Saturday, December 9, 2023

NFL Live Betting Week 11: How We’re Live Betting Monday Night Football

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Monday Night Football in Week 11 is a rematch of Super Bowl LVII between the Chiefs and Eagles. It’s also a potential game of the year candidate, with both teams in position to lead their conference with a win tonight.

With that said, betting markets aren’t anticipating a shootout like in last year’s Super Bowl that produced 73 total points. The total has fallen to 45.5 after opening three or so points higher.

Here’s what that means for our live betting tonight on Monday Night Football.

The Live Bets We’re Targeting on Monday Night Football in NFL Week 11

Eagles at Chiefs: Under With a Chiefs Lead, Over With an Eagles lead

While the Chiefs still have a reputation for being an explosive offensive team, their identity has shifted somewhat in 2023. They rank fourth in overall DVOA on defense, but “just” sixth in offensive DVOA. While they’re still obviously an excellent offense, that has led to some closer, slower-paced games this season.

On the other hand, Philadelphia is one of the most aggressive offenses in the league — which covers up their poor pass defense. They rank 22nd in DVOA against the pass, forcing them to continue to attack on offense with the knowledge that their opponents have a chance to catch up against their passing defense.

The pace splits here don’t give us much to go by, but neither team has spent significant time trailing by multiple scores. While this one should technically play faster with a Chiefs lead, Philadelphia has played the second-fewest snaps in the league while trailing by at least a touchdown, so we can mostly ignore those splits.

The bigger edge here is based on the strengths of both defenses. Kansas City has been excellent against the pass, ranking third in defensive DVOA through the air — but just 20th against the run. As mentioned already, the Eagles are considerably worse against the pass.

Therefore, both offenses should be more efficient if Kansas City is throwing more, and less efficient with the Eagles throwing more. The obvious implication here is to the total. An ideal scenario would be the Chiefs racing off to a quick lead and driving the total up, or the Eagles finally pulling away in a slow-paced affair that drags the total down.

Beyond that, there’s also an opportunity to bet on the Chiefs spread, should they flip from 2.5-point favorites to underdogs. The Eagles leaky pass defense presents plenty of opportunities for comebacks. If we do pull the trigger on a spread bet, keep an eye out for opportunities to hedge or middle that position by taking the Eagles as underdogs as well.

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 games that are faster or slower than expected 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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