NFL Betting Trends- Wagering on the Total Line


Chicago’s 13-6 victory over Detroit this past Monday night wrapped-up Week 7 of the NFL regular season and while the underdogs have provided a clear advantage so far when betting on the sides, the early results on the total line have been fairly even.

When looking at all the games played, 51.5 percent have gone OVER the total and 48.5 have stayed UNDER. Certain weeks have been out of balance such as Week 3 when 10 of the 16 games stayed UNDER and in Week 6 when 10 of 14 games went OVER, but for the most part the Oddsmakers have done an excellent job of keeping things even all season long.

The trick to successfully wagering on the total line is to have a thorough understanding of each team’s tendencies when it comes to putting points on the board as well as its defense’s ability to keep opponents out of the end zone. Here is a look at a few teams that have favored the OVER and UNDER through the first seven weeks.

Teams Favoring the OVER

The team at the top of the list with five of their first six games going OVER is the New Orleans Saints. When you look at their overall numbers this should come as no big surprise. The Saints are ranked third in the NFL in scoring with an average of 29.3 points a game, but ranked 30th in points allowed; giving-up an average of 30.3 points a game. This is a perfect storm for games going OVER the total no matter how high the line is set.

There are six teams in the league where the total has gone OVER in five of their first seven games including New England, Washington and Green Bay. The one thing that these three teams have in common is an offense that has shown the ability to light-up the scoreboard. The Patriots are ranked first in scoring with 31 points a game with the Redskins (28.7) and Packers (26.3) also in the top five. The other thing that these three teams have in common is a defense that is in the bottom-third of the league in points allowed.

Teams Favoring the UNDER

The NFC West has a stranglehold on this category with Seattle and Arizona having six of their first seven games stay UNDER the total. Both teams have been playing excellent defense and ranked near the top of the league in points allowed. Couple this with the fact that the Seahawks are averaging just 16.6 points a game and the Cardinals are only slightly better at 17.7 points and these two form the perfect combination for the UNDER play no matter how low the lines are set.

Minnesota and New York have the second-best percentage in this category with five of their first seven games staying UNDER. These results could possibly be heavily influenced by the betting public. The Vikings are one of the biggest surprises this season at 5-2 after winning just three games all last year. It sometimes takes the Oddsmakers and the bettors some time to catch-up on this season’s trends verse last year. In 2011, Minnesota was ranked 31st in points allowed and so far this season it is ranked ninth.

The same could be said for the Giants. They are still one of the highest scoring teams in the NFL, so total lines will naturally be set higher for their games, but New York’s defense has stepped to the plate to keep the total points scored in their games much lower than expected. In 2011, the defending Super Bowl Champs were ranked 26th in the NFL in points allowed and this year they are ranked 13th.

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Dave Schwab

DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.

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