There’s been a lot of talk about the over/under in the Lions-Saints matchup today in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs.
Two explosive offenses combined with shaky defenses. Inside a dome. On turf. In a playoff game.
It’s the perfect recipe for an inflated total.
And it’s the perfect chance for the public to jump on the over without second thought. Judging by the Twitter reaction after the matchup was determined on Sunday, and by the fact that 84 percent of public bettors at SportsInsights.com are on the over, that’s just what is happening.
Shockingly, it turned out that oddsmakers weren’t quite that aggressive, instead choosing to release the over/under at a measly 59, which is where it sits currently at both BetOnline and 5Dimes. That’s already a record for a playoff game, breaking the mark of 57 set by Arizona and New Orleans in a 2009 divisional round game.
There have been 10 playoff games with totals in the 50′s (all since 2004), and the record of the over in that scenario is a very non-newsworthy 5-5. The previously mentioned Saints-Cardinals matchup went over — barely — in a 45-14 New Orleans victory.
Other matchups, like a New England-Indianapolis divisional round game in 2004, flew under its posted total of 51 in a 20-3 Patriots’ win.
What’s the highest over/under — regular season or playoffs — in the history of the NFL? That’d be a Week 9 game between San Francisco and St. Louis in 2000, which was set at 62 (the Rams won 34-24).
Here’s a table of all the highest over/unders in playoff history (with help from the amazing tools at sportsdatabase.com):
|2004||Wild Card||Seahawks||Rams||50||STL 27-20 (U)|
|2004||Wild Card||Colts||Broncos||56||IND 49-24 (O)|
|2004||Divisional||Patriots||Colts||51||NE 20-3 (U)|
|2006||Wild Card||Colts||Chiefs||51||IND 23-8 (U)|
|2007||Divisional||Patriots||Jaguars||50||NE 31-20 (O)|
|2008||Wild Card||Cardinals||Falcons||51||ARI 30-24 (O)|
|2008||Wild Card||Chargers||Colts||50||SD 23-17 (U)|
|2009||Divisional||Saints||Cardinals||57||NO 45-14 (O)|
|2009||Conference||Saints||Vikings||53.5||NO 31-28 (O)|
|2009||Super Bowl||Colts||Saints||55.5||NO 31-17 (U)|