66-percent NFL Over/Under system “live” on two of Sunday’s Week 15 matchups
The NFL’s 32 owners met in Houston this week to discuss rich guy stuff, Christmas plans and the future prospects of football in California and Nevada. Little substance comes out of these midseason meetings, at least not stuff they’re telling us about now, but I heard some comments Wednesday from Roger Goodell that set my hamster wheel in motion.
The Commish was bragging about his product while downplaying reports that NFL ratings have declined in 2016. He explained that 70-percent of this year’s games feature teams that are within seven points in the fourth quarter, and how that is what the league is trying to deliver.
Now I don’t know what Goodell meant by saying the NFL is somehow worthy of credit for close games. Maybe he’s suggesting that salary cap and free agency, which in turn led to parity, and yadda yadda. Anyway, I was over Goodell and decided to run some numbers through the database.
CLOSE ONLY COUNTS
The ’70-percent’ stat for games being within seven points in the fourth quarter sounds believable but in reality, only 46-percent of all games this year have been within seven points through 45 minutes. That’s actually down from 47-percent in 2015, so maybe Goodell’s stats are including scores that come within seven points AT ANY POINT during the fourth quarter. Or maybe he’s just scamdicapper in an expensive suit, but I digress (shout out to Sonny P).
Six of 16 games in Week 14 were within seven points through three quarters (38%) and the winners of those six were New England, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Houston, Minnesota and the New York Giants. When these teams play at home the following week during the first-half of the season, there was no immediate trend for betting sides or totals. Beyond Week 10, however, there is a 64-percent angle supporting the “Under” with more than 250 games to back it up.
The two games “live” in Week 15 are Detroit at New York (O/U 41) and Indianapolis at Minnesota (45.5). The record for this system is 91 overs, 160 unders and a couple pushes. On average, these games finished with just over 41 total points scored and the “Under” has a winning record in this profile every season since 2008. I have conflicting data on the Lions-Giants game and that’s a low total but I like the other game chances of staying under.
The Colts have scored 21.8 points per game this year vs. .500 or better teams, padding their stats against the Titans and Packers. Indy has beaten the Titans 11-straight times after this year’s sweep so you have to take those 34-point games with a grain of salt. The win at Lambeau deserves credit but they caught Green Bay at a time when they were handing out 30-burgers on the street.
Minnesota’s defense allowed more than 17 points twice at home this year; once in OT to Detroit and again in Week 11 to Arizona. Indianapolis has the type of offense that can score 20 in this building but other than Harrison Smith, the Vikings D is healthy. Nothing is going to come easy for Andrew Luck.
The Vikings offense is going to have some room vs. Indy and Mike Zimmer has taken full advantage of non-conference games, going 10-1 ATS since starting here, but he’s also 10-23-4 with any total greater than 42. The Vikings are 2-6-1 O/U at home off a road win and Green Bay is on-deck. They need a huge game out of the front seven and if they can hold the Colts to around 17, this one stays under.