Lions late collapse helps NFL trend of overs hit on opening weekend
For fans and under bettors alike, the final quarter of the Detroit Lions opening weekend game against the Chicago Bears was devastating.
The Lions were cruising through three quarters, up 23-6, when the wheels came off the wagon. Three fourth-quarter touchdown passes from Mitch Trubisky, plus a stunning drop in the final seconds, allowed the Bears to pull out a 27-23 win.
It was the second straight season-opening collapse from Detroit, which blew an 18-point lead to Arizona last season to tie 27-27.
The late surge Sunday allowed the game to push over, which was set at 42.5 before the contest. The over total was one of 10 on the weekend (10-6 overall), and if you take only the games from Sunday, that number was 9-4.
Is this because of the limited preseason games? Maybe because there was less time to get work for the defenses around the league? Has the NFL become a pass first league? Are the kickers getting more accurate?
All of these things could be part of it, and the fact that the passing numbers for quarterbacks seem to be going off the charts each season has probably meant that the offenses are going to be in a position to score more points. So for bettors, and fans (who love to see points), is this a trend that is going to continue into Week 2, Week 3, and beyond?
Chicago was actually near the bottom of the league last year hitting the over (6-10), while the Lions were near the top, tied for third at 10-6, thanks in large part to their defense.
This week’s opponent, Green Bay, put up 43 points last week in a win over the Vikings, but also allowed 34. The Packers were 8-10 last year covering the over (including playoffs) and must be licking their chops getting ready to face that Detroit defense that showed up in the fourth quarter last week.
Bookmakers said that they have Green Bay as a six-point favorite, and the over/under is pushing 50 at 49.5, one of nine games with over/under totals above 45. Four of those games are currently either a half-point away or above 50: Detroit Green Bay, New Orleans Las Vegas (49.5), Baltimore Houston (51.5), and Atlanta Dallas (52.5).
That may actually be a low number compared to the next few weeks.
With the number of good quarterbacks in the league now, and especially the number of talented younger signal callers, this league may be headed for an unprecedented period of offense. Will the over.under totals begin to make shifts upward?
This has already happened and might need to be adjusted more. But for now, take advantage, especially with the team overs, as much as possible.
Predictions for NFL Week 2
The Chiefs are going to keep winning under Patrick Mahomes, and their team total of 28.5 looks tempting. Anytime it is under 30 points, you have to take a serious look at it. The point spread of -8.5 might be a little high, but alternate lines could work.
The Packers (-6) should beat Detroit, but the best play this weekend could be Kyler Murray’s Arizona Cardinals. They are -6.5 at home against Washington. The team total of 27.5 could fall as well, as Murray starts to stake his claim as an MVP candidate.