NFL Preseason Betting Picks, Predictions, Trends: Overs Off To 14-3 Start Through Week 1

NFL Preseason Betting Picks, Predictions, Trends: Overs Off To 14-3 Start Through Week 1 article feature image

Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Lance McCutcheon (Rams).

We officially welcomed back the National Football League to action for Week 1 of the preseason this past weekend.

In total, we've seen 17 games so far, with the biggest storyline being overs in the betting world. Currently, overs are 14-3 (82.4%), going over the total by a whopping 8.6 points per game.

The 8.6 points-per-game margin is the widest to the over or under through one week of the preseason in Bet Labs (since 2005).

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Just how wide has the margin been? 10-point teasers on the over are 17-0 in the preseason entering Week 2.

For comparison sake, through one week of the preseason last year, the under was actually 13-3, going under the total by 3.8 points per game.

Where did we end up after Week 1? In the remaining 31 preseason games after Week 1 last year, the under went 13-17-1 (43.3%).

Not only that: Through the regular season and playoffs last year, the under went 155-128-2 (54.8%), profiting a $100 bettor $1,319, the most profitable season for under bettors since 2005.

In Week 1 of the preseason, the average over/under this year has been 35, with the average total points scored per game sitting at 43.6.

For comparison over the last five years, the average over/under of 35 through a full preseason would be the lowest single-year total and it's dropped every year.

Average NFL Preseason Over/Under — Last 5 Years

2022: 35 (through Week 1)
2021: 35.8
2020: 35.8
2019: 37.8
2018: 38.4
2017: 38.8

So, we've seen low totals. But books are already adjusting.

As of Monday at 12 p.m. ET, totals for Week 2 games are up 5.4 points per game at an average of 40.4.

What about scoring? Games are averaging 43.6 points per game in the 2022 preseason. The previous four years haven't eclipsed 40 points per game on average any season.

One possible culprit for more scoring opportunities could be an increase in penalties. As we discussed last week when the NFL announced their "point of emphasis" direction on penalties.

"Utilizing our Action Predictive Analytics NFL play-by-play data, 37 illegal contact penalties were called in the NFL last season, which was 42 penalties fewer than were called the season before in 2020 (a total of 79).

With that data in mind, the NFL has asked its officials to include illegal contact among its “points of emphasis” for this season."

Well, in Week 1 of the preseason, officials threw 15 flags for illegal contact according to ESPN.

Fifteen flags for illegal contact in Week 1 of the preseason, when they threw just 37 all of last year. Definitely something to monitor going forward across the league.

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