NFL Live Betting Week 13: How We’re Live Betting Saints-Bucs On Monday Night Football

NFL Live Betting Week 13: How We’re Live Betting Saints-Bucs On Monday Night Football article feature image

Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images. Pictured: Tom Brady (right).

We're 2-1 on live bets for Week 13, with one game remaining. Saints vs. Buccaneers will decide on whether it's a profitable week or a break-even one.

This game had a pretty clear edge in one direction, with a likely pass if that situation didn't present itself. Come halftime, though, we were in business. Here's how we're live betting Saints-Bucs on Monday Night Football in Week 13.

The Live Bet For on Monday Night Football in Week 13

Second Half Overs — LIVE BET MADE

Looking through the pace splits for this game, the pace by game time jumped out immediately. Combined, these teams' average pace of play this season is about two seconds quicker in the second halves of games.

Of course, that in and of itself wouldn't be quite enough. These teams have combined for 10 wins and 14 losses, which means that they've spent more time trailing in the second halves of games than leading. With trailing teams tending to play significantly faster than leading teams, that somewhat explains the half splits.

However, in this case, it doesn't explain the entirety of the splits. These teams rank 19th and 17th in time of possession while trailing, both fairly middle of the pack. But considering they rank first and 10th in second half splits, there's something to this second-half theory.

Additionally, either team leading by seven or more would further speed things up. Both teams' lowest ranking in pace is in close games, while playing faster (relative to their baseline) whether leading or trailing.

Therefore, we were trying to catch the best (lowest) line at or around halftime, ideally with one team out in front. And right before halftime, the Saints got off to a 10-3 lead, with the live over/under at 33.5 at FanDuel. Crucially, they get the ball back at the start of the third quarter. Remember, this game speeds up with either team out in front by seven or more.

We're in on that bet.

Outside of that, the only things to watch for are player props. 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!" 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’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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