NFL Live Betting Week 8: How To Live Bet Bengals-Browns On Monday Night Football
Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images. Pictured: D’Ante Smith (#70), Drew Sample (#89).
Week 8 wraps up on Halloween night with a matchup between AFC North rivals. The 4-3 Bengals look to keep pace with the division-leading Ravens, while at 2-5, the Browns are just looking to stay relevant.
The visiting Bengals are three point favorites, and this one has a moderate 45 point total pregame. Both teams are solid offensively by DVOA, but with the Bengals excelling in the passing game and the Browns on the ground.
We’ll be looking for situations where either team’s strengths can take over in the live market. This is a fun one, with a clear angle no matter how the game is playing out.
Here’s how we’re live betting Monday Night Football between the Bengals and Browns.
The Live Bet We’ve Made on Monday Night Football
Browns Take The Lead — LIVE BET MADE
Given the relatively close line on this game, Cleveland getting out to a lead wasn’t too unlikely of a scenario. They’re actually the faster-paced team (based on overall numbers) of the pair, but there’s more to the story.
Cleveland has played with more negative game scripts than Cincinnati this season, forcing them to play faster. That’s why we look at things like pace when trailing/leading rather than overall numbers.
Those splits painted an entirely different picture. Cleveland’s pace with a lead of seven or more is over two seconds faster than their situation neutral pace, while the Bengals’ pace when trailing exceeds their situation neutral by a small amount as well.
That pointed us to betting unders, with a major caveat: We needed to be somewhat confident the Browns would maintain the lead for a reasonable amount of time. Therefore, I’d be looking to take this bet early only if the Browns are up multiple scores.
The Browns took an 11-0 lead into the locker room at halftime, which put them firmly in control of this one. They also get the ball to start the third quarter. While the total has sunk to a disgustingly low 33.5 at FanDuel, we’ll trust our pregame thoughts and take the under with our live bet.
The Other Monday Night Football Live Betting Scenario We Were Watching For
Bengals Control the Game
Cleveland is fairly miserable defensively, ranking in the bottom-five in DVOA against both the run and the pass. The likeliest scenario here was the Bengals striking through the air first, then controlling the game on the ground.
From a pace standpoint, this one would speed up considerably with the Bengals leading. Their average pace with a lead of seven or more is within a half second of their overall pace.
On the Browns side, they rank sixth in the NFL in pace of play while trailing, but 22nd in situation neutral pace. This one sets up nicely for the over, with Cincinnati continuing to move the ball with a lead, and the Browns picking things up.
From a player prop standpoint, this is where I’d look to double down on Joe Mixon rushing yards — especially if he’s quiet to start the game. The Browns run defense is the best matchup he’s had all season.
How We Approach Live Betting in General
The NFL is perfect for live betting, with the pauses between plays providing plenty of time to get bets in. This season, I’ve built a model to project the pace of play under a variety of in-game scenarios. These include first vs. second half, as well as which team is leading or when the game is within a touchdown.
The primary benefit is for betting totals. If the game is going to be faster or slower than was assumed pregame, the application is obvious. Faster-paced games tend to produce more points.
Player props also present some interesting opportunities. Sportsbooks are offering a variety of live player props, and faster or slower than expected games create obvious opportunities.
Take a look around various books before placing bets, though. There tends to be more variation between shops in live markets than there is pregame.