NFL First Half Over/Under Totals Trends

NFL First Half Over/Under Totals Trends

NFL First Half Over/Under Totals Trends
By Rob Veno
Sportsmemo.com

Three weeks ago this blog was used to discuss the popularity of first half and halftime betting with the focus being placed on individual college team totals results. Here, I’m going to re-visit the first half/halftime theme but this will be an examination NFL team results. With one fourth of the season completed for 30 of the 32 teams, there are three that have been extreme moneymakers in first half over/under wagers posting perfect 4-0 records. While the perfection may not continue for an entire season, these teams may be indicating early on how their results are going to tilt for the majority of this season. Maybe a shift is in the works, but either way, here’s a look at what has occurred and what might be on the horizon.

Chicago Bears – The Bears have rewarded any and everybody who has played them to go over the total in the first half of each of their contests. The perfect 4-0 first half O/U record can be partially attributed to the success of their new offense implemented by first year head coach Mark Trestman. Chicago has scored at least 13 points in three of their first halves and averaged 17.75 per game. That’s a recipe for over success since three of their first half closing totals were between 20-21 points and the other was 24. The offense has twice gone over the first half total without any help from the opponent and in the other two games, Chicago produced 52% and 47.6% of the points needed to cash an over wager. However, the Bears defense has been more helpful in this 4-0 run as the opposing quartet of Cincinnati, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Detroit have averaged 18.75 first half points. Three of the four have tallied 14 or more and in two instances, Chicago’s opponent has either equaled or exceeded the first half total on their own. In the majority of over plays, the game is handicapped with the thought process that each team will contribute in a significant way to the scoring. In the case of the Bears first halves thus far, that is obviously the case and there’s even an overflow to make things easier. All four of their games have exceeded the total by more than a field goal and three of them have cleared the hurdle by 14, 19, and 24 points. The buy sign on Chicago first half over may be flashing again this week as their home contest against New Orleans has opened at 24ov-120.

Minnesota Vikings – Another NFC North team with an unblemished 4-0 first half over record. As in the Bears case, solid offense combined with lack of defense have played equal parts in posting that mark. Even with the now injured and very ineffective Christian Ponder, the Vikings scored 14, 21, and 17 first half points which produced 59.6%, 100%, & 82.9% of the points needed to go over the first half total. With backup Matt Cassel at the helm last week in London, Minnesota put up 20 of the 20.5 needed (97.6%). That strong first half output is nearly equaled by the 17.75 first half points they’re yielding on average to opponents. The mixture has made things very easy on those who have been playing Vikings first halves over as they’ve exceeded the number by differentials almost exactly the same as the previously discussed Bears. All four Minnesota contests have been at least 3.5 points better than the closing total and the other three have breezed past by 9.5, 20.5 and 24. There is no chance to capitalize on Minnesota’s first half total this week because they’re on a bye but there’s nothing to suggest this gravy train won’t keep rolling…especially if the strong armed Cassel remains in the saddle coming out of the off week.

NY Giants – Are you serious? New York, with a banged up defense and the NFL’s #1 passing offense for the first two weeks of the season has yet to produce a first half over? That is the case as the Giants are now 0-4 O/U. Their depleted offensive line has seriously hindered the teams’ offensive output the past couple of weeks but prior to that they only managed to score 10 first half points versus Dallas and nine against Denver. While the offense spinning its wheels through the first quarter of the season is surprising enough, it’s the play of the defense that’s probably even more head scratching. The high powered offenses of Dallas and Denver registered a mere 10 and 13 first half points while Carolina and Kansas City scored 17 and 10. Oddsmakers have lined NYG first halves in accordance with the perception of explosive offense and average at best defense which has created enough room to keep the games under.  They’ve stayed below the number by an average of 5.5 points thus far and even though nothing has really gone to form, none of the games have missed the total by double digits. Have to believe there is a correction in the works here for the Giants who won’t remain as bad offensively at the start of games or as good defensively. This week’s contest against the also floundering Philadelphia Eagles shows a first half total of 27.5.

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