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There’s some general disagreement about who will win tonight’s NFL season opener between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, but one thing seems certain.
It’s going to be a shootout.
This, of course, should come as no surprise. It’s the first game of the NFL season, and bettors and fans want to see some points.
Correction: They want to see a lot of points. Points by the bundle. So many points that we’ll lose track of them all. We’ve waited seven months for football to return, and surely they won’t torture us with a lackluster offensive effort, right?
Sixty-five percent of the public has bet the over, yet the number has dropped from 47 to 45.
We’ve written a couple posts in the past on public betting in nationally televised games, but here’s the general conclusion: The majority of the public will bet the over in almost every big game, even though the under hits slightly more often.
When 60 percent or more of the public was on the over in Sunday Night Football games from 2006 to 2010, the under hit 59 percent of the time.
Got all that?
From a post last summer on public betting in Sunday Night Football games:
In the total five-year period, the public bet the over in 79 of 86 games (92% of the time). In 42 games, 60% or more of the public was on the over, where they went 17-24-1 (.415).
Now, that changed a bit last year. The over went 12-6 on Sunday Night Football games, but in cases where 60 percent of the public bet the over, it went 4-4.
So, what does all this mean?
On a one-game basis, likely nothing. The Giants and Cowboys could very well come out and torch through the defenses from the beginning. That’s what happened with the Saints and Packers in the opener last year, a 42-34 Green Bay victory with an over/under of 47.5.
But it’s very likely that oddsmakers opened tonight’s total up a point or two “too high,” knowing that the flood of public money on the over would balance out all the sharper money coming in on the under.
Having that information could give you the small edge you’re looking for when betting tonight’s game.