A Profitable First-Half Betting Strategy for NFL Week 3, Including Browns vs. Rams


Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield

Sep 21, 2019, 07:45 PM EDT
  • Early in the NFL season bettors can profit by playing first-half over/unders.
  • Using Bet Labs, we share a profitable approach to wagering on first-half totals, including Rams vs. Browns (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC) on Sunday Night Football.

In the 2019 season opener, the Packers-Bears first-half (1H) total was set at 23 points. Since 2005, only 37% of games (1,320 out of 3,557) have had a 1H total of 23 or more points.

Chicago finished last season ninth in points per game (26.3), and Green Bay’s offense was expected to be rejuvenated under new coach Matt LaFleur. In a snoozer, the Cheeseheads and Bears combined for 10 points in the first two quarters, easily going under the  1H total of 23 points.

What happened? Oddsmakers inflated the 1H total knowing recreational gamblers would want to bet the over based on preseason expectations for both offenses.

Rust could have also played a role in the offenses struggling. For the past two preseasons Sean McVay has rested his starters the entire preseason. Some skeptics argue that players need snaps to get in game rhythm, but McVay doesn’t believe that preseason football is worth the injury risk.

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