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NFL Live Betting Week 17: How To Live Bet Bills vs Bengals on Monday Night Football

NFL Live Betting Week 17: How To Live Bet Bills vs Bengals on Monday Night Football article feature image
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Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Burrow.

We have a rare (at least this season) primetime game between two contending teams playing at full strength in Week 17.

The last Monday Night Football game of the regular season features the 12-3 Buffalo Bills against the 11-4 Cincinnati Bengals, with both teams jockeying for playoff position. That means we should see both teams at full strength.

Here’s how we’re looking to live bet Monday Night Football between the Bills and Bengals.

The Live Bet To Watch For on Monday Night Football in Week 17

Unders if Buffalo Leads, Overs Otherwise

This one is fairly straightforward. The Bengals play at roughly the same pace regardless of game script, while the Bills follow more standard splits.

Buffalo plays extremely fast when trailing, running their average play in just under 24 seconds. When leading, that number jumps to almost 28, with close games falling roughly in the middle.

When you combine that with the Bengals’ steady pace, this one should play fastest with the Bills behind, and slowest with them leading. The Bills are also a far more efficient offense when throwing the ball, so them getting in front should lower the game’s efficiency as well. (For what it’s worth, the Bengals are better running the ball from a DVOA perspective, but it’s basically even.)

Therefore, we need to weigh game script and total here to come up with the right time to make the bet. The pregame total is right around 50, so we’ll be looking for a better number than that on either side of it. Obviously, a high-scoring game with Buffalo in front or a lower-scoring Bengals lead would be ideal, but we’ll play it by ear.

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 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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