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NFL Football Betting: Strongest Over Teams December 17, 2019

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Dec/18/2019

In the past several articles we’ve looked at which NFL teams have performed the best and worst against the pointspread.  We then moved into their performance against the NFL total covering the strongest ‘Under’ teams last time out.  Of all of the previously mentioned scenarios, NFL teams find going ‘Over’ with regularity even more difficult than putting up impressive pointspread records relative to college football teams. You just don’t see teams that sail ‘Over’ the total every week in the NFL like you do in college.  Some of this is due to the concept of parity that we’ve previously discussed.  There’s a baseline of ability that even the worst NFL defenses don’t sink below.  This isn’t the case in college football where some teams’ talent level can be qualitatively superior (or inferior) by a degree not found in the NFL.  With this disclaimer, we’ll continue to look at the NFL teams that have played the most games ‘Over’ the total through the end of action in Week 15. We’ve tracked all 32 NFL teams’ performance against the totals posted at BetOnline.ag this season and the results of our research is outlined below.

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Another reason that NFL teams don’t go ‘Over’ the total to the degree that you’ll see college teams do so is the betting preferences of recreational players.  The ‘public’ loves to play NFL games ‘Over’ the total much in the same way they enjoy betting on favorites.  For this reason, linesmakers often find themselves in a situation where it is most prudent to ‘shade’ totals toward the ‘Under’.  It never hurts to be a contrarian when handicapping NFL football and this is just as true when betting totals as it is when betting against the spread.

STRONGEST ‘OVER’ TEAMS THROUGH THE END OF WEEK 15 OF THE 2019 SEASON

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (11 OVER, 3 UNDER):  Nothing too surprising about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong tendency toward the ‘Over’.  First of all, the Bucs have a lousy defense that ranks #31 in scoring defense allowing 28.4 PPG against and #30 in passing defense.  Their performance against the run (#1 in yards per game allowed) and in total defense is somewhat misleading—their pass defense is so porous that teams seldom bother running the ball against Tampa Bay.  The surprising element about the performance of the 2019 Bucs has been their relatively potent offensive output.  Jameis Winston has yet to prove that he’s a franchise quarterback and particularly when the steps up in class to face a strong opponent.  He’s got 24 interceptions on the season, worst in the NFL.  Much of Winston’s output is also phony—Tampa Bay’s running game is non existent so they pass more often than not.  This is how Winston has 30 TD passes and over 3500 yards passing.  Tampa Bay is also the #3 scoring offense in football putting up 29.7 PPG.

Every situation has shown a strong bias to the ‘Over’ for Tampa Bay.  They’ve gone ‘Over’ in 4 of 5 home games this year as well as 6 of 8 road games.  They also went ‘Over’ in their only neutral site game of the year.  They’ve gone ‘Over’ in 7 of 10 on natural grass and went ‘Over’ in their only game on turf.  They’re 3 for 3 to the ‘Over’ in domed stadiums, ‘Over’ in 4 of 6 as a favorite and 7 of 8 as an underdog.  The only situation where they Bucs haven’t played more games ‘Over’ than ‘Under’ is in their two spots as a road favorite where they’ve got one game with each result.  What’s even more amazing about Tampa Bay’s strong run to the ‘Over’ is that they started their season with a pair of ‘Under’ results at home against San Francisco on 9/8/19 and at Carolina on 9/12/19.  They went ‘Over’ in their next 9 games.  Their only ‘Under’ since the two they played to open the year came on 12/1/19 at Jacksonville.

CAROLINA PANTHERS (10 OVER, 4 UNDER):  The Carolina Panthers are the only other team in the NFL with a double digit ‘Over’ tally this season. There’s not really too much to say about the Panthers’ strong ‘Over’ bias this year.  The Carolina franchise has long had a reputation for playing strong defense but that definitely hasn’t been the case this season as the Panthers are #29 in scoring defense.  Carolina doesn’t have the statistically potent offense that Tampa Bay does but after sputtering with Cam Newton at the helm the Panthers did start to put points on the board with Kyle Allen as quarterback.  Christian McCaffrey has slowed down somewhat as the season has progressed but is still an MVP candidate.  The Panthers’ defense is starting to wear down particularly against the run.  Their rushing defense has allowed 697 yards and eight touchdowns in their last four games.  This weekend’s game against Indianapolis could be another strong spot for the ‘Over’ as both teams’ defenses are banged up and will likely not be effective at stopping what the other wants to do offensively.

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