There aren’t many more entertaining situations in the NFL than overtime. Two teams that have played an evenly matched game fighting for an extra period to decide who the winner will be. But overtime can have a number of implications on NFL betting that can change the outcome of wagers and even change the way that things play out over the next week.
The most obvious and immediate impact that an overtime game can have on an NFL bet is the fact that the game could have its total result changed by overtime. If you bet on the under 44, for example, and a game is 21-21 heading into overtime, you are stuck hoping that no scoring takes place in the extra time, or your bet will be a bust. Conversely, if you were on the over in that hypothetical, you all of a sudden gained a new lease on life.
This is also the case with spread betting in the event that a game goes to overtime. If you had a team plus four points, you might feel like a victim of bad luck if you had to wait through a fifth quarter, so to speak, to make sure that the favorite didn’t score a touchdown to win the game and ruin your wager. On the flip side, if you have a favorite minus four points heading into overtime, you might feel like you caught a huge break as you can now win a bet that looked dead in the water just a short time ago.
In addition to these single-game impacts that overtime in the NFL can have, there are also some very tangible impacts that can be felt in the next week’s games as well. Teams that play in overtime games are subjected to an extra quarter of plays. This means an extra quarter of collisions and potentially an extra quarter of injuries as well. So it stands to reason that teams coming off of overtime games have the potential to struggle against fresher opponents the next week.
This phenomenon is especially noticeable when Thursday Night Football is the next game on the schedule for one of the teams involved in overtime the week before. Teams that lost in overtime the previous week and then go play on Thursday Night Football are historically poor against the spread and in yards per play, as the accumulation of hits from the week before combined with the lack of adequate time to rest means that they are at a tremendous disadvantage.
For the team that wins in the 10-minute overtime, the physical toll is still very much a factor, but could be cancelled out by the fact that the team just got a huge momentum boost by securing a hard-fought win.
As you can see, overtime games can have a wide-ranging impact on NFL teams and NFL betting, both on the field and at the sportsbook. Be sure to keep an eye out during the next overtime game to evaluate how that game will impact the teams involved to make better bets.
Jay is a sports writer who has been featured on Deadspin, BetAdvisor. In addition to penning wager previews and features, Jay has broadcasted for MAAC school as well as ESPN Radio’s Northeastern Affiliates.