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How the New Overtime Rules Will Impact NFL Betting

| June 10, 2022 9:03 am PDT
NFL logo centered with digital numbers and football imagery surrounding

Last season, we had one of the best games in NFL history between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City scored a 42-36 victory in overtime after scoring a touchdown on the first possession.

That caused an uproar from players and fans surrounding the NFL overtime rules. The NFL took note and changed the rules to give each team a chance to possess the ball. The new NFL overtime rules will significantly impact the betting market.

What are the new NFL overtime rules, and how do they possibly change how you bet? Let’s explore that further.

What are the New NFL Overtime Rules?

There was a time when the team who scored first in overtime was the winner. The NFL changed those rules about ten years ago, giving each team a chance to possess the ball. However, that came with an asterisk as the game would end if the first possession ended in a touchdown.

As we head into the 2022 season, we’ll see another significant change to the NFL overtime rule. Here is a quick breakdown.

NFL logo
  • Both Teams Will Have Possession
  • Game Will Become Sudden Death If Tied After Each Possession
  • Rules Only Apply to the Postseason

That last rule is important to note as we examine how NFL overtime rules impact betting. This rule is exclusive to the playoffs. The regular season will operate under the old rules, where a touchdown in overtime will end the game.

We’ll no longer have a playoff game where the coin toss significantly impacts the winner. A team scoring first would put pressure on the opposition, but at least they have a chance to match.

Everyone will need to factor in the NFL playoff overtime rules for where to bet on NFL games. It’ll play a significant factor in the betting market at the top NFL betting sites.

Why Did They Change the NFL OT Rules?

A few things went into the new NFL overtime rules. The driving force behind the change was the playoff game between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs.

It was a thrilling game as each team went back and forth in the closing minutes. There were 24 points in the final two minutes, with Harrison Butker’s field goal sending the game to overtime. Kansas City won the toss, scoring a touchdown on their first possession.

Fans would’ve loved to have seen Buffalo get a chance to score. The NFL competition committee mentioned that game as a significant factor for the NFL overtime playoff rules.

The coin toss has played a significant factor in the winner of playoff games. If you include the 2022 AFC Championship Game, the team that won the coin toss was 10-2 under the previous playoff format.

It was much closer in the regular season, but we shouldn’t have a playoff game come down to a coin toss. Thankfully, the new overtime rule in the NFL won’t have that issue. Both teams will have a chance to score a touchdown.

The NFL overtime rules will change the way people bet on playoff games. Let’s discuss the biggest changes.

How Will OT Scores Impact Betting on Point Spreads?

football on stand

It’s easy to bet on the winner or loser of a playoff game, but the spread gives you the best value. Mostly, the NFL playoff overtime rule will affect games with a close spread. Theoretically, those are the most likely to go into overtime.

With the previous rule, it was impossible to have an overtime game with more than a six-point differential. Everyone is likely looking at this from a closer score perspective, but what if a team scores a touchdown, then has a defensive touchdown?

The new overtime NFL rules bring a 7+ point game into reality in overtime. We don’t often see big spreads in the postseason, but it’s not uncommon. Check out the biggest in the 2021-22 postseason.

  • Raiders vs. Bengals (-6.0)
  • Eagles vs. Buccaneers (-7.0)
  • Steelers vs. Chiefs (-12.0)
  • 49ers vs. Packers (-6.0)
  • Bengals vs. Chiefs (-7.0)

The Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs is a great example because the game went to overtime. Under the old format, it would’ve been impossible for the Chiefs to cover in overtime. If they score a touchdown, they can kick the extra point.

The NFL overtime rule will help bigger favorites.

Assessing How OT Scores Might Impact Point Totals

The new NFL overtime rule will affect the betting market as a whole, but the point total will see the biggest change.

We know the previous rule allowed no more than six points. Now, we have the potential for three possessions. If every team scored a touchdown, that would be 20 points. That’s an extreme difference from the point total.

Everyone highlights last year’s playoff game between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs, but we saw the rule come under scrutiny after the 2019 AFC Championship Game.

That game featured 24 points in the final four minutes. Then, the New England Patriots won in overtime. It’s hard to imagine the Chiefs wouldn’t have scored on their ensuing possession.

We’ll likely see bettors favor the over in playoff games because of the NFL overtime rules. It’ll be interesting to see if the top US betting sites boost the point total for these matchups. Especially ones between high-powered offenses.

Personally, I’d be more likely to take them over in this scenario. The updated Super Bowl 57 odds have the top offenses in the league among the favorites. We’ll see those teams go head-to-head in the playoffs.

Updated Odds and Analysis for Super Bowl 57

The 2022 NFL draft has come and gone. Now, it’s time to look ahead to the 2022 regular season. The 2023 Super Bowl odds give us a post-NFL draft update on the top contenders and sleepers. Multiple teams have seen their Super Bowl 57 chances rise after a...

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How Will Both Teams Having the Ball Affect Betting?

The obvious answer to this question is it’ll lead to more points. However, there are different ways to look at this. I’d like to discuss how the NFL overtime rule impacts live betting.

We’ll see a bigger spread, especially if the better team has the ball first. There would never be a spread over six points under the old overtime format. Will we see 7+ point spreads moving forward?

The rule also eliminates a controversial ending after the first possession. That’s something we saw in the 2020 Wild Card Round between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints.

Kyle Rudolph made contact with the Saints defender, but there was no penalty. Now, the Saints would have a chance to overcome the controversial call. I imagine Saints bettors would’ve loved that rule in 2020.

Obviously, the new NFL overtime rule will lead to a higher point total. The 2022 AFC Championship Game featured 72 points in regulation. Under the new rules, a live point total would put the game around 85 points.

The latest 2022 NFL power rankings have those teams near the top. We could see a similar situation for the second straight year.

General Betting Impact of New NFL Overtime Rules

The NFL playoff overtime rules revolve around individual games. However, I believe this could impact your preseason Super Bowl predictions.

There’s no doubt the overtime rules cater to teams with high-powered offenses. It gives the opposing team a chance to match a touchdown by a team that starts on offense. After all, the Kansas City Chiefs were in both games that inspired this new rule.

How will the NFL overtime rules look for a team that relies on their defense? It’ll be tougher for them to stop a great offense if they have to do it twice.

Check out the top scoring offenses and defenses from the 2021 season.

Points Per Game Points Allowed Per Game
Dallas Cowboys (31.2) Buffalo Bills (17.0)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (30.1) New England Patriots (17.8)
Buffalo Bills (28.4) Denver Broncos (18.9)

The Buffalo Bills are an outlier because they excel on offense and defense. It’s hard to compare because these teams look different for the 2022 season. The San Francisco 49ers are the only team in Super Bowl contention with a better defense than offense.

Do the new overtime rules sway you to take the Dallas Cowboys over San Francisco? My initial reaction is yes.

Will the New NFL Overtime Rules Impact How You Bet?

The NFL overtime rules will play a significant factor in playoff games. I believe we’ll see higher point totals for matchups between elite offenses. The threat of overtime could push the point total up by five or six points.

A great offense will benefit from the new rule. Those teams will have an extra opportunity to score a touchdown in overtime. It also eliminates the randomness of a coin flip deciding a playoff game.

Ultimately, this ties into the winner of the Super Bowl. Hopefully, this breakdown of the new NFL overtime rules will help you when you bet money on the Super Bowl this year.

Nicholas Sterling
Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with GamblingSites.com since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

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