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NFL Live Betting Week 14: How We’re Live Betting Dolphins-Chargers on Sunday Night Football

NFL Live Betting Week 14: How We’re Live Betting Dolphins-Chargers on Sunday Night Football article feature image
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Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Xavien Howard (left), Mike Williams (right).

We had an unusually quiet Week 14, with six teams on bye. That meant there were just 11 games on Sunday — counting Sunday Night Football between the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers.

Therefore, we’ve been fairly focused with our live betting attention during Sunday’s afternoon slates. There were a couple excellent spots to watch out for, which we broke down below, and it all culminated in Sunday Night Football.

Here’s how we’re live betting the Dolphins-Chargers, plus the live bets we made earlier today.

The Live Bet to Watch For on Sunday Night Football

Chargers-Dolphins: Watch The Game Flow — LIVE BET MADE

The Chargers put us in this situation frequently, thanks to how they tend to play. They’re one of the fastest-paced teams in every situation — except when leading.

That is probably the most logical way for a coach to call games. However, it’s hard for sportsbooks’ live betting algorithms to account for. Those usually take into account the score — both total points and amount of the lead — but don’t adjust with a certain team leading or trailing. (As far as we can tell, at least. How these lines are built obviously isn’t public knowledge.)

Conveniently, the Dolphins’ slowest-ranked pace split is when trailing, so everything pointed to a slower game with the Chargers in front. We needed a couple things to go right before placing a bet, though. We wanted an under with the Chargers in front and an over in a close game or Dolphins lead. Therefore, a high-scoring game with the Chargers leading or a lower-scoring contest that stayed close or Miami led would get us to make a bet.

After roughly one third of the game was played, there’d been just 10 points. All of those were by the Chargers, which put us firmly in the “Chargers leading” game script. With a live total of 47.5, we’d need to see a massive uptick in scoring relative to the first 20 minutes to get there. Under gets the bet, with DraftKings having the best line at 47.5 (-120).

The Live Bets We Made and Considered Earlier on Sunday

Eagles-Giants: Second Half Unders — LIVE BET MADE

The Philly special was again in play here, with the Eagles taking on the Giants. Philadelphia was favored by more than a touchdown, so we were fairly likely to get the usual Eagles game script: An aggressive start to build a lead, followed by a slower second half.

The Eagles play at the league’s fastest pace in close games but a middling 14th when leading by seven or more.  The Giants also slow things down a bit when trailing — or speed up less than average, as it were — dropping from 14th in close games to 17th when trailing.

The DVOA of the Eagles defense also sets up nicely here: They rank 23rd against the run, but second against the pass. It will be hard for the Giants to do much offensively if and when they start chasing points.

This live spot pairsednicely with the first half over. We were looking for any total below the 44.5 opening with the Eagles up double digits.

With 31 first half points scored in this game — and the Eagles going up 17 — this one fit the scenario we were watching for perfectly. This total was up nearly 10 points from the pregame line, with FanDuel posting a live over/under of 53.5. That’s our first live bet of the day.

Things were looking bleak for a while, then it almost seemed as if we’d sneak into a win here. But Miles Sanders’ 41-yard TD run in the fourth put the nail in our coffin.

Seahawks-Panthers: Overs With a Seattle Lead — PASS

There was a fair amount of uncertainty surrounding this game. The Seahawks were set to be without Kenneth Walker, leaving them with a backfield led by Travis Homer. Homer hasn’t handled many carries in previous starting spots, instead seeing the Seahawks go extremely pass heavy.

The logic here was that Seattle would continue to throw the ball even with a lead, thanks to their lack of a true between-the-tackles running back. That lined up nicely with what we’d expect from this game anyway.

The pace splits have this playing considerably faster with the Panthers trailing. The Seahawks’ fastest split (by rank) is with a lead, while the Panthers’ is while trailing. Carolina has also played more efficiently in the passing game as of late, since going back to Sam Darnold at quarterback.

Perhaps too efficiently, it turned out, as Carolina took a commanding first half lead against Seattle. That threw us off our live betting scenario, and we had to pass on this one.

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

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