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Total Bias: The Number 37

   by Ben Burns - 08/23/2008

Total Bias - The Number 37...by Ben Burns

The first two weeks of the preseason have seen plenty of points and if the opening game of Week 3 is any indication, we could see some more high-scoring contests this weekend.

Over bettors held a 10-7 advantage after the opening week, including the Hall of Fame game. Week 2 saw them extend their lead, as 10 of 16 games eclipsed the total. Interestingly, it was the days with fewer games which were generally the highest scoring. The days with two or less games (Thursday, Friday, Sunday, Monday) saw the 'over' go 5-1. Including last night's 49'ers/Bears shootout, which sailed above the number with 67 combined points, the 'over' is now 21-13 (61.8%) on the season.

Before looking at this weekend's over/under card, let's check some recent Week 3 stats to see how coaches have been treating the preseason's "dress-rehearsal." Looking back to last preseason and we find that Week 3 was relatively high-scoring with the games producing an average of 41.31 points. The 'over' held a 9-6-1 advantage. However, before jumping blindly on the 'over' bandwagon this weekend, note that the Week 3 scores were significantly lower in each of the previous two years, averaging less than 35.5 points per game. Overall, the 3-year scoring average for Week 3 games from 2005-2007 came in at 37.31 points.

You'll see the number 37 quite regularly during the next several months. In fact, if you've been following the games from an over/under perspective, you've already come across it several times. Two of the Week 1 games produced exactly 37 points and three of the Week 2 games fell exactly on that number. Note that three of the Week 3 games in the last two preseasons (2 in 2006, 1 in 2007) also landed directly on 37.

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