Thanksgiving Value Bet: Under 45.5 Bills v Saints

The best NFL game this Thanksgiving is the prime time affairs between the Bills and Saints – two solid teams in playoff contention.  The over-under for the game is 45.5 meaning a total of 45.5 points are expected to be scored.   A bettor can choose to go under (winning if 45 or less total points are scored), or over.   Either way, the bettor must risk $110 to win $100; this commission is called VIG and is how sports-books make their money.

A sharp bettor can make their money by selecting only their favourite value bets, passing on most games.   I love betting unders.   The bettors focus on overs cheering for points, especially in marquee primetime matchups, so by betting under, you are getting an extra point, on average, for value.   45 is a pretty good point (think final scores of 24-21, or 28-17) and when the total lands on 45, you win strictly because sports-books added a point to entice sharp bettors to bet the under to help balance their action.

I especially love betting unders on Thursday games.   Why?   It’s a super short week.   NFL players are conditioned to play weekly and usually need two days to recover from gameday and then practise and draw up plays for four days before the next game.   With Thursday games, there’s only three days off, so very little time to create new plays, leading to safe, boring football.   Without the chance to innovate offensively, teams run the ball into the line, don’t make too many mistakes and hope for the best.

In this matchup, both teams are coming off bad losses and I look for both to play the conservative, not to lose football that leads to a lower scoring affair.   Bet the under and cheer for boring!

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