With the new helmet rule and more penalties at the forefront of the NFL preseason conversation, over bettors rode the wave of flags to a very profitable Week 1. Eleven of 16 games finished over the closing total, and by an average of 6.31 points.
It was only one week, but sportsbooks have already made major adjustments to totals for Week 2.
In Week 1, the average over/under closed at just 35.56 with the slate ultimately averaging 41.88 points per game. Not surprisingly, the average current total at Pinnacle for Week 2 checks in at 41.19 points, very close to last week’s average points scored.
To put this in perspective, the highest Week 1 over/under was 37.5 in the New England Patriots-Washington Redskins game. In Week 2, every single total is higher than 37.5. In fact, all but two games include over/unders of 40 or above.
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The key question for bettors is whether the adjustment is warranted, or if it’s an overreaction to Week 1 as oddsmakers attempt to protect themselves from the inevitable onslaught of over money coming in Week 2.
According to Bet Labs, unders are 127-103-4 (55.2%) in NFL preseason games with closing totals of 40 and above since 2005. When the closing total is 42 or greater — which is the current number for five Week 2 matchups — that percentage increases to 57.1%.
There’s still plenty of time between now and the start of preseason Week 2, so be sure to check in at The Action Network’s Live NFL Odds page for updated betting odds and public betting data.