NFL betting: Week 6 was another big week for under bettors as trend continues

It's not enjoyable to bet unders. You're rooting for nothing to happen.

But it has been very profitable this NFL season.

Week 6 was another huge week for the under in NFL totals betting. Of the 14 games, 10 went under the total.

That's the continuation of a season-long trend that doesn't seem to be letting up. Scoring is down for the second straight season, and bettors who caught onto that trend early are doing well.

NFL scoring is down

After another big week for unders, the season record is 57 unders and 37 overs. That's 61 percent on a trend that's in plain sight.

As John Ewing of BetMGM pointed out, unders are 13-6 in prime-time games this season.

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It's not just a betting trend. Scoring is down this season. Per Pro Football Talk, teams are averaging 21.6 points per game this season, which is down from 23 last season. In 2020, the average was 24.8.

In 2020 scoring spiked without fans in the stands. That seemed to be the way the league was headed, with scores that looked more like the no-defense college games we see on Saturday. We've seen just from roughing the passer penalties this season that the NFL wants more points. That's not new and it's not a surprise.

That's why it's a bit strange that scoring is down.

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are one of many offenses that has been struggling. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are one of many offenses that has been struggling. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Why are unders hitting?

One reason for the low scoring and the unders hitting is that quarterback play hasn't been great.

If you're in a fantasy league and don't have Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes, you're probably not too happy. Reliable stars like Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson are well down from their career norms. Plenty of last year's highly touted rookies like Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Justin Fields haven't taken a step forward. It's just an off year at the position.

Another reason unders are 20 games above .500 is that casual bettors generally bet overs. Sportsbooks know that and often shade the number up a bit. They are particularly aware of bettors' over preferences for prime-time games. If you're taking an over, especially on a Thursday, Sunday or Monday night, you're often paying a bit of a tax for it.

The scoring trend probably won't pick up. NFL weather is at its best in September and early October. Teams that are struggling don't suddenly start putting up 38 points in a snowstorm. At some point oddsmakers might start setting lower numbers if bettors flip and start riding the under trend, but scoring itself might not turn around too much.

For now, keep betting NFL unders until that trend flips. Even if it's not the way you'd like to bet.