zone TD% on offense last season, the CHICAGO BEARS were STILL one of only 4 NFL teams to score < 17 points per game... and were #2 in UNDERS (4-11-1 O/U).
12) The Bears' best UNDER numbers are when they are installed as BIG Underdogs. CHICAGO has gone 5-22 O/U since 200 as big non-division DOGS of +7 or more points.
13) Speaking of the Red Zone, the CINCINNATI BENGALS were #1 in the league last year in offensive Red Zone TD% on the ROAD. They converted 88% of Red Zone trips into 7 points.
14) The Bengals has been the best UNDER team in the league in THURSDAY games. CINCINNATI has gone 2-10-1 O/U in their history on THURSDAYS, and one of these games comes up in Week Two versus the Ravens this season.
15) Since we are on the subject of Thursday games, let's review last year's numbers. In 2017, the first 12 THURSDAY games went 9-3 O/U with an average of 49.8 combined PPG. But the last 5 THURSDAY games of the season went 1-4 O/U (38.2 ppg).
16) Staying with the PRIME-TIME matchups, that very same OU Pattern was also significant on Mondays last year. In 2017, the first 12 MONDAY games also went 9-3 O/U, with a gaudy average of 50.0 combined PPG. But the final 6 MONDAY games of the season went 0-5-1 O/U, with an average of only 40.5 ppg.
17) The best HOME 'Under' team over the last three seasons has been the CLEVELAND BROWNS. Their last 18 HOME games have gone 3-15 O/U, with an average of just 38.0 combined PPG.
18) On the flip side, the Brownies have been showing recent signs of life on offense when hitting the road. CLEVELAND has gone 10-2 O/U in their last 12 ROAD games when the OU line is > 39 points.
19) In the 2017 season, from NOVEMBER on out... the DALLAS COWBOYS finished the year with just 1 OVER and 8 UNDERS in their last nine games (1-8 O/U). Average combined points in these Dallas games was just 35.3.
20) In the last three seasons, the best time to SLAM a DALLAS game UNDER the TOTAL was on the road in NON-DIVISION games when the OU line was 50 or less points. DALLAS went 2-12 O/U in these non-division affairs.
21) Dropping like a ROCK: In the last fours seasons, the DENVER BRONCOS have gone from 29.1 ppg on offense (2014)... to 22.2 ppg (2015)... to 20.8 ppg (2016)... to just 18.1 ppg (last year).
22) With that said, put the Broncos on the road against GREAT opponents, and I'll STILL lean 'Over the Total'. DENVER has gone an amazing 17-1 O/U since 2009 on the ROAD versus all .666 or better opponents!
23) We talked about the BEST Thursday UNDER team (Cincy). But what about the reverse? The DETROIT LIONS have gone 9-3 O/U on THURSDAYS over the last ten years, with an average of 52.8 combined PPG.
24) Another great situation to pound a Lion's OVER is when they are PUPPIES in Motown. DETROIT has gone a PERFECT 8-0 O/U in the last 6 years as Conference home UNDERDOGS of > 1 point (53.5 ppg).
25) Our last three Team Trends have been all about OVERS. Let's continue that line of querying. Who's been the best OVER team when the OU line is HIGH? That would be the GREEN BAY PACKERS. They have gone 10-1 O/U in the last 2 seasons with a high OU line of 48 or more points.
26) It's actually been on the road where the Packers flex their 'BIG GUNS' on offense. GREEN BAY has been the BEST road OVER team in the league as of late... going 15-3 O/U in their last 18 ROAD games, including 11-1 O/U in NON-division play!
27) A tale of contrasting Quarterback play. Last season, the HOUSTON TEXANS went 5-1 O/U with DeShaun Watson as their starting QB. Those games averaged a mind-blowing 61.2 combined ppg!
28) But in games in which ANY OTHER player started at Quarterback, HOUSTON went 2-8 O/U... with a low average of only 40.7 ppg.
29) Houston's fellow AFC South Division rival had a similar OU Pattern last season. The INDIANAPOLIS COLTS started the 2017season with OVERS in 5 of their first 6 games (5-1 O/U / 52.3 combined ppg).
30) But in the second half of the 2017 season, it was ALL about 'Going LOW'. INDIANAPOLIS closed the year with UNDERS in EACH of their last eight games (0-8 O/U / only 34.8 ppg).
31) The JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS are not a team that rolls off the tongue when you are querying great OFFENSIVE squads in the database. But get this: The JAGS have gone 21-5 O/U since 2011 when taking on ALL opponents from the NFC Conference. Last season, these non-conference games for the Jags went a perfect 4- 0 O/U... with an average of 56.4 combined ppg.
32) The best time to 'Go Low' with the Jaguars has been the following situation: JACKSONVILLE has gone 2-10 O/U when playing on the Division ROAD in the last five years when the OU line is 40 or more points.
33) When it comes to the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, let the SITE determine whether you bet OVER or UNDER. The CHIEFS have gone 5-18-2 O/U at HOME in the last three seasons, with an average of only 40.7 combined ppg.
34) Last year, KC averaged a low 41.2 ppg in their home games. But they were the HIGHEST scoring team in the league on the ROAD in 2017. KANSAS CITY road games averaged 53.2 combined ppg last year... just ahead of the Eagles and Rams (52.0 ppg).
35) We are about halfway through querying King's BRAIN when it comes to Over / Unders. So let's talk about the VALUE of playing UNDER the Total in NFL Same- DIVISION games. As is usually the case, 2017 was no exception. DIVISION games went UNDER the TOTAL at a high percentage of 65% (27-51-3 O/U) last year when the OU line was a manageable 41 or more points.
36) By now, all sharp TOTALS bettors are aware of who was the best UNDER team last season. That would be the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (4-12 O/U). They averaged only 22.2 ppg on offense, and had the best scoring DEFENSE in the league (only 17.0 ppg allowed). In fact, darting back to the second half of the 2016 season, the last 22 Chargers' games have gone 5-17 O/U.
37) If you are looking for the best time to play a Chargers' game OVER the Total, consider them when they are catching a lot of points against NFC opponents. LOS ANGELES has gone 12-2 O/U in the last 15 seasons as non-conference underdogs of +5 or more points... with an average of 59.1 combined points per game.
38) The offensive turnaround for the LOS ANGELES RAMS was incredible last year. There's plenty of credit to go around (Sean McVay, Jared Goff, Todd Gurley)... and
plenty of BLAME as well (Jeff Fisher, anyone?). Anyway, the RAMS literally DOUBLED their offensive production in 2017 (28.9 ppg / 10-5-1O/U) compared to 2016 (14.0 ppg / 7-9 O/U).
39) Now that they are finally back to being a RELEVANT team in the NFL, there will finally be more situations when they are installed as road 'chalk'. The best time to play a Rams' UNDER is this: LOS ANGELES has gone 2-10 O/U in the last ten years as DIVISION road FAVORITES of > 7 points.
40) I've lived down here in hot South Florida for 14 years now. And this inept MIAMI DOLPHINS team has pretty much been a laughing stock during this entire time period. But one thing I've noticed in the database is that the Fish tend to be involved in higher-scoring games in the FIRST half of the season. MIAMI has gone 25-8-2 O/U in ALL home games in the 1st half of the season since 2009... including 14-3-2 O/U in the last five years.
41) But the best UNDER situation for MIAMI has been: 2-19 O/U (90% Under!) on the ROAD versus all NFC opponents when the OU line is > 39 points. This includes a perfect 0-6 O/U in the last four seasons. This year's non-conference ROAD games: @ Green Bay on Nov.11th... and @ Minnesota on Dec. 16th.
42) The MINNESOTA VIKINGS had a fantastic 2017 season. They had the #1 scoring DEFENSE in the regular season (only 15.8 ppg allowed)... were one of only TWO teams that allowed less than 300 yards per game on defense (Denver was the other)... and allowed 17 or less points in ELEVEN out of 16 games. Despite those dominating defensive numbers, they still only finished 9-9 O/U in the regular season and playoffs.
43) If you are still thinking about 'Going LOW', the best time to play a Vikings UNDER has definitely been in DIVISION games. MINNESOTA has gone 6-20-1 O/U versus fellow NFC North Division opponents in the last five years... including 2-11-1 O/U when FAVORED in these division games (85% Under).
44) Despite averaging more than 4 TDS PER GAME last season (28.6 ppg in 2017), the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS still inexplicably finished the year with UNDERS in 9 of their last 12 games (3-9 O/U). The main reason was the fact that the odds makers always 'set the bar' high. New England had the highest average OU line in the entire league in 2017 (49.4 avg OU line).
45) So Automatic-OVERS in New England games are now a thing of the past. But when the Patriots are playing the better teams in the league, then THAT is the ideal time to consider going OVER the Total. NEW ENGLAND has gone 12-1 O/U since
2010 in the regular season versus ALL .750 or better opponents in GAME FOUR or greater.
46) When it comes to OFFENSE, it's all about the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS. The two best words to describe high-scoring results for New Orleans are 'BIG and EASY'! In the last three seasons, New Orleans HOME games have averaged a gaudy 58.9 combined points per game (16-6 O/U L22 home games).
47) NEW ORLEANS has played a THURSDAY game in each of the last six seasons... and NONE of those games went OVER the Total. The official numbers: 0- 6 O/U with an average MARGIN of -12.9 points per game!
48) Falling off the map when it comes to offense as of late is the NEW YORK GIANTS. In the last two seasons (32 games), the G-Men have score more than 28 points just ONCE... and they have gone 10-22 O/U in these games.
49) With some solid off-season additions in regards to coaching and personnel, the Giants may actually find themselves in some home 'chalky' situations this season. That's a potential good sign for OVER bettors. NEW YORK has gone a PERFECT 6-
0 O/U as DIVISION home favorites in the last three years, with an average of 54.1 combined PPG.
50) Next up in alphabetical order is the NEW YORK JETS. With a rookie QB taking the reins in 2018 (Sam Darnold), there will probably not be too many opportunities when the Jets will be favored in a game. But that's ok by us. Their most extreme OU results have been when they are underdogs anyway. For instance, their best OVER situation has been: 9-1 O/U in the last five years as NON-CONFERENCE underdogs of greater than a field goal (+3.5 or more).
51) But on the other hand, we'll ALWAYS look to Go Low when the Jets are catching sizeable points in same-DIVISION play. NEW YORK has gone a PERFECT 0-7 O/U in the last two seasons as DIVISION underdogs of > 4 points.
52) We talked about the big-time OU reversal for this next team in our NFL preseason article. But it's still worth noting. With basically the same personnel on their team, the OAKLAND RAIDERS went from 12-5 O/U in the 2016 season (25.3 ppg on offense)... to just 5-11 O/U in 2017 (only 18.8 ppg on offense).
53) Let's face it, the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum is probably the WORST football field in the entire league. It is now the ONLY stadium in professional sports that a Baseball team and a Football team actually share. Can't wait 'till Vegas! With that said, this venue has been home to a lot of high-scoring games, despite the dirt... OAKLAND has gone amazing 11-0-1 O/U in their last 12 HOME games when hosting an opponent from an EASTERN Time Zone. These games have averaged 55.3 combined points per game. And there are TWO such games on the 2018 schedule (home vs Cleveland on Sep. 30th / home vs Pittsburgh on Dec. 9th).
54) The PHILADELPHIA EAGLES absolutely LOVE to roll up the score and the stats when taking to the road against 's**ty' opponents. Since the 2010 season, the EAGLES have gone an OVER-whelming 14-1-1 O/U on the ROAD versus LESS than (<) .333 opponents. Average combined points in these road games has been 55.4.
55) But when the Eagles are playing the role of hosts, it's time to back off... and consider going the other way. PHILADELPHIA has gone UNDER the TOTAL 90% of the time (1-9 O/U) at HOME in NON-division play the last two seasons, with a low average of only 40.7 combined PPG.
56) By now, all sharp Football bettors already know that the PITTBSURGH STEELERS have some of the most contrasting results in terms of offensive production when you compare their HOME games to their ROAD games. It starts at the top: Ben Roethlisberger's QB rating is a stellar 109.5 in his home starts, but only a
pedestrian 85.3 on the road. The OU results also back this up. The Steelers have gone 14-2 O/U as home favorites in the last 4 years when the OU line is 48 or less points. These games have averaged 55.7 combined PPG.
57) But when they hit the road, it's ALL about the UNDER. PITTSBURGH has gone 8-27-1 O/U in the last 4 years in all ROAD games, including 2-14 O/U in the last 2 years. The OU margin in these games has been almost a full TD (-6.5 ppg). They are easily the #1 road UNDER team in the league.
58) On the other hand, there's a team from the NFC conference that has been a very consistent OVER team when they are playing the role of the visitor (unlike the Steelers). That would be the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS. They come into the 2018 season with a 13-1 O/U record (last 6 years) as NON-division road underdogs of 4 > points. These games have gone OVER the Total by an average of MORE than DOUBLE DIGITS (+10.2 ppg). That's what I call a h-u-g-e margin!
59) For the best UNDER results in NINER games, it all depends on how good their opponent is. SAN FRANCISCO has gone 2-12 O/U in the last 5 seasons versus all
fellow NFC Conference opponents with a current W/L percentage of > .666. The average margin in these games has been 6.5 points per game.
60) Since we are on the topic of NFL West Coast teams (like the Niners), I ran an interesting query in the off-season. Perhaps you have read my numerous articles in the Playbook Totals Tipsheet in regards to Western time zone teams playing a road game in an Eastern time zone city. These games have had some pretty solid OVER results when that visiting team is an underdog, and the game is being played in a Sunday early kickoff time of 1:00pm ET. What I was asking myself in the off-season was: How about the reverse? Are there any OU tendencies for Eastern time zone teams making the long trek out to a Western time zone city? Here's what we dug up after querying the database. NFL Western TIME ZONE home favorites have gone 30-11-1 O/U since 2013 when facing an Eastern TIME ZONE opponent. That's a pretty solid OVER percentage of 73%. Last season, there were 11 such games... and they ended up going 8-3 O/U (again, 73% Overs).
61) The SEATTLE SEAHAWKS used to have the best defense in the league (by far). But the good times are now over for the previous Legion of Doom. Their defense has regressed in EACH of the last four seasons. From 280 YPG allowed in 2014... to 286 in 2015... to 320 in 2016... to 323 last year. The best time to consider a Seahawk's OVER has been at CenturyLink Field. They have gone 11-2 O/U in the last 3 years as home favorites of < 10 points. Average combined points in these home games: 56.1.
62) On the flip side, the Seahawks are STILL a great UNDER team when playing the role of road 'chalk'. SEATTLE has gone 90% UNDER the Total (1-9 O/U) as road FAVS of > 3 points in the last 3 years. These games have averaged only 29.3 combined points per game!
63) The TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS play in one of the highest-scoring divisions in the entire league...The NFC South Division. With multiple games each season against the likes of the Saints, Falcons, and Panthers... Tampa is no stranger to HIGH Over / Under lines. But those are the games in which a Totals bettor wants to be most cautious. The BUCCANEERS have gone 9-23-1 O/U (72% Under) in their HISTORY in NFL games with a high OU line of 47 or more points.
64) But that doesn't mean the Bucs don't have their fair share of high-scoring results. The most opportunistic time to slam a Buc's OVER is versus an opponent that they BEAT in the last meeting. We're getting into REVENGE territory here. The BUCCANEERS have gone 13-1 O/U since the 2011 season as Conference UNDERDOGS versus any opponent playing with REVENGE...
65) In our Playbook Totals Tipsheet publication, we cover the OU tendencies of DIVISION game a lot. When two division teams play each other early in the season, we usually look to go the OPPOSITE way in terms of our OU wager when they play the rematch later on in the year. Case in point: The TENNESSEE TITANS. In their first three DIVISION games last year, they went a perfect 3-0 O/U... with a whopping high average of 60.7 combined points per game. But in the later season rematches versus those same three division opponents, the Titans went a perfect 0-3 O/U, with an average of 32.7 combined PPG!
66) When the OU line is set nice and low in Titan games, and they are playing OUT of their division... that is absolutely the BEST time to consider betting on the OVER. TENNESSEE has gone 17-3 O/U since the 2009 season versus any NON-division opponent when the OU line is 41 or LESS points. In the last five years, these games have gone a PERFECT 8-0-1 O/U.
67) The WASHINGTON REDSKINS endured one of the biggest offensive drop offs last year, compared to the previous season. In fact, they were tied with the Indianapolis Colts for this dubious(?) honor. Washington was 'on the come' in 2016. They were one of only THREE teams in the NFL to average more than 400 yards per game on offense (NOrl: 426 / Atl: 416 / Wash: 404). But last season, their offensive numbers REGRESSED to only 325 yards per game. That's a drop of -79 yards per game from one year to the next.
68) Take away the HIGH OU lines... Tale away the LOW OU lines... And get into that 'sweet spot' in regards to the OU line. THIS is the best time to consider an OVER for this team. In the last three seasons, WASHINGTON games have gone 22-5-1 O/U (81% Over) when the OU line is in the RANGE of > 41 points and < 50 points.
69) We're getting close to the end of 'picking KING's brain' when it comes to Over / Under Trends, Tidbits, and Tendencies. So how about concluding things with a look into the LAST month of the NFL season? We already know that the Week 16 and 17 schedule is back-loaded with lots of DIVISION games, to help prevent teams who have already clinched a Playoff spot from going into 'tank' mode. And we already know that we tend to think 'Under-FIRST' in a high percentage of these division games. Last season was no different. NFL games in the last month of the 2018 regular season (Games 13-16) went UNDER the TOTAL at a 66% rate. The actual numbers: 21-41-2 O/U from December on out...
70) Playbook NFL TOTALS TIPSHEET for 2018! I created this publication for Playbook back in 2006. We have had 10 out of 12 profitable seasons. It is the ONLY weekly publication in the entire country that is devoted exclusively to NFL Over / Under wagering. Each week's issue contains: 3 O/U BEST BETS... the 2-minute OU handicap page... O/U Power Ratings... O/U results L4Y... Red Zone TD scoring percentages... etc, etc. It's required reading if you bet on the Totals. We finish off our article with one of my favorite Latin proverbs: Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat.... That means: 'FORTUNE favors the BOLD'!
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