Statistics show that the NFL's beleaguered replacement referees may be guilty of home cooking, are definitely guilty of calling more defensive pass interference calls, and have made this season's games longer--and yes, your bookie has adjusted accordingly. "Casinos expect an average of 46.1 points scored per game for Week 3 -- the highest projected total ever for Vegas casinos," a betting expert told the AP, which adds, "oddsmaker Mike Colbert of Cantor Gaming says home teams will deserve an extra half-point in their favor if games are called all year the way they were officiated in Week 2."
So, sure, you could subjectively blame the bad refs for making bad calls (ESPN's Ashley Fox and Tim Keown will be more than happy to walk you through the deplorable state of the new refs), the heart of the matter here (and what you should take into consideration before betting) is largely objective math. As the AP reports, that there have been almost 50 percent more defensive pass interference calls being made this year compared to last year (44 to 30) and games are running six minutes longer--which leads to more offense--which leads us back to Vegas predicting those high numbers. And if you are a gambler upset with the high over-unders, don't expect any changes anytime soon: the AP reported on Wednesday that no negotiations have been scheduled, and the NFL has booked its replacements for at least five more weeks.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.