Using NFL public betting percentages can help predict winners at a high rate
The early-season NFL scoring in the past five years has crept up by more than 20-percent compared to the five-year period prior (2003-2007) so it’s no surprise to see that public betting percentages for Week 1 are flashing to the high-side in 12 of 16 games. According to one sports betting site the action on the “Over” has capped 80-percent in six of those 12 games and it brings up an interesting angle from Joe Q Public (JQP) file from 2012.
MONEY IS ON THE OVER – TEASE “UNDER!”
We’ve been keeping an eye on public betting percentages for sides and totals for 2010, particularly games where there was more than 80-percent action on one side of the bus. Last season in Week 2 we noticed that if you had teased the five JQP totals “Under” in a six-pointer, you would have gone 4-1. The only game that landed out of contention was New Orleans at Carolina (O/U 54), which happened to be the highest overall total on the card. It played over the number by eight points.
Fast-forward to Week 9 and although regular JQP totals were sitting with a pedestrian record of 13 overs and 11 unders, our stats showed that by teasing the 24 games to stay “Under” the record improved to 8-16 O/U. Still just average numbers for a 6-point teaser but this is when the real run began.
Week 9: Regular JQP totals were 1-3 O/U and 6-point teaser picks went 0-4 O/U, moving the record to 8-20 O/U on the season.
Week 10: Flat betting the four hot totals went 3-1 O/U but teasing them under went 1-3 O/U, moving that record to 9-23 O/U on the season.
Week 11: Nothing could keep Indianapolis and New England under (59-24 Pats win) but teasing the five JQP totals down went 1-4 O/U, moving the record to 10-27 O/U on the season.
Week 12: Another sweep this week (0-3 O/U), the fourth of the year, gave the JQP teaser totals a 10-30 O/U (75-percent) record this season.
Week 13: The five JQP totals were 1-4 O/U on their own this week and the one over (Philly at Dallas), cleared by 28 points. The season record for teasers was now 11-34 O/U (76-percent).
Week 14: The JQP totals went 1-3 O/U on their own in Week 14 and the one over, Atlanta at Carolina, only cleared by two points. The season record for teasers is now 11-38 O/U (78-percent) and this was the fifth sweep in 14 weeks.
Week 15: Three more flat unders in Week 15 gave these teaser plays an 11-41 O/U record (79-percent). Sweep count was now at six.
Week 16: Three totals this week went 2-1 O/U on flat bets but a teaser saved one of them so a 1-2 O/U record gave 6-point teasers a 12-43 record (78-percent).
Week 17: Normally a STAY AWAY week for some bettors but we tracked numbers just to close out the season and it finished with a bang. Five JQP totals produced 1 over and 4 unders after a small tease and the final record for 2012 was 13-47 O/U (78-percent).
WHAT’S THE GAMEPLAN?
In the first seven weeks the record was only 8-15 O/U but from Week 8 out the mark improved significantly to 5-32 O/U (86-percent). Will history repeat itself? It’s tough to say but our perspective is that early-season betting of any type should be a little lighter with all sports. It gives you time to soak in the changes and get a real “feel” for what players and coaches are capable of with new teammates or perhaps in new surroundings.
We’ll be tracking results JQP Totals all season and keep you posted as the season progresses. Follow Pick Sixty Sports on twitter for weekly updates and join all of the handicappers over in the EveryEdge forum for NFL picks all season long.