NFL Live Betting Week 8: How To Live Bet Sunday Night Football
Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images.
Week 8 is here, and outside of the London game in the morning, we’ve been watching live betting angles and placing live bets all day.
There are plenty of attractive spots this week, with some clear pace-based opportunities. There are also some valuable player prop situations to look into, as those correlate heavily to both pace and game script. We’ll take a look at a few of those, but our primary focus will be on betting totals.
With all that in mind, here’s how we’re live betting Sunday Night Football, as well as the live bets we’ve already made.
The Sunday Night Football Live Betting Scenarios We Are Watching For
Bills Control the Game
This isn’t the best game for live betting, primarily because of the binary nature of the teams. Buffalo has a good offense and plays fast, Green Bay has a bad offense and plays slow. Those should theoretically cancel out.
However, Buffalo is notable for continuing to keep their foot on the gas offensively in situations where other teams would switch to ball control football.
That opens up a few options. First, this game is likelier to continue to produce points with Buffalo out in front than the line might suggest. We want a line lower than the 47 coming into the game of course. We also want a situation where we aren’t relying on Green Bay to get us there — think about how many more possessions the Bills are likely to have, and whether they can clear the total themselves.
The NFL Week 8 Sunday Live Bets We’ve Already Made
Raiders vs. Saints: Second Half Overs
That seemed awfully optimistic from a full-game stand point, but especially early on. Both teams want to play run heavy football when possible. New Orleans ranks well below average in pass rate over expectation, and Vegas is slightly negative as well.
However, both are willing and able to open things up when needed. That’s evidenced by their first/second half pace splits: combined they play roughly six seconds faster in the second half of games.
The game script splits backed that up as well. This one was set to play about a second slower than expectation in a close game, and about six seconds faster with either team leading by a score or more.
That told me both teams would take to the air if they fell behind. Therefore, the ideal situation was a total well below the pregame line, but with either team in front. There wasn’t much difference based on which team it is.
I was also on the first half under which should hopefully have set up a middle situation. And with the first half under 24 cashing as New Orleans took a 17-0 lead into halftime, this game also fit exactly what we were looking for coming into the game. The Raiders needed to pick things up with a 17 point deficit, and the total is all the way down to 41. We’re taking that live bet all day long.
Of course, there were only 3 points scored the rest of the way (all by the Saints), and we lost this one. But the recipe for success was there.
Quick Hits for Sunday Afternoon
With so many excellent live-betting scenarios in Week 8, here’s a quick run down of some other spots that worth watching Sunday afternoon:
Steelers-Eagles Under: The Eagles are the polar opposite of the Bills (which we’ll discuss more below), letting up in a major way with a lead. They rank first in first half scoring and 30th in second half. If this one produced some early points and an Eagles lead, we’d look to hammer the under.
In fact, the Eagles were up 11 heading into the half, which was along the lines of what we were looking for. However, they started the second half with the ball, and we knew that if they scored, that would drive up the total and extend the lead. So we held off on that one until after that drive.
The total in Eagles-Steelers jumped all the way to 57.5 following the Eagles’ touchdown to open the second half — precisely what we’re hoping for, and prime territory for the Eagles to ease up with an 18 point lead. Under 57.5 (-105) is the live bet.
This one we cashed with plenty of room to spare in Philadelphia’s 35-13 win.
Panthers-Falcons Under: Two of the worst offenses in the NFL met in Week 8. If they managed to luck into some quick early scores, we were looking to take the under. The pregame line was 41; our target number was somewhere around 45.
A pick-six with under a minute left in the first half was exactly what we meant by “lucking in to an early score.” Further, this total was almost exactly what we were looking for heading into the game, with us snagging a live bet on under 44.5 (-110).
Then, as you well know, these two teams turned into a combined whirlwind of chaos, scoring 71 total points in a game that somehow went to overtime. Because why not?
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.