NFL Live Betting Week 7: How We’re Live Betting Saints-Cardinals on Thursday Night Football

NFL Live Betting Week 7: How We’re Live Betting Saints-Cardinals on Thursday Night Football article feature image

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Eno Benjamin (right), Marcus Davenport (left).

We kicked off Week 7 with a matchup between the Saints and Cardinals — and with some more primetime NFL live betting.

Both teams have dealt with a rash of injuries to key players and have disappointing 2-4 records. Things were starting to look up for Arizona with the return of DeAndre Hopkins, but now, with the loss of Marquise Brown for the near future, the Cardinals' offense remains at less than full strength.

Similarly, the Saints will be without Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, starting guard Andrus Peat and Jameis Winston. With both offenses severely hampered, we need to keep those issues in mind when live betting this one.

This is an interesting game, because it provided some fairly clear "over" scenarios that felt less comfortable given the injuries to both offenses. Then, the game started, and things went in a very different direction.

With all that in mind, here's how we're live betting Saints-Cardinals on Thursday Night Football in Week 7.

The Thursday Night Football Scenarios We Were Watching For in Week 7 and the Live Bet We Made

Second Half Overs … or So We Thought

These teams both play faster in the second half of games than the first. The split is roughly a second for Arizona, and nearly three seconds for the Saints.

Obviously, both teams couldn't be behind in this one — at least not at the same time. However, the logic was that either team picking things up could lead to more overall scoring. That's especially the case if the Saints were in the lead, as they've played (in a very limited sample) at one of the fastest paces in the league when leading by seven or more.

As always, the preference was for a situation where the total has dropped even further from the 43.5 pregame line, and/or a situation where we can be confident the Saints will continue to lead. I'd have felt better placing this bet at halftime if the Saints were receiving the second half kickoff, for example.

That's not what happened, though. With the total climbing into the 60s just before halftime, there's no way we could recommend taking the over. As we mentioned pregame, this one was set to play a lot faster with the Saints leading. That's far from the case, with the Cardinals now up by 14. The good news is, there were two defensive touchdowns and a 53 yard receiving score.

With all of those unlikely to be repeated, we'll take the live under at 63.5. For what it's worth, this one projected to play on the slower side if the Cardinals had a commanding lead, as they do.

And don't forget — we're not alone in live betting the NFL's biggest games! Over on "Bet What Happens Live With Dr. Nick!", my predictive analytics colleague Nick Giffen is live at halftime every Monday and Thursday night with his data-based insights.

Like us, Dr. Nick is on the live total (although he managed to snag a 64 — remember, shop around when you're making your bets!).

The Other Scenario We Were Watching For

Player Props — Alvin Kamara

As evidenced in the heading, the biggest edge in the player prop market is on Alvin Kamara. His usage has changed drastically based on the game script he's playing in.

With Jarvis Landry, Michael Thomas, and Adam Troutman all set to miss this game, Kamara is the Saints' best short area receiver. He's a huge part of the passing attack, which we see more of with the Saints trailing.

On the other hand, he's also the best path toward eating up the clock as their best rusher. If the Saints get ahead, he'll be used far more on the ground.

Kamara has 16 targets in the two Saints losses he's been active for, and just 10 in the two wins. Conversely, he has 23 carries in their most recent win, while averaging 17 in their losses.

This one requires a bit of flexibility on how to take advantage, as we could bet rushing or receiving yardage props, or attempts/receptions. Arizona is better defensively against the run. Therefore,  my lean would be receiving yards, but rushing attempts.

How We Approach Live Betting

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.

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