NFL Live Betting Week 15: How We Live Bet Rams vs Packers on Monday Night Football

NFL Live Betting Week 15: How We Live Bet Rams vs Packers on Monday Night Football article feature image

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Kingsley Enagbare (left).

It's been a successful week for live bets, with a perfect 4-0 record heading into Monday Night Football between the Green Bay Packers host the Los Angeles Rams at Lambeau Field.

This game had a lot less intrigue than we would've hoped a few months ago as both teams are all but eliminated from playoff contention.  Offensive expectations were low as well, with a sub-40-point pregame total. That was important as we looked to parse various scenarios once this kicked off.

Here's how we looked to live bet Monday Night Football in Week 15.

The Live Bet We Made on Monday Night Football Week 15

Unders With a Packers Lead — LIVE BET MADE

Pace splits on these teams gave us frustratingly little to work with. They rank 30th (Green Bay) and 25th (Los Angeles) in overall pace, with no significant variations based on game flow.

However, both teams are considerable funnels on defense. The Packers have a reasonably strong pass defense, coming in at 10th in DVOA. Against a Rams team missing Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson, they were primed to look even better tonight.

That meant once the Packers — 7.5-point favorites — got off to a solid lead, the Rams could struggle to make much progress in catching up. We could count on Los Angeles continuing to run the ball from behind to an extent, but that only works for so long.

Additionally, the Rams defense tilts the other way. They have a top-five rushing defense but are vulnerable against the pass (22nd). Once Green Bay was potentially up comfortably, the Packers would look to kill the clock through the running game — but were unlikely to find much success doing so.

While we could take this bet early if the Packers pick up a few quick scores, the likelier scenario is the best value coming in the second half. Both teams will stick to their offensive strengths a bit more early on, before the clock and scoreboard force the issue.

As always, the dream scenario was a better number than the pregame line of 39.5, with Green Bay up by multiple scores. And we got pretty close to that right after halftime with the Packers' second touchdown of the game. With Green Bay up 17-6, the live total was 38.5, with the under -115 at DraftKings. That's our live bet for Monday Night Football.

The Other Live Betting Scenario We Considered for Monday Night Football

Overs With a Rams Lead

Alternatively, if the Rams had managed to take a lead, we could have considered betting on the over. We already touched on most of the reasons above.

It's difficult to have much faith in either offense at the moment. This game was also being played at Lambeau Field in December, which isn't great for scoring. While we aren't expecting major snow or wind, temperatures will be in the teens.

Due to all that, we would have needed a fairly large discount on the total to even consider this. Ideally that would come with some bad touchdown luck from one or both teams — drives stalling out at the goal line, red-zone turnovers, missed field goals or things of that nature.

Outside of that, the only things to watch for were 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 interesting opportunities. Sportsbooks are offering a variety of live player props, and faster or slower than expected games create clear 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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