NFL Key Betting Numbers in 2021: The Most Important Over/Under Lines
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers
Along with spreads, over/unders (also known as totals) are another popular way to bet on the NFL.
Oddsmakers set over/unders for every game, which represents the total number of points scored in a certain game. If more points are scored than the game's total, bettors who wagered on the over win.
Conversely, if less points are scored, under bettors cash their tickets.
With this in mind, I analyzed our Bet Labs database to determine the most common total points scored, but with one caveat.
Prior to the 2015 NFL season, extra-point attempts were moved from the two-yard line back to the 15-yard line. As one would expect, this made PATs more difficult and affected the frequency of total points scored in games.
Therefore, from a betting value standpoint, we should focus on the frequency of total points scored in NFL games since the start of the 2015 season to ensure we're comparing apples to apples in terms of the current rules and the effect on scoring.
NFL Key Betting Numbers (2015-19): Over/Unders
Forty-one points has been the most common combined score at 3.82% of NFL games, followed by 40 (3.75%), 51 (3.67%) 47 (3.45%) and 44 (3.37%).
As you can see, over/unders moving to and through the 40-41 range have been incredibly significant from a line value standpoint in recent seasons.
For the sake of utility, here are frequencies of total points scored in NFL games since 2015, sorted by most to least common.