Betting on the outcome of drives in NFL games is a relatively new option. This type of betting isn’t as action packed as live betting where you can theoretically bet on every play, but it is technology intensive. While it could be done with the advent of television, you would have had to sit in a relatively high-tech sportsbook to be able to actually do it. Nowadays, anyone can live bet the NFL and bet on the outcome of each drive on their computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Types of Drive Outcome Betting
When you bet on the outcome of a drive in an NFL game, you are typically given three options as to the end result of the possession. You can bet on whether the team with the ball will register a score, end up punting, or have something else happen with their possession.
The first two outcomes are essentially self-explanatory. If the team on offense at the start of the possession scores a touchdown or a field goal, they have scored on that drive. If that team ends up punting the ball, that option wins. Everything else falls under that third catch-all category.
Those first two outcomes are the most common results of drives in the NFL. However, there are other ways that drives can end that fall into the third group. Teams can turn the ball over, miss field goals, have the clock expire on them, have the other team block their punt or field goal attempt, or have their opponent score a safety or defensive touchdown.
Odds for this wager can be released as early as the other team’s current possession, essentially looking ahead to what will happen on the next drive. Typically, drive outcome betting odds are posted as soon as the opponent punts or scores though, as there is usually a commercial break around that time. This allows oddsmakers the opportunity to put up a line and have bettors place wagers for a few minutes before the start of the possession.
Some sportsbooks will only allow drive outcome betting at this time because they don’t want to deal with constantly updating and tweaking lines during the possession. However, other places will have this wager up and adjust the juice as long as the team with the ball isn’t running hurry-up or something fast paced that makes it a little too difficult.
The betting options available for drive outcome betting can be shifted over the course of the drive too. If a team moves the ball into opponent territory, you might see the options change from “Score/Punt/Miscellaneous” to “Touchdown/Field Goal/Anything Else”. That helps give bettors the opportunity to further delineate their wagers.
Savvy bettors could take advantage at this point, if they are aware of a team’s history and tendencies. There are some teams that can move the ball well between the 20s but struggle to put the ball in the end zone. Conversely, there are defenses that essentially play ‘bend, but don’t break’ defense, and they will give up a lot of yards before holding strong in the red zone.
You might also jump on this type of wager if a team has a particularly great or particularly poor field goal kicker. Some NFL teams go through multiple kickers in a season, as it can be a chore to find a reliable kicker. Even kickers that are selected early in the NFL Draft might be complete busts, and veterans can seemingly lose it overnight too.
Betting on the outcome of drives is not available for every NFL game just yet. For now, it is used for nationally televised games in primetime like Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, and Monday Night Football. Other games fall into this category too like all three Thanksgiving games, and the Saturday games that come later in the year when college football has shifted to bowl season.
Additionally, there are sportsbooks that will offer wagers on the outcome of the first play of a drive. There are three options for this type of bet. You can wager on the first play to be a run, a completed pass, or anything else. Incomplete passes, penalties, and turnovers fall into the latter category.