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NFL Live Betting Week 16: How We’re Live Betting Jaguars vs Jets on Thursday Night Football

NFL Live Betting Week 16: How We’re Live Betting Jaguars vs Jets on Thursday Night Football article feature image
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Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Travis Etienne.

Week 16 presents us with a unique Thursday Night Football game. The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the road against the New York Jets, with weather playing a major factor.

We were expecting sustained winds in the upper teens, with gusts as high as 50 (!!) miles per hour at times, as well as snow/freezing rain and cold temperatures.

That was obviously going to have a fairly significant impact on this game. The total had already dropped down to 36.5 pregame — but that could be hilariously optimistic if conditions are as bad as they seem.

Fortunately, one of the benefits of live betting is getting to make our decisions after we have more information about what’s happening. Let’s dig in to how we’re approaching it.

The Live Bet to Watch For on Thursday Night Football in Week 16

Unders if Conditions are Bad — LIVE BET MADE

Last year, the Bills hosted the Patriots in similar conditions, albeit less wind but more snow. New England decided to largely abandon the passing game, completing two of three passes for 19 yards while running essentially a Pop Warner offense.

While the Bills didn’t go to that extreme, their 30 pass attempts was one of the lowest marks of the season, and Josh Allen had season lows in passing yards (150) and yards per attempt (4.8). That game finished with a 14-10 Patriots victory.

We knew these teams could employ a similar game plan, which would be evident from the start. The likelier scenario was the Jets — with their already shaky quarterback play — taking the role of the Patriots. Trevor Lawrence of the Jaguars, mush like Allen, has the arm strength to overcome the conditions to an extent, but will clearly be limited in effectiveness.

If the first drive or two made it clear that’s how these teams are approaching it, we’d need to pounce on the unders immediately. Both teams are solid defensively against the run, with this game profiling as a tough matchup on the ground for both teams. It’s even tougher sledding if your opponent knows that you’re essentially forced to run the ball as well, which could be the case here.

With the weather expected to get a lot worse in the near future and both teams on the board, we’ll take a slightly elevated line at 37.5 following consecutive field goals by each team. The live under is our bet here.

The Other Live Betting Scenario We Were Watching For on TNF

Overs if it’s Mild

On the other hand, this total would likely be at least ten points higher if these two teams were playing in Jacksonville tonight. Jacksonville has the league’s worst pass defense, and a surging offense that’s averaging 29.5 points over their last four games.

If either team had been able to throw the ball effectively early on, we would have wanted to look toward betting the over. Ideally, we would have had a situation where they move the ball effectively but don’t come away with points, allowing us to get a better number.

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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