NFL Scoring Down, Bookies Adjusting
by Mike Hayes - 09/29/2006
Overs finally fared marginally better than unders in terms of NFL totals last weekend. However, scoring remains down significantly from last season.
Overs posted a 7-6-1 mark in the third week of NFL action, but unders have been successful at a better than 60 percent clip on the season at 27-16-2. A $100 bet on each under would have so far produced a profit of better than $800.
Through three weeks there have been an average of 37.5 points scored in each NFL game, down two points from the 39.5 posted over the first three weeks last season.
Historically, point totals tend to rise as the season progresses and offenses begin to click. That has been the case this year as well, but totals just haven't reached last year's levels or risen as quickly.
An average of 41.6 points were scored in games last week, a significant increase over the week one average of 34.5 points. Last season, however, the week one average was 38 points and the week three average better than 45.
Just one team, the Jets, have a perfect 3-0 record as an over play. As Doc's pointed out last week, the Jets offense has performed much better than anyone anticipated before the season began. As a result, totals have been set low and the Jets have managed to do more than their part to exceed them. For last weekend's game at Buffalo the total was set at 34.5 and was easily surpassed in the 28-20 Jets win.
That makes this week's game between the Jets and Colts one of the more interesting for totals players. The number has been set at 45.5, second highest behind the 46.5 assigned to the Monday night Eagle-Packer game. The Colts enter averaging 30 points per game and the Jets have been scoring approximately 22 per contest.
There are three teams with a perfect 3-0 mark as under plays. The Falcons, with their solid defense and sporadic offense are no surprise here, but the Broncos and Rams are. Through three games Denver is averaging just 12 points scored and is giving up 10 while the Rams are scoring 16 and giving up 15 per contest.
This week the Falcons host the Cardinals and the total has been set at 41.5, a figure that is higher than the average total for each team so far this year. Arizona is scoring 19 points per game and has yielded 21.
The Rams will play host to the Lions in a game where the total has been set at 43.5. This is again an instance where books have assigned a total that is higher than the average to date for either team. The Lions are averaging just 12 points a game and giving up 25.
The lowest totals on the board involves the Seahawks and Bears in Chicago and the Browns hosting the Raiders. In both cases the opening total is 33.5.
The Bears game might be the most intriguing on the board. After scoring 60 points in two weeks the Bears managed just one touchdown against the Vikings in tallying 19 points last week. The Seahawks have rebounded from a nine-point opening week effort to score 63 points over the last two weeks, including 42 points against the Giants last week.
There's not much to say about the Browns and Raiders. The books could set this one at 25 and still find people willing to take the under. The Raiders have managed just six points in two games while the Browns are averaging 15 per game. The Raiders, however, have yielded nearly 30 per game and the Browns nearly 23.
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