NFL Live Betting Week 11: How We’re Live Betting 49ers-Cardinals On Monday Night Football
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Garoppolo (left).
With Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray unable to play, we have a lopsided Monday Night Football matchup. The 49ers moved to roughly 10-point favorites pregame, with a 43.5 total.
The loss of Murray also impacted live betting. We would expect the Cardinals to lean more heavily on the run — and thus play slower.. Therefore, we've had to take some educated guesses as to how this one would play out. Keep in mind, this game is also in the thin air of Mexico City, adding another wrinkle to consider.
Given all of that, these were the live betting scenarios we were keeping an eye on for 49ers-Cardinals on Monday Night Football.
The Live Bet We've Made on Monday Night Football
Overs With San Francisco In Front — LIVE BET MADE
This was the likelier scenario, but the less comfortable one. Points could be at a premium here with Colt McCoy at the helm for the Cardinals..Still, the math pointed us this way. Arizona speeds up appropriately when trailing, and the 49ers defense is weaker against the pass — which in theory favors the Cardinals when chasing points.
There's also the thin air angle in Mexico City. Field goal range should be expanded significantly, as Estadio Azteca is even higher above sea level than Denver's Mile High Stadium. We could also see tired defenses in the thin air, which in theory gives the edge to offenses late.
We’ve run into another situation where the math and our eyes are at a bit of a disagreement. This one should play quicker in the second half, following a first half that produced 27 points. Neither team has been able to run the ball with much efficiency, averaging under three yards per carry.
That latter point is important, since it makes killing the clock difficult. With the total down to 47.5 on DraftKings – under the crucial three-touchdown threshold – we’ll take that live bet.
The Other Live Betting Scenario We Were Watching For
Unders If It's Close Or Arizona Leads
We lumped these scenarios together for a few reasons. One, the combination of the slow-paced 49ers and the Murray-less Cardinals meant we should be looking to unders to begin with. These scenarios both should result in a slower-paced game than expected, for reasons we'll get into shortly. Finally, with San Francisco as a big favorite, both of these scenarios represented a divergence from the expected outcome.
Arizona is a relatively fast-paced team in general, with the fourth-fastest overall pace in the NFL. However, that drops to 15th in close games and 24th when leading by seven or more. San Francisco ranks 30th in close games and 21st when trailing.
Therefore, either of these scenarios would produce slow games, but it's somewhat better the more Arizona pulls ahead. More importantly, Arizona would be even more content to grind things out than usual, both due to the return to a full workload for James Conner and the lack of Murray.
And remember, we're not alone in live betting the NFL's biggest primetime island games. At halftime of Thursday and Monday Night Football each week, my predictive analytics colleague Nick Giffen is live on "Bet What Happens Live With Dr. Nick!"
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.