Get the best handicapping articles and gambling advice throughout the football, basketball and baseball seasons from the world's top sports handicappers, as well as from Bovada (Bodog) Sportsbook and Casino.
September Football: Look for Low-Scoring Games
by Bryan Leonard - 09/05/2006
With one week of the college football season in the books and the pro season beginning this week, this is a good time to remember that defenses are often ahead of the offenses in football. A year ago, after the first two weeks of the 2005 NFL season, games went under the total by a 21-11 count. That's not unusual, as oddsmakers post totals based on offseason changes and last year's stats.
However, offensive players haven't performed much in preseason and it can take a while to get offenses clicking, particularly passing attacks. This past weekend in college football I bet several games under the total in the first half and garnered a profit.
Looking at first halves to go under, rather than the whole game, can give the bettor an edge as you don't get burned by overtime. Look no further than that wild Toledo/Iowa State game. Iowa State led 14-8 at the half, a score that sailed under the first half total. But the final score after 3 overtimes was 45-43! Anyone who had the under for the game got burned by OT. And don't be surprised if NFL offenses are a bit slow over the next two weeks. --- Bryan Leonard