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How Weather Impacts NFL Total Betting

NFL gets a ton of betting action, so finding an edge, ever so slight the edge may be, is incredible valuable. One of those edges is figuring out how the weather can impact the total when it comes to NFL betting.

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Wind and the Total

The most important thing for NFL bettors to understand is that the wind has the biggest impact on scoring in the NFL, more so than rain or snow. Generally, the benchmark for the wind is 10 MPH or above, meaning that any time the wind is expected to be 10+ MPH, points are less likely to be scored

Of course, you can’t just blindly look at games that are projected to be windy and blindly bet the under, you also need to track line movement. The edge can be lost if you are too late to the party and the over/under has already moved to account for the wind.

So, it is important to look at how the over/under has changed over the course of the week. If a game is expected to have windy conditions, then you can track how the total has moved over the course of the week, while also scanning odds from all major sportsbooks to see how many books have moved the line of the total.

This also highlights the importance of line shopping and making sure that you are signed up with every sportsbook. It is possible that, while some books have moved their lines because of the weather, not every book has. Don’t just check FanDuel, check all the sportsbooks! You’d be surprised at how different the odds can be from book to book.

Temperature and its Effect on the Total

The majority of games are played in what is considered “comfortable” weather, which means the temperature is between 30 and 85 degrees, or the game is being played in a dome. There are two trends to take from outlier temperature games, which are games being played in above 85 degrees, or below 30 degrees.

One of these trends is that games that are above 85 degrees trend towards the under. Now, this isn’t a huge sample size (although, if we’re being honest, almost nothing in the NFL is a large sample size), but over 56% of games played in above 85 degrees have gone under the total.

This sample size goes back the past 20 years or so. I understand that 56% might not seem like a lot, but keep in mind that the best sports bettors in the world win roughly 55% of the time. At the standard odds of -110, that is an expected value of almost 7%. That’s really good!

The logic tracks as well, as these hot weather games can cause players to become dehydrated and exhausted as the game goes on.

There is a similar trend when it comes to cold weather games (below 30 degrees), and the total going over. These occur more frequently than hot games, and has a much higher ROI as well.

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Dating back to the same timeframe, over 59% of cold weather games have gone over. Using the same standard -110 odds, this has an expected value of just over 12.5%.

This logic tracks as well, as the assumption is that the general public sees that a game is going to have freezing temperatures and just assumes that it is going to be lower scoring than normal. What happens is that these over/unders get bet down to a number that is simply too low, which creates value towards the over.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should blindly start taking bets based on the weather/temperature, but what it does mean is that if you identify games where one of these trends is a factor, it could represent an opportunity.

As is the case with any bet, you want to dig into the odds and make sure you are getting some sort of value before placing a bet. The easiest way to do this, as mentioned earlier, is to sign up for every sportsbook available to you and constantly shop for the best lines.


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