Is this Australian Rules football? Because it’s the season of the (down) UNDER!
The NFL has been on a historic pace this season when it comes to totals going UNDER, and it’s unclear exactly why.
The UNDER is 63-44-1 across all games this season, meaning just shy of 60 percent of games have gone UNDER the number. And that incredible number is down from about 70 percent of the UNDERs hitting after three weeks or so.
The number was bound to regress from 70 percent, and should move down a little more toward the average as the season goes along, but this season looks like it might just be one for the Aussies.
There are also a few trends and interesting tidbits we can pull out when looking at when, how and why teams are hitting the UNDER, as well as which teams tend to be involved.
When The Total Goes UNDER
OVER/UNDER Betting results by Kickoff time
|1 p.m. (ET)||24-34-0|
|4 p.m. (ET) kickoff||10-15-1|
It should come as no surprise to anyone who has had to sit through Thursday and Monday Night Football this season that UNDERs are more common in the late games. It could be a coincidence of schedule-making, it could be a lack of rest for teams playing on Thursdays, but most of those games have been low-scoring duds.
Next, we have games within the same division (and out of division) and games within the same conference (and out of conference).
OVER/UNDER Betting results by Division
Predictably, there are plenty of low-scoring games when teams play within their own divisions. The AFC South and NFC West stand out right away with some interesting teams in the mix for those matchups.
It makes sense the NFC West would be featured as the Cardinals, Rams and 49ers have all had worse offensive production than many thought they would. But the AFC South includes teams with low expectations like the Texans and Jaguars. Those totals would presumably already be low, and yet the teams are hitting them anyway.
OVER/UNDER Betting results by Conference
When we look at conference totals, UNDERs are hitting just above the league average when both teams play in the same conference. When the game involves teams in different conferences, the UNDER is only hitting just above 50 percent of the time.
This phenomenon seems logical as teams within the same conference will likely know each other better, and those numbers include divisional games.
Now let’s look at totals broken down by stadium.
OVER/UNDER Betting results by Stadium:
|SoFi Stadium (Los Angeles)||3-5-0|
|NRG Stadium (Houston)||1-1-0|
|Soldier Field (Chicago)||1-2-0|
|Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta)||1-2-0|
|Ford Field (Detroit)||3-0-0|
|Hard Rock Stadium (Miami)||0-4-0|
|Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte)||2-3-0|
|MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, NJ)||2-5-0|
|Paycor Stadium (Cincinnati)||1-2-0|
|Nissan Stadium (Nashville)||1-2-0|
|U.S. Bank Stadium (Minneapolis)||2-1-0|
|State Farm Stadium (Phoenix)||2-2-0|
|AT&T Stadium (Dallas)||0-4-0|
|Lumen Field (Seattle)||1-2-0|
|GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City)||1-2-0|
|TIAA Bank Field (Jacksonville)||0-3-0|
|Caesars Superdome (New Orleans)||2-1-0|
|FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland)||4-0-0|
|Acrisure Stadium (Pittsburgh)||1-2-0|
|M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore)||1-3-0|
|Levi’s Stadium (San Francisco)||1-2-0|
|Allegiant Stadium (Las Vegas)||2-0-1|
|Empower Field at Mile High (Denver)||0-4-0|
|Lambeau Field (Green Bay)||1-2-0|
|Highmark Stadium (Buffalo)||1-1-0|
|Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia)||2-1-0|
|Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)||2-1-0|
|Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)||1-2-0|
|Raymond James Stadium (Tampa)||1-2-0|
|Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (London)||2-0-0|
Certain NFL stadiums have a reputation as being UNDER or OVER stadiums due to weather or rowdy crowds, and it is interesting to see how the total performs on each of these fields.
While many of these records serve as essentially the home total record for the team, there are a couple places where multiple teams play, including overseas for games in London, England.
It should come as no surprise that Empower Field where the Broncos play has yet to see an OVER. The Broncos’ only OVER game this season was in Vegas, and all four of their home games have gone way UNDER the number.
Hard Rock Stadium in Miami is interesting, as the Dolphins have been a part of two very high-scoring games, but both were on the road. All four of their home games have gone UNDER, and the other game they played was a low-scoring Thursday Night Football game in Cincinnati.
The only other stadium yet to experience an OVER is TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, another interesting occurrence as all four Jags road games have gone OVER the total.
Conversely, fans in Cleveland and Detroit have been used to high-flying affairs as neither city has seen an UNDER yet.
The Lions’ climate-controlled dome and combo of good offense and bad defense makes their number logical. But the Lake Erie winds haven’t seemed to affect scoring in Cleveland, and in fact playing at home seems to be good for the home offense as the Browns are 4-0 on the OVER at home and 1-2 on the OVER on the road.
Here’s a look at every team’s totals this season.
Betting Totals By Team
Upon further review, it’s easy to see a common thread among the teams hitting the UNDER more often.
The Rams, Bucs, 49ers, Broncos, Bengals, Packers, Cowboys and Bills totals have hit the UNDER a combined 41 times with only 11 OVERs. All those teams were supposed to have high-flying offenses, and while a couple of them have been, many have disappointed relative to expectations (Rams, Bucs, Broncos).
On the flip side, Seattle, Detroit, Jacksonville and Cleveland didn’t have huge expectations in terms of offensive production, and the four are a combined 17-10 on the OVER.
So why is all this happening this season? There could be a few reasons. It could simply be variance, it could be coincidence or scheduling.
I think it could also be a case of some of the aging star quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford and Russell Wilson struggling all at once without a big influx of QB talent on other teams.
The 2021 first-round QB draft class of Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Mac Jones was supposed to be historic, but none of the five have really looked like stars and at least two or three haven’t even looked like starters. Those two phenomena occurring simultaneously has affected the league, along with a weak QB class in 2022 that had only one (struggling) QB picked in Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett.
What looked like the age of the QB on the horizon has quickly fizzled.
That said, I still expect there to be more OVERs moving forward and I doubt that 60 percent of the games will go UNDER the number.
Sportsbooks will likely begin to adjust the numbers down and have lower totals overall too, which is a great opportunity to bet some OVERs and take advantage of the pendulum swing we were already watching for anyway.