Generation O: Vegas Projecting Historic Scoring in Week 5

Generation O: Vegas Projecting Historic Scoring in Week 5 article feature image

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes, Todd Gurley, Ben Roethlisberger

  • NFL oddsmakers are projecting seven games in Week 5 of the 2018 season with over/unders set at 50 or higher.
  • That would be the most such games with totals that high in a single week in league history.
  • See how the rise in scoring is impacting the betting market.

Sportsbooks opened six Week 5 NFL games with a total of 50 or higher. The number of games is up to seven as of writing (see live odds here), which would be the most with a total of 50 or higher in a single week in NFL history.

Week 5 NFL Games with Over/Unders of 50 or Higher

  • Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers: 57
  • Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers: 53.5
  • Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints: 52
  • Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots: 51.5
  • Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions: 51
  • Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks: 51
  • Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals: 50

>> All odds as of Tuesday evening. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets

2018 NFL Over/Unders Are Through the Roof

Digging through week-by-week archives, I can’t even find another instance in which six NFL games closed with an over/under of 50 or higher in a single week.

Week 5 of the 2018 season will be one for the record books to say the least.

If you include this week’s seven games with an over/under of 50 or higher, there will be 19 games with a total of 50-plus played through the first five weeks of the regular season, good for 24.4% of the 78 total games through Week 5 — which is almost a full quarter of the games played so far this season.

Only one other season has come even close to the mark of 19 so far this year. That was in 2013, when we saw 11 games with a total of 50 or more through five weeks.

Through four weeks, NFL games are going over their totals by an average of 2.42 points per game. Since 2003, which is how far our dataset goes back, no NFL season has finished with the average game going over the total by at least 2 points per game. The closest came in 2007, when it finished with a margin of +1.96 points per game at season’s end.

For perspective, here are how the three other NFL seasons since 2003 finished where the over margin was at least 2 points per game through four weeks.

One key takeaway: There was always regression. Not to mention that the average over/under across every game this season has been 45.68. You have to go all the way back to 2014 for the last time the average over/under for a full season exceeded the current 45.68 figure, when the average was 46.01 for the full year.

How about scoring so far this season? Glad you asked.

Welcome to “Generation O”

Through four weeks, NFL games are averaging a combined 48.1 points scored per contest. In the Super Bowl era (since 1966), that is the highest combined PPG scored through four weeks, with a combined 47.4 PPG scored in 2012 coming in a close second.

Seventeen more touchdowns have been scored this season than in 2012 with exactly half the number of games played with a total of 50 or more through four weeks. (Six in 2012 and 12 in 2018.)

According to Matthew Freedman, the Editor-in-Chief of Fantasy Labs, it’s the passing game that is creating all of this offensive opportunity:

Through four weeks, NFL teams are pacing for all-time per-game highs with …

24.0 points
362.3 scrimmage yards
20.9 first downs
2.1 first downs by penalty
23.8 completions
36.4 pass attempts
255.7 passing yards
1.8 passing touchdowns
7.4 adjusted yards per attempts

— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) October 2, 2018

Matt is 100% on target here: The QB numbers honestly look like they were ripped straight from your custom Madden video game franchise. Seven quarterbacks have 10 or more passing touchdowns through four weeks of the season, which is by far the most in the Super Bowl era, with the second-most coming in 2011 when Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Drew Brees each had 10 or more passing touchdowns through Week 4.

The crazy fact about those four QBs? All four are still active, and none has 10 passing touchdowns so far this season. (Man, this league is deep.)

In a league where offense is glorified, fantasy football is such big business and totals continue to be set north of 55 on a weekly basis, this could be just the start for the ever-growing “Generation O” across the NFL.

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