NFL Live Betting Week 14: How We’re Live Betting Raiders-Rams on Thursday Night Football
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images.
When the NFL scheduled this Week 14 showdown between the Los Angeles Rams and Las Vegas Raiders as a primetime game, it looked to be an exciting matchup. The defending Super Bowl champions, taking on a playoff team that added Davante Adams? Sounds great on paper.
Unfortunately, the Raiders are surging, but still just 5-7, while the Rams are in a complete free fall, with both Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp on IR. They're 3-9, and started the recently signed Baker Mayfield at quarterback.
As such, the Raiders are solid 6.5-point favorites, with a total that's fallen to 42 or so. The quarterback uncertainty makes pregame betting a challenge — which makes this a good spot for betting live.
The Live Bet We Were Looking For on Thursday Night Football
Second Half Overs — LIVE BET MADE
This was an "over or pass" situation this week, with most of the arrows pointing in the same direction. These teams both play considerably faster in the second halves of games — even when accounting for the fact that both teams have spent more time trailing than leading late in games.
Both teams also have considerably worse passing defenses than rushing defenses, so this gives the trailing team a better chance of catching up — and pushing the leading team — late in the game.
As usual, we'd be hoping for a lower-scoring first half that drove this total down — specifically, any spot prior to halftime where the live total is within 21 points of the actual points scored.
The late interception by the Raiders knocked six points off the total, with the line now 36.5 (-115 at DraftKings). Take the over now, with the benefit of a brief Rams drive before halftime — they also get the ball to start the third quarter.
Given both teams' pass-funnel nature on defense, my favorite prop angles are on the trailing team's passing attack. Almost by definition, the trailing team will have had less success in the first half, so we should get better lines at halftime.
A quarterback swap at halftime for the Rams is also well within the range of possibilities. Even if Wolford is healthy enough to get the start, if he plays poorly, the Rams could be interested in getting a look at Mayfield.
Of course, "Dr. Nick" has us in capable hands when looking at 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!"
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.