It’s the last week before Thanksgiving, and we have a solid Sunday slate with 12 total games before we head into the disjointed week.
That gives us plenty of opportunities to pick and choose our favorite spots during the afternoon games, rather than being locked into certain spots. Let’s get into it.
Our NFL Live Bets in Week 11 on Sunday
For the second week in a row, the Cowboys are a huge favorite on Sunday. Last week, that resulted in a 49-17 victory over the Giants, with the Cowboys easily blowing past the total for the game on their own.
This week the total is 42.5, and we could see the Cowboys eclipse that on their own. They’ve not been a team to take their foot off the gas this season, with four games of at least 38 points — and none of them because their opponent pushed the pace.
However, last week’s game wasn’t exactly a wire-to-wire domination. Dallas started slow, scoring just seven points in the first quarter before adding 35 more in the middle periods. Their blowout wins over the Jets and Patriots also saw just seven and 10 first quarter points respectively. That could continue here, particularly against a Panthers team that’s been fairly solid defensively against the pass.
Carolina also has a more functional offense than the Giants — at least, the Giants under Tommy DeVito — raising the chances that they could find a score or two of their own at some point.
We’ll need to be quick on this one, jumping on any total that falls below the 40ish point mark, while trying to time it leading into a Cowboys offensive possession. On the flip side, if the Cowboys light up the scoreboard from the beginning, a late third quarter under bet is also firmly in play.
This one is fairly straightforward. Both teams involved are aggressive as long as the game remains close, combining for about 2.5-seconds quicker pace than the league average in those scenarios. However, both teams also play considerably slower than league average when leading and trailing.
The Jets are unwilling to pick up the pace too much when playing from behind, with Zach Wilson likely to make things worse more often than he makes things better. Instead, they hope for their defense to make some plays and flip field position until the game gets truly out of hand.
We’re guessing a bit on the Bills side, given their midseason firing of offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey. Still, they’ve struggled to put away bad teams this year, switching to a conservative approach when leading that occasionally leads to disaster — like in Week 1 against these same Jets.
The most comfortable play here would be the Bills building a commanding lead early, driving the total up from the pregame 39.5 so we could take the under. It’s hard to see the Jets getting much going if they’re forced to throw the ball from behind, and Buffalo is unlikely to play too aggressively from the front.
Still, if the total drops in a hard-fought first half, we’d be willing to take a leap on the over. Both teams struggle to defend the run (ranking 22nd and 29th in yards per carry allowed), so a game script where both teams can still run the ball should promote more scoring.
NFL Live Betting for Week 11 Sunday Night Football
With Denver as slight favorites in this one, we’re fortunate to have a situation where the largest projectable edge is also the likeliest scenario.
There’s two parts to that edge. First is the pace. Minnesota plays slightly faster than league average while trailing, with Denver playing very quick with a lead. All other scenarios point to a slightly slower than average game script.
More importantly, Minnesota has been a way better offense when passing than running, even with Josh Dobbs at the helm. His two games under center have averaged 29 points for the Vikings, even without two of his top three wideouts healthy last week. While he’s unfortunately still missing Justin Jefferson, K.J. Osborn is likely to play this week, giving Minnesota plenty of viable weapons.
With the Broncos featuring the league’s worst pass defense by DVOA, it’s easy to see the Vikings putting up points if forced to play more pass-heavy. On the Broncos side, they ranks sixth in the NFL in yards per rush attempt, and 26th in yards per pass attempt — and they’re taking on a defense far better at stopping the pass.
All of which points to this game going over if Denver can somehow get off to a lead. The pregame total is a modest 41.5, but we’re more worried about a matching scenario than the total moving our way. Ideally we’d get both, but the Broncos going up multiple scores would trigger a bet here, even if the total rises somewhat.
How We Approach Live Betting in General
The NFL is perfect for live betting, with the pauses between plays providing plenty of time to get bets in. This season, I’ve built a model to project the pace of play under a variety of in-game scenarios. These include first vs. second half, as well as which team is leading or when the game is within a touchdown.
The primary benefit is for betting totals. If the game is going to be faster or slower than was assumed pregame, the application is obvious. Faster-paced games tend to produce more points. The broad assumption is that the pregame line is roughly efficient, so we want to target spots where we’re getting a better number in the direction that fits the scenario.
Player props also present some interesting opportunities. Sportsbooks are offering a variety of live player props, and faster or slower than expected games create obvious opportunities.
Take a look around various books before placing bets, though. There tends to be more variation between shops in live markets than there is pregame.
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