In recent weeks, we’ve witnessed some lackluster “island” games, but the Week 6 Monday Night Football matchup promises to break that trend. The Los Angeles Chargers, despite a rocky 0-2 start to the season, have found their footing, while the Dallas Cowboys aim to stay in close pursuit of the division-leading Eagles with a Monday night victory.
This game is anticipated to be fiercely competitive, with the Chargers considered 1.5-point home underdogs. A total of 50.5 points is expected, but the timing of when those points are scored will be pivotal for live betting enthusiasts. The Cowboys’ defense is living up to its reputation, and their offense is executing with methodical precision.
It’s challenging to envision three additional touchdowns in the remaining time, especially after the Chargers recently endured a lengthy drive that ultimately yielded no points. Hence, we’re inclined to place our bet on the under, specifically under 36.5 at -105 on Caesars.
Before the kickoff, let’s delve into the live betting scenarios we’ve outlined:
These two teams adopt polar opposite approaches to offensive play-calling. The Chargers operate at the second-fastest pace in the league, ranking third in situation-neutral settings, and have a pass rate over expectation (PROE) that stands at seventh. In contrast, the Cowboys find themselves at the 28th spot in overall pace and 23rd in PROE.
It’s worth noting that the Chargers’ injury situation has somewhat skewed these statistics. Losing star running back Austin Ekeler in Week 1 was a setback, although he’s set to make his return. In his absence, the Chargers also lost their number-two wide receiver, Mike Williams, for the season. It’s reasonable to anticipate a marginally more run-heavy approach, leading to a slower pace when substituting a top receiver with a star running back, as they have essentially done.
The Cowboys don’t provide much variation in terms of pace, as they’ve consistently played about a second slower than the league average, regardless of the game script. With a triple-digit count of offensive plays called in various scenarios, our projections remain quite secure.
The Chargers have yet to execute an offensive play while trailing by eight points or more, with both their losses remaining within a three-point margin. While this lack of data hinders our assessment, their 2022 pace in such situations was approximately league average. However, when holding a lead of multiple scores, they operated at the fastest pace among all teams with five or more plays in that situation.
This pace might regress slightly with Ekeler’s return but is expected to hold true in a general sense. This leads us to the one clear scenario for this game—expect higher scoring when the Chargers lead. As always, we’ll be selective about our betting line, particularly concerning the total, hoping for a significant shift from the pregame line, which typically hovers around 50. We have some flexibility, considering that a close game also projects to be slightly faster than the average pace.
The NFL offers an ideal landscape for live betting, with pauses between plays providing ample time to place bets. This season, we’ve developed a model to predict the pace of play in various in-game scenarios, such as first vs. second half, who’s in the lead, or when the game is within a touchdown.
The primary advantage of this model is its application in betting on game totals. If the game’s pace is different from the pregame assumption, it offers a clear advantage. Faster-paced games tend to yield more points, and the general assumption is that the pregame line is reasonably efficient, so we aim to target situations where we can secure a more favorable number based on the scenario.
Additionally, player props provide intriguing opportunities, as sportsbooks now offer a range of live player prop bets. Games that are faster or slower than anticipated create obvious advantages.
Before placing your bets, explore the offerings across different sportsbooks. Live markets often exhibit more variation among bookmakers compared to pregame betting options.