How high is too high?
From 2008 through 2011, NFL Week 3 preseason totals remained fairly constant from year to year. The average total was roughly 38 points, with 85 percent of over/unders listed in the mid-to-upper 30s.
This year, there isn’t a single Week 3 game currently in the 30s. All 14 games have a total of 40.5 or higher, and six games are at 42 or more, including the Packers-Bengals (45) matchup.
After the first two weeks of preseason yielded more overs than unders (by an 18-13 margin), a slight oddsmaker adjustment was expected. But it’s clear that the opening totals weren’t nearly as high as they needed to be, as every game on the Week 3 slate moved at least a full point toward the over.
Gee, wonder why …
The average total in Week 3 games is currently 42.1. That’s nearly five points higher than last year and a full four points higher than what we’re used to seeing.
Two games opened in the upper 30s in Las Vegas (Falcons-Dolphins and Jets-Panthers), and as many as four games opened shy of 40 offshore.
Those numbers, as you might expect, didn’t last long.
Worth noting: The over is 11-9 the last five years on totals of 40 or more. That includes Monday night’s Eagles-Patriots game, which combined for 44 points and cleared the total by the end of the third quarter.
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Preseason Week 3 totals, since 2008
|YEAR||AVG. TOTAL||GAMES IN 30s||Games 42+|