Frigid Weather Forecast Dropping Patriots-Chiefs Over/Under

Credit:

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Bill Belichick.

Jan 15, 2019, 08:10 AM EST
  • The weather for Sunday's AFC Championship game (6:40 p.m. ET, CBS) between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs is expected to be very cold, with temperatures near single digits.
  • The over/under has dropped from 58.5 to 56 since opening, but cold games have historically gone over the closing total.
  • We look at the possible reasons why this over/under has dropped.

In last week’s NFL Divisional round, bettors got wrapped up in early-week snowstorm forecasts for New England. Andrew Siciliano tweeted about the snow on Monday, the over/under dropped from 47.5 to 45 and, shockingly, the snow forecast did not hold up.

Later in the week, the over/under rose to 47 when it was clear that no snow would fall.

This week, the frigid cold in Kansas City is already making headlines … including the one for this article.

Bill Simmons is already talking about it and even tasked our own John Ewing to dig into the data. Does cold weather impact over/unders?

Not really. At least not in the way you would expect, as overs have performed better in cold games. So why is the total in Kansas City this weekend dropping?

Possible reason #1: Bettors don’t know this

If you didn’t read my weather forecast last week or John Ewing’s cold weather analysis, you’d likely assume that the cold suppressed scoring. However, the only weather element that really drives down scoring is wind.

The Patriots-Chiefs forecast is not calling for windy conditions as of now, but I will keep you posted later in the week.

Possible Reason #2: Sharps hit the under

Weather isn’t everything. An over/under of 58.5/59 is high for an NFL playoff game. It’s quite possible that sharp bettors corrected the market openers and dropped it down to the 56/57 range without giving the weather a thought.

Possible Reason #3: Media hype

I noticed the weather forecast Sunday night. When I first looked, it was saying ~20 degrees. When I checked again, it said 2 degrees by the end of the game. Two.

The current forecasts are mostly around 10 degrees. I planned on writing about this Tuesday, but all this attention from the media has forced my hand.


Adam Schefter and his 7.25 million Twitter followers all know about the forecast. In fact, the over/under dropped from 57 to 56 two minutes after this tweet.

Boston sports radio shows are mentioning the cold temperatures expected in all of their news updates. There’s hundreds of thousands of more people.

It’s all over the place.

This ties in with reason number one as these casual/uninformed bettors see cold and instantly think to bet the under without putting in the research.

If there is no wind expected and this over/under has dropped even more, I expect buyback before game time. I will be back later in the week with an updated forecast.

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