You Can Bet on How Many Pass Interference Calls Will be Overturned in Week 1

You Can Bet on How Many Pass Interference Calls Will be Overturned in Week 1

The blown pass interference call in the NFC Championship game that cost the Saints a trip to the Super Bowl
After the blown pass interference call that played a huge roll in deciding the 2019 NFC Championship game, pass interference penalties will be reviewable during the 2019 NFL season. Photo from @BarDown (Twitter)
  • NFL owners approved review of pass interference penalties for the 2019 season
  • It’s the first penalty to be reviewable
  • Coaches will be permitted to challenge pass interference calls

Pass interference has always been an NFL hot-button issue. But after last season’s NFC Championship game, the heat grew significantly, moving to the front burner of league concerns.

Tuesday saw NFL owners approving a rule change allowing pass interference to be reviewable. As well, coaches may challenge non-calls they believe are PI.

BetOnline was quick to release a pair of prop bets relating to the rule change. One offers odds on whether a pass interference call to be overturned during the Sept. 5 NFL regular-season opener between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.

Odds a Pass Interference Call is Overturned in 2019 NFL Season-Opener?

Outcome Odds on whether a pass interference call will be overturned in 2019 NFL season opener at
Yes -150
No +120

*All odds taken March 28

Pass interference is the first penalty that the NFL has made reviewable.

The Saints Marched It In

The impetus for this rule change was the non-call of pass interference in the NFC Championship Game, when Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman made contact with New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis before the ball arrived.

Saints coach Sean Payton raised a hue and cry, championing the cause of replay for PI calls.

Super Bowl 54 Odds Tracker

An equally bizarre episode took place in the 2014-15 playoffs between Dallas and Detroit. Cowboys LB Anthony Hitchens was flagged for pass interference on Detroit TE Brandon Pettigrew.

Officials picked up the flag, indicating there was no foul.

Unlike Payton, Jim Caldwell, Detroit’s coach at the time, didn’t cause a fuss over the incident.

Total Number of PI Calls Overturned in Week 1

Number of PI calls overturned Week 1 Odds at
Over 8.5 -115
Under 8.5 -115

The stats for the 2018 NFL regular season show pass interference as the third-most flagged foul with 320 calls, an average of 1.25 per game.

But only holding (26.77) accounts for more penalty yardage per game than PI (16.00).

What’s the Call?

During the 2017 NFL season, there were 39,677 plays run and only 429 of them were reviewed. That works out to an average of 1.08%.

In other words, don’t expect a sudden rash of reviews simply because PI is now reviewable.

On the other hand, the most commonly reviewed play is whether a pass completion was a catch.

In last year’s Falcons-Eagles season opener, two plays were reviewed and upheld. Pass interference was called once.

The Bears were also involved in the first-ever NFL game utilizing replay in 1986. On the third play from scrimmage, a call was overturned and the Cleveland Browns awarded a touchdown.

We’d take yes on overturned PI call in the season opener but would play the under on total PI calls overturned.

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