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Odds and Ends

Totals 57 and up fly over at 71% clip

by Sam Panayotovich
Updated On: September 30, 2020, 6:11 pm ET

A wise sports bettor told me many years ago to be careful with very low and very high point totals in the National Football League. He would constantly say things like "there's a reason the Jets total is 39 and the Packers total is 57."

When I first started betting on sports, I would look at the board and salivate at the thought of betting Over 39 points. How could it lose?! Then the Jets would score 10 points and lose 17-10.  

Those lessons are the first things I think about when I see a total as high as the one this Monday night. PointsBet Sportsbook is dealing the Falcons-Packers total at O/U 57 points. And who knows how high that number will get by kickoff.

According to Rotoworld's Edge Finder, the wise sports bettor was definitely onto something. NFL games with totals of 57 points or higher have flown Over 20 of 28 times (71.4%) this millennium. A $100 bettor is up over $1,000. 

The trend is even stronger if you examine the last 17 games: 13 Overs, 4 Unders. 

20-and-8 Overs

In fact, the last time we saw a point total this high on Monday Night Football, the Rams and Chiefs combined for 105 points. That total closed at 61.5 too. Just a little bit off, huh?

Two days ago, I wrote that NFL games are averaging 51 points. That was before Kansas City beat Baltimore 34-20. My favorite part of that column was a quote from a bookmaker that will remain anonymous. He was complaining about getting pounded with Over bets in primetime. 

"It's honestly getting ridiculous," he told NBC Sports. "Take that Saints-Packers game last night, I saw that total (O/U 53) and knew it was probably a loser. Teams fall out of bed and score 30 in the NFL. Especially the good offensive teams."

Bettors should never ever feel bad for bookmakers. Bettors should also be careful betting under high point totals, especially in the NFL. A total that high is where it is for a reason. 

The numbers definitely don't lie.

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Sam Panayotovich

Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst from the South Side of Chicago. He'll probably pick against your favorite team a lot. Follow him @spshoot