NFL Wild Card Live Betting : How We’re Live Betting Cowboys vs Bucs on Monday Night Football
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: Dak Prescott.
With the expansion of the playoffs to now include “Super Wild Card” weekend, the last Monday Night Football game of the season is now a playoff matchup. A high-profile one at that, as Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Dallas Cowboys.
Here’s how we live bet the final NFL Wild Card Round game between the Cowboys and Bucs on Monday night.
The Live Bet To Watch For on Wild Card Weekend Monday Night Football
Second Half Overs — LIVE BET MADE
This was another game where there was really only one choice, and if the game flow had gone against us, we’d have been happy to sit this one out.
Tampa Bay has played at the fastest pace in the second half this season, and both teams have scored more in the second halves of games than the first.
That’s fairly irregular for a playoff game — we’d expect teams in the playoffs to have spent many second halves killing the clock — though of course, the Bucs had a losing record this season.
The usual Bucs game this season has consisted of a first half spent ineffectively trying to establish the run, before Brady goes on tilt and audibles to all pass plays in the second half. This both speeds up the game and increases efficiency, as Tampa has the 30th ranked rushing offense by DVOA.
This effect is amplified with the Cowboys in the lead. Tampa’s defense and Dallas’ offense are far more balanced from an efficiency standpoint, so we should expect their production to remain relatively level regardless of game script.
What’s more important, though, is the number that we can get around half time. The pregame line is 45.5, so we’ll of course be searching for something better than that.
An interception in the end zone, three missed extra points, and Micah Parsons limping off at half time were all great signs for the live over, as was the Cowboys’ 18-0 lead. Tampa got the ball back to start the second half, which could also help keep this one competitive. We’re all over the live over here, and FanDuel has the best line at 40.5 (-114).
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Outside of that, the only things to watch for was player props. At halftime of every playoff game, my predictive analytics colleague, Nick Giffen, is live with special Action Network guests on “Bet What Happens Live With Dr. Nick!” He’ll cover props, and possibly join us with a total bet as well.
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 built a model to project the pace of play under a variety of in-game scenarios. These included 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 interesting opportunities. Sportsbooks are offering a variety of live player props, and faster or slower than expected games create clear 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.