- Casual bettors like wagering on the over in NFL games. Oddsmakers know this and inflate the line accordingly.
- It has been profitable to bet the under in high-total games with significant line movement.
- Using Bet Labs, we highlight three Week 14 games offering bettors value.
It’s well-known that casual NFL bettors like cheering for points. In 4,197 games in the Bet Labs database since 2003, the over has received a majority of bets in 85.8% of games.
The public bets the over like clockwork. Oddsmakers know this and shade the line, which creates value for contrarian gamblers willing to bet the under.
When the total increases by at least one point, the under has gone 549-530-20 (51%) since 2003. In high-total games (45 or more points) during the same time, unders are 776-711-20 (52%).
Neither trend in itself is profitable, but when combined, an interesting trend emerges. Since 2003, in high-total games (at least 45 points), when the over/under increases by one or more points, the under has gone 302-272-9 (53%).
But it works best in the second half, Weeks 9-17, of the season:
I believe this system is profitable late in the season for a few reasons. Late in the year, offenses are more likely to be dealing with injuries because of the wear and tear of a 16-game schedule, which would limit their effectiveness and thus lower the scoring output. Plus, quarterbacks facing a divisional opponent for the second time in a season typically perform worse, per FantasyLabs.
In Week 14, three games match this system. A majority of tickets have been placed on the over (see live odds) in these matchups, but sharp bettors should fade the public and wager on the under.
- Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons (1 p.m. ET, FOX): 81% of bets are on the over, moving the line from 47.5 to 50.
- Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): 58% of bets are on the over, moving the line from 47 to 48.
- San Francisco 49ers vs. Denver Broncos (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): 68% of bets are on the over, moving the line from 44 to 45.5.