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NFL Referee Betting Trends to Know for the Divisional Round

Jan 11, 2019 9:10 PM EST
Credit:

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: NFL referee John Hussey (35)

  • John Hussey, John Parry, Ron Torbert and Carl Cheffers will lead the four crews officiating the games this weekend.
  • Using Bet Labs, we analyze against-the-spread and over/under trends for games officiated by these referees.

Grab your whistle and put on your striped shirt, it’s time to preview the Divisional Round referees. John Hussey, John Parry, Ron Torbert and Carl Cheffers will lead the four crews officiating the games this weekend.

Referees are expected to be impartial, but they do have tendencies that bettors can exploit. Using the Bet Labs database, we highlight an interesting trend for each ref officiating the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.

Before we begin, it would be unwise to place a wager based solely on the past results of the referee officiating the game. This is just one more piece of information to make you a more informed gambler.

Note: Records include regular season and playoff games since 2003.

John Hussey: Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5) vs. Indianapolis Colts

Jan. 12, 4:35 p.m. ET | NBC

  • Favorites: 32-29-1 ATS (52.5%, +0.91 units)
  • Home Teams: 32-27-1 ATS (54.2%, +3.14 units)
  • Overs: 23-38-1 (37.7%, -16.08 units)
  • Chiefs: 1-1 ATS
  • Colts: 2-1 ATS

The under is 38-23-1 (62.3%) in games that Hussey has officiated since 2015. One reason that it has been profitable to bet the under when Hussey refs is that he doesn’t throw as many flags.

According to Pro Football Reference, there have been 11.06% fewer penalty yards per game relative to the average official when Hussey has been in charge this season. Fewer penalty yards likely leads to fewer first downs and thus less scoring.

John Parry: Los Angeles Rams (-7) vs. Dallas Cowboys

Jan. 12, 8:15 p.m. ET | FOX

  • Favorites: 84-80-4 ATS (51.2%, +0.74 units)
  • Home Teams: 81-81-4 (50.0%, -3.99 units)
  • Overs: 91-75-2 (54.8%, +13.04 units)
  • Rams: 6-0 ATS
  • Cowboys: 8-6 ATS

A majority of tickets are on the over and with Parry rocking the white cap for Rams-Cowboys the over looks even more enticing. Since Parry donned the striped shirt for the first time in 2008, the over has gone 91-75-2 (55%) in games that he has officiated.

49 points is a big total, but that hasn’t kept the over from hitting in past games that Parry oversees. In high-total games with over/unders of 45 or more points, the over has gone 43-31 (58.1%).

Ron Torbert: New England Patriots (-4) vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Jan. 13, 1:05 p.m. ET | CBS

  • Favorites: 44-32-2 ATS (57.9%, +10.54 units)
  • Home Teams: 33-42-2 ATS (44.0%, -10.41 units)
  • Overs: 42-36 (53.8%, +3.64 units)
  • Patriots: 4-0 ATS
  • Chargers: 3-3 ATS

New England has never lost or failed to cover in a game that Torbert has referred. The most recent Patriots matchup that Torbert officiated was last year’s Divisional Round game against the Tennessee Titans.

The Pats were 13.5-point favorites and easily dispatched the Titans winning 35-14. Tobert’s crew penalized Tennessee 10 times for 62 yards while New England was only flagged four times for 37 yards.

Carl Cheffers: New Orleans Saints (-8) vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Jan. 13, 4:40 p.m. ET | FOX

  • Favorites: 82-86-1 ATS (48.8%, -7.24 units)
  • Home Teams: 81-85-1 ATS (48.8%, -7.14 units)
  • Overs: 84-82-3 (50.6%, -1.48 units)
  • Saints: 9-3 ATS
  • Eagles: 4-8 ATS

It’s a small sample, but the Saints are 11-1 straight up and 8-3 against the spread when Cheffers officiates their games. I wouldn’t get too excited about this trend if you are betting New Orleans, its not like Cheffers is showing blatant favoritism for Drew Brees & Co.

In 12 games with Cheffers, the Saints have committed 89 penalties for 859 penalty yards (71.6 per game).

Saints opponents have been flagged 91 times for 718 yards or just 59.8 per game. If the Saints continue accumulating more penalty yards than its opponents with Cheffers is the ref their straight up and ATS records are bound to regress.

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