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NFL Live Betting Week 11: How We Live Bet the Sunday Slate

NFL Live Betting Week 11: How We Live Bet the Sunday Slate article feature image
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Photo by Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Asante Samuel Jr. (center-left), Justin Reid (center-right).

It’s already Week 11, and the NFL season is flying by. We’re at the point where we have a nine- or ten-week sample size on each team, making the pace-based analysis we use for live betting much stronger.

What’s even better is that nearly every team has played significant stretches under all of the scenarios we look for — trailing or leading by more than a touchdown, as well as close games.

With that in mind, we have some very strong situations to look at this week. Read on to find out our favorite spots during each window on Sunday for live betting NFL Week 11 as we wrap the day with Chiefs-Chargers on Sunday Night Football.

The Sunday Night Football Live Betting Scenario to Watch For

Unders With a Chargers Lead — LIVE BET MADE

Let’s start with an admission: this one feels wrong. Betting on the under in a situation where Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ passing offense is playing from behind? It’s scary.

However, all of the data lines up nicely here, making this a “trust the numbers” spot. The Chiefs rank 11th in overall pace, sixth in situation neutral pace … and 25th when playing from behind. While there isn’t a huge sample of them having the ball and a deficit, at seventh in the league, there’s six other teams who’ve had the ball while trailing less than they have. Point being, it’s enough to be predictive.

On the Chargers side, they rank second in both overall and situation-neutral pace but 10th with a lead of seven or more. While that’s still fast, the total in this game is reflective of both teams’ neutral paces (broadly speaking), not specific scenarios.

Moving past the pace, the Chiefs defense is better against the run than the pass, so the Chargers should be less efficient offensively when leading. The Chargers, as you may be able to guess, are better against the pass.

Throw in injuries to JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman, and a very high 52.5 pregame total, and this scenario plays out perfectly.

Going into the second half, the Chargers pulled ahead by seven thanks to a late field goal from Dicker the Kicker. With the Chargers set to get the ball to start the third quarter, this fits the scenario we were looking for ahead of time. It’s a scary one, but we’re taking the under 60.5 (-108) at FanDuel. As an added bonus, Kadarius Toney is questionable to return, further complicating their receiving situation.

The Live Bets We Already Made During the Week 11 Sunday Slate

Bengals-Steelers: Overs In a Close Game — LIVE BET MADE

This game had one of the lowest totals on the slate, dropping all the way to 40 on Sunday morning. That gave us a number of ways to attack — including our usual second half overs on Pittsburgh. However, the Bengals slow things down nearly as much as the Steelers speed things up in the second half, so we needed to be a bit pickier about game script this time around.

Fortunately, we had a fairly clear answer. Both teams’ quickest pace split (by ranking) is in games that are within seven points. Both teams are comfortable running out the clock if they have a solid lead but stay more aggressive in pursuit of said lead. The Steelers defense is also far better against the run, so situations that force the Bengals to throw the ball are optimal.

A slow start from both teams would have been ideal here, but we certainly aren’t getting a better number than the opening line if looking to the Steelers-Bengals over after a high-scoring first half. However, the 56.5 (+100) live line at BetMGM meant we only needed three touchdowns to cash a live over bet. After a 37-point first half, that felt like a strong bet.

Bears-Falcons: Unders With a Falcons Lead — LIVE BET MADE

Given the pace, quality of quarterback play, and run-heavy approach of both teams involved, this game had an awfully high total of nearly 50 in some spots. While we were already betting that under, there was certainly a scenario where we could double down: when the Falcons are in front.

Marcus Mariota has topped 20 pass attempts in just one of their four wins this season, leading to a snail’s pace with Atlanta in front. Not only are they the league’s slowest team when leading by seven or more, but the gap between them and the next slowest team is 1.25 seconds.

Beyond that, a Bears deficit forces them to throw the ball, which isn’t optimal for scoring, either. Chicago ranks ninth in rushing DVOA and 26th in passing.

Well, it took longer than we anticipated, but it finally happened. The Falcons scored the first touchdown of the third quarter, taking a seven point lead. This also drove the total up to 55.5 at BetMGM, making it an obvious under live bet candidate based on our pregame read.

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.

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