Spread Movement for Steelers Made the Difference
There were two types of spread bettors this Sunday night. One group got the Pittsburgh Steelers at +4.5 or +3.5. The other got Pittsburgh when its line had shrunk to +2.5. That’s two points or “only” one. But that makes the world of difference. Cleveland won by a field goal. And now we get to poke fun at the group that lost for our NFL Week 11 Bad Beats.
The Magic Number of ‘3’ in NFL Betting
In the NFL, the majority of points are scored either via field goal or a touchdown (plus an extra point). Do the math and that is three points and seven points. Thus, a quick google search will denote that margins of victory in the game typically fall on numbers that are any combination of the two.
That’s why a spread of +3.5 is worlds apart from a spread of +2.5 on the NFL betting lines even if it is just a one-point difference. And the Steelers-Browns game is a perfect example of why it’s best to grab the first spread.
Other than this being a critical game on the NFL division standings, which means a more grueling game than usual, Pittsburgh and Cleveland struggle to score consistently. The average NFL team scores around 2.4 touchdowns per game, statistically. But both Pittsburgh and Cleveland are below that with the former not even averaging two.
But as far as scoring field goals, Cleveland leads the NFL (2.6) with Pittsburgh (1.8) also ranking slightly above average. This means there is a better than an average chance that their game will feature more field goals than touchdowns. And it did: with that last one being the difference-maker.
Dustin Hopkins, who Cleveland acquired via a trade in the offseason, kicked the game-winning field goal with the game tied to sink Pittsburgh and anyone who had a +2.5 ticket. It’s one of the NFL Week 11 bad beats but mainly serves as an education for some. If you didn’t know, now you do.
More Lessons on Betting Early
In sports betting, catching the early lines tends to be more beneficial than not. While our example above favored the underdog bettors, those who bet San Francisco’s and Houston’s early spreads would have profited. The ones who got their closing lines got jobbed just like those who bet Pittsburgh at +2.5.
San Francisco opened at -10.5 and Houston opened at -2.5. The 49ers won by 13 points. The Texans won by five. Both of these tickets cashed. But their closing lines had San Francisco at -14 and Houston at -5.5. These ones are part of our NFL Week 11 bad beats.
The 49ers led the Buccaneers 27-7 heading to fourth quarter. But as Tampa Bay has done in the past, it scored a touchdown to make the score 27-14 with over 14 minutes left. San Francisco never scored and anyone who had it at -13.5 or lower lost.
Meanwhile, Houston had an even worse beat. The Texans were up 21-16 on the Cardinals heading to the fourth quarter. They were in scoring position twice. But C.J. Stroud threw two interceptions and the score stayed put. Anyone who bet Houston at -5.5 lost.
These are just two more NFL matchups this past week that emphasized the importance of when you place your bets. Monitoring line movements and doing simple math can be the difference between being on Pittsburgh +4.5 or Pittsburgh +2.5.