Live Betting Lines: NFL 3rd Quarter Analysis

The Broncos lead the Ravens 21-17. Peyton Manning faces a key third down when the referee blows his whistle and it’s time for another TV timeout. It’s the end of the third quarter and if you are watching your Live Odds page, you will start to see numbers pop up all over the screen. While the spreads and juice of the live betting lines will vary at different sportsbooks, you ask yourself: Is there value in betting the Ravens to win the game outright?

The obvious first step is to look at past games that fit this scenario. But with only a couple of minutes, you don’t have time to do all that research. Luckily for you, we did it already. Digging through our archives, we found that visiting teams down 4 at the end of the third quarter went 59-150 for a 28.2% winning percentage. That puts the break-even moneyline at +254.

Below is a table that shows visitors at each scenario from tied to down 14 points and how they have performed:

3rd Quarter Margin Wins Losses Win % Breakeven ML
Tied 160 180 47.1% +113
Down 1 54 68 44.3% +126
Down 2 28 48 36.8% +171
Down 3 97 193 33.4% +199
Down 4 59 150 28.2% +254
Down 5 14 52 21.2% +371
Down 6 37 111 25.0% +300
Down 7 60 292 17.0% +487
Down 8 11 83 11.7% +755
Down 9 13 48 21.3% +369
Down 10 29 229 11.2% +790
Down 11 16 143 10.1% +894
Down 12 4 46 8.0% +1150
Down 13 8 128 5.9% +1600
Down 14 13 219 5.6% +1685

Here is the exact same table for home teams:

3rd Quarter Margin Wins Losses Win % Breakeven ML
Tied 180 160 52.9% -113
Down 1 51 62 45.1% +122
Down 2 27 35 43.6% +130
Down 3 122 175 41.1% +143
Down 4 79 132 37.4% +167
Down 5 23 25 47.9% +109
Down 6 39 95 29.1% +244
Down 7 88 217 28.9% +247
Down 8 12 57 17.4% +475
Down 9 7 43 14.0% +614
Down 10 44 155 22.1% +352
Down 11 8 85 8.6% +1063
Down 12 7 34 17.1% +486
Down 13 8 71 10.1% +888
Down 14 9 135 6.3% +1500

When comparing the two tables, a couple of trends immediately stand out.  The first is that home-field advantage is once again proven to exist with home teams having a substantially lower break-even point for almost every scenario.  The second is that there are some clear outliers in the data.  For example, home teams down 9 won 14.0% of games but when they were down 10, that percentage increased to 22.1%.

Obviously we would expect teams down 9 to win more games than teams down 10.  We sometimes get unexpected results due to the small sample size of the NFL compared to other sports, so we normalize the data to get a better idea of what to expect.  Below is a chart that shows how away teams have actually performed (blue line) compared with how we would expect them to perform (red line) using polynomial normalization.

 

 

Reading the chart you can see that teams performed better than their expected output when down by 9 and 6 points and underperformed when down 8 or 5 points.  Using this new polynomial function (red line), we can come up with expected break-even moneylines rather than basing them off of past results.  First for visitors:

3rd Quarter Margin Actual Win % Breakeven ML Expected Win % Expected ML
Tied 47.1% +113 47.2% +112
Down 1 44.3% +126 42.2% +137
Down 2 36.8% +171 37.5% +167
Down 3 33.4% +199 33.1% +202
Down 4 28.2% +254 29.0% +245
Down 5 21.2% +371 25.3% +296
Down 6 25.0% +300 21.8% +358
Down 7 17.0% +487 18.7% +434
Down 8 11.7% +755 15.9% +527
Down 9 21.3% +369 13.5% +642
Down 10 11.2% +790 11.3% +783
Down 11 10.1% +894 9.5% +954
Down 12 8.0% +1150 8.0% +1153
Down 13 5.9% +1600 6.8% +1373
Down 14 5.6% +1685 5.9% +1589

And also for home teams:

3rd Quarter Margin Actual Win % Breakeven ML Expected Win % Expected ML
Tied 52.9% -113 52.4% -105
Down 1 45.1% +122 48.6% +106
Down 2 43.5% +130 44.9% +123
Down 3 41.1% +143 41.2% +143
Down 4 37.4% +167 37.7% +166
Down 5 47.9% +109 34.2% +193
Down 6 29.1% +244 30.8% +225
Down 7 28.9% +247 27.4% +265
Down 8 17.4% +475 24.2% +314
Down 9 14.0% +614 21.0% +376
Down 10 22.1% +352 17.9% +458
Down 11 8.6% +1063 14.9% +571
Down 12 17.1% +486 12.0% +735
Down 13 10.1% +888 9.1% +996
Down 14 6.3% +1500 6.4% +1475

Obviously there are other factors such as field position, who has the ball, and public perception that can influence these in-game lines, but these tables are a good starting point to look at if you want to bet on some exciting fourth quarter comebacks this weekend.

One comment on “Live Betting Lines: NFL 3rd Quarter Analysis
  1. Since I’m 2-0 on the site, I thought everyone would enjoy my gold pick. Take the Ravens and the points. Ray Lewis is going to have his team ready to play. He retires after this year, so the team will be focused. They are as close to being healthy as they have been all year. Remember they were 9-2 before he got hurt. This line is way to big. The Ravens have a chance to win the AFC. Good luck !

Say something

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with a grey bar.

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>