Turf, Temps, and Tornadoes: What to Look for When Betting NFL Totals

Turf, Temps, and Tornadoes: What to Look for When Betting NFL Totals

In our first football summer series piece of the season, we will be examining several factors that can alter the outcome of a total. The majority of public bettors have been on the over in 86.6% of games dating back to 2003. There are plenty of people who almost exclusively bet on the over and won’t be swayed by whatever information they find here. Everyone loves tossing on the “Red Zone” channel and watching some touchdowns. However, if you want to start making some serious coin and take your sports betting level to the next level, consider all of these elements below before placing your next total bet.

Turf vs. Grass

SurfaceOver RecordUnitsROI
Turf818-779-0.1-0.0%
Grass953-970-60.2-3.1%

The “fast track” provided by artificial field turf has indeed favored the over, as many would expect. Grass surfaces often get beat up over the course of a game, especially if there are inclement weather conditions. This can lead to missed field goals, as well as missteps and falls on running and passing plays. Though these blunders can also occur on turf, it is less likely to happen. This has helped give turf overs essentially an even ROI over the past fourteen seasons compared to the -3.1% recorded on grass fields.

Dome vs. Non Dome

VenueOver RecordUnits WonROI
Dome411-379+12.51.6%
Non-Dome1360-1370-72.7-2.7%

The results for games played in domes also come as expected. Other than pumped-in crowd noise, there isn’t anything inside of a dome that should impact the players. There is plenty of overlap when looking at domes and turf, but note that the University of Phoenix stadium has a retractable roof and grass. One surprising dome that is keeping the ROI limited for these overs is Lucas Oil Stadium. At 17-26, overs have been much worse in the Colts’ new stadium than at any other dome. The Superdome, which some folks may have guessed, has been the most profitable stadium for dome overs at 56-45.

85+ Degrees: Unders

StadiumUnder RecordUnitsROI
Raymond James14-9+4.318.8%
EverBank 9-5+3.625.7%
Sun Life5-11-6.2-38.4%
Rest of League30-19+9.419.2%

If I had to take a guess, the NFL is played in the fall and winter for a reason…they don’t want players dying of heat strokes. However, there are still a handful of games played each year in hot conditions. The three stadiums listed are where these temperatures have most often occurred. Most other stadiums around the league have a handful of such games at the most.

As you can see, taking the under in really hot games has been super profitable everywhere except Miami. Perhaps this will even out as the sample size increases, but there is a chance that the Dolphins’ players just aren’t impacted in the same way that other teams are by the heat. All of that “training” on South Beach might prepare their bodies for fun in the sun.

30 Degrees and Below: Overs

StadiumOver RecordUnitsROI
Lambeau Field16-7+8.235.6%
Rest of league77-53+19.915.3%

There have been 23 times since 2003 where the Cheeseheads at Lambeau have braved temperatures of 30 degrees or less, tops in the league by six games. Sportsbooks and bettors see that the Sunday forecast calls for a fur coat and galoshes and think that the game is bound to go under. The majority of bets for these games have been on the over just 76.5% of the time, 10% less often than in general. This is an overreaction, though, and has helped lead to overs hitting at a very profitable rate. Don’t expect to see any of these games soon, but set a mental reminder when December comes around.

10 + MPH Wind Unders

StadiumUnder RecordUnitsROI
Sun Life34-25+7.011.9%
FirstEnergy36-21+12.722.3%
Ralph Wilson28-27-0.4-0.8%
Soldier Field22-28-7.4-14.8%
Arrowhead25-22+1.53.2%
Rest of League265-206+43.79.3%

Wind is one last factor that can play a huge role when betting on totals. Okay…10 MPH isn’t quite a tornado, but it can still move a football quite a bit. In football, wind direction matters far less than in baseball since the ball will be going towards each end zone. When looking at wind velocity as a whole, we find that the under has prevailed, and understandably so. No matter what direction the wind is coming from, it can lead to missed field goals and errant passes. There are five stadiums in which windy conditions most often take place, and ironically, the “Windy City” has provided the worst ROI for the under.

Check back each week leading up until the season for more in depth betting analysis that will surely help boost your bankroll.

All data via Bet Labs Sports

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Cosmo Kramer

He is a loathesome, offensive brute, yet I can't look away.

5 Comments
  • Justin
    July 27, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Thia is good. Its all info i have used regularly with percentages but its nice to see someone put it all together with the numbers to prove it. I dont see people comment often but i read every article everyday and appreciate the insight it has taken me from good to great.

  • Andrew Pessotti
    July 28, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Are there any betlabs systems built based on this data that we can follow?

      • Dustin beck
        July 31, 2017 at 10:12 pm

        I’m hungry

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