We tend to only focus on NFL referees after a controversial decision or bad no-call. Yet each head NFL referee and his respective crew interprets the game differently.

Gaining insight into the way a game will be officiated can have immense value in the betting market.

A referee who calls more penalties for defensive holding and roughing the passer has a far different impact on game flow than a ref who focuses more on offensive holding and false starts.

Referee style one week may hide a team’s weakness (defensive backs) whereas the following week, a different official who leans heavily on calling pass interference will compound that weakness. Same team. Different outcomes.

Throughout this 2022 NFL season, we’ll help to identify important trends and tendencies by different NFL referees to help you gain an edge when placing a bet.

Read more about our Week 5 featured games and how officiating may impact the betting market:

  • Jerome Boger: Bucs vs Falcons prediction
  • Bill Vinovich: Rams vs Cowboys prediction
  • John Hussey: Bills vs Steelers prediction

NFL Referee Assignments for Week 5

Week 5Referee
Colts at BroncosBrad Rogers
Giants at PackersAlex Kemp
Steelers at BillsJohn Hussey
Texans at JaguarsRon Torbert
Chargers at BrownsAdrian Hill
Bears at VikingsShawn Hochuli
Lions at PatriotsCraig Wrolstad
Seahawks at SaintsBrad Allen
Dolphins at JetsClay Martin
Falcons at BuccaneersJerome Boger
Titans at CommandersLand Clark
49ers at PanthersShawn Smith
Eagles at CardinalsTra Blake
Cowboys at Rams Bill Vinovich
Bengals at Ravens Scott Novak
Raiders at ChiefsCarl Cheffers
Sharp Betting Packages
25% OFF, use code: GET25

Jerome Boger’s Impact on Buccaneers vs Falcons, Week 5

Jerome Boger is the head referee for the Buccaneers vs Falcons Week 5 game. Let’s break down how Boger may impact this game and betting markets.

How does referee John Hussey Impact this Game?

The Buccaneers host the Falcons in this NFC South match-up on Sunday, with the winner holding an outright lead in the division. With Jerome Boger assigned to the game that team will be the Buccaneers, who should not only win, but also cover the -8.5 point spread.

Overall Penalties:

This game isn’t necessarily about 2022 penalty metrics as much as it’s about the home team’s success with Boger in Divisional games.

That said, Boger’s traditional style of limited offensive holding calls and favoring teams who tend to pass the ball at a high rate favor the Bucs in this match-up vs the Falcons.

The Bottom Line:

  • Since 2016 home favorites in Divisional games with Jerome Boger are 18-3 (86%) on the moneyline
  • In the same 21 Divisional games, home teams are 12-7-2 ATS (64%) with Boger
  • Home favorites of 7 pts or more in that 21 game span are 4-2-1 ATS
  • Divisional game totals with Boger officiating are 19-14 over (58%) since 2016
  • Jerome Boger has officiated 4 Buccaneers games in the Brady era. Tampa Bay is averaging 32.5 points per game. At home that increased to 35.5 points.

Based on what we’ve seen and the actual stats associated with the Bucs in 2022, it’s somewhat a leap of faith to be laying -8.5 points.

We previewed the 0-2 Bengals at Jets in Week 3 with Jerome Boger officiating. The Bengals had a solid history with him and some of the penalty metrics plus the situation added up to taking Cincinnati as a -6 point road favorite.

The Buccaneers feel very similar this week versus the Falcons. It’s been a rocky start for the Bucs in 2022. They get a favorable assignment here with Jerome Boger. An official they have had success with, very similar to the Bengals in their Week 3 win at Jets. Boger is a referee whose record for divisional home favorites are hard to overlook.

An 83% win rate and a 64% ATS rate for Divisional home favorites with Boger over the past 6 seasons makes this an easy decision: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -8.5 versus the Atlanta Falcons.

» Bet the Bucs vs Falcons Now

Get a $1,000 Risk-Free Bet
For new customers to BetMGM

Bill Vinovich’s Impact on Rams vs Cowboys, Week 5

Bill Vinovich is the head referee for the Rams vs Cowboys Week 5 game. Let’s break down how Vinovich may impact this game and betting markets.

How does referee Bill Vinovich Impact this Game?

The Rams host the Cowboys Sunday in what has the makings of a defensive oriented game. Two subpar offensive lines matched up against two elite defensive fronts.

With Bill Vinovich in charge we shouldn’t expect many penalties. Vinovich called the fewest penalties per game in 2021 and is doing so again in 2022, averaging just 5.5 penalties per game.

When we assess the strength of these two teams combined with Vinovich’s “let em play” style, it favors the under with Rams vs Cowboys in Week 5.

Roughing the Passer, Defensive Holding & Pass Interference Penalties:

  • Bill Vinovich called zero roughing the passer penalties in 2021 and zero in 2022. The last time he called a roughing the passer penalty was the 2020 AFC Championship game
  • Vinovich called the fewest defensive holding penalties per game in 2021 and just one so far in 2022, tied for the fewest in the NFL
  • Vinovich called the 2nd fewest defensive pass interference penalties per game in 2021. He has just one pass interference penalty in 2022, tied for the fewest in this category

Overall Penalties:

  • The Rams committed the 2nd fewest penalties per game in 2021. They’re the least penalized team through 4 weeks of the NFL season.
  • The Rams have played 7 games with Bill Vinovich officiating in the Sean McVay era. They are 4-3 in those games and just 2-5 ATS.
  • The Rams are 5-2 Under in those 7 games with Bill Vinovich, averaging 23 points per game.
  • The Cowboys have improved their penalty issues from 2021, although are still top 10 in 2022.
  • The Cowboys have committed 27 penalties in 2022, 33% of those penalties are for false starts
  • Vinovich since 2016 is 61-39-2 Under (61%)
  • Bill Vinovich officiated the 2019 NFC Championship game: Rams at Saints. Every NFL fan and bettor will remember the no-call on an obvious pass interference by the Rams late in that game.

When we look at this game, both defenses are superior to the offenses. Particularly in the trenches where both the Rams & Cowboys have issues on the offensive line. We aren’t going to get many cheap penalties to assist the offenses with Vinovich.

If the Rams and Cowboys are to score TD’s they will have to execute perfectly on offense. Based on the match-up that seems unlikely. Rams vs Cowboys Under is the play.

» Bet the Rams vs Cowboys Now

John Hussey’s Impact on Bills vs Steelers, Week 5

John Hussey is the head referee for the Bills vs Steelers Week 5 game. Let’s break down how Hussey may impact this game and betting markets.

How does referee John Hussey Impact this Game?

Hussey isn’t what would be considered an over referee. He was 8-8 on totals in 2021 and just 48% of his games have gone over the total since 2016.

Yet looking at the Bills and Steelers penalty metrics combined with Hussey’s emphasis on certain penalties in 2022, this game has the makings of a higher scoring affair.

Illegal Contact, Defensive Holding & Pass Interference Penalties:

  • Illegal contact penalties are a point of emphasis for the NFL in 2022. Quite simply, this has been enforced in the hopes of increasing overall points scored.
  • John Hussey leads the NFL in illegal contact penalties through the opening month of the season.
  • Buffalo had issues with defensive holding in 2021. Nothing has changed in 2022. They are the third most penalized team in this category. The Steelers are also in the top ten.
  • Both teams are ranked low for pass interference penalty stats in 2022. However, John Hussey is calling the fifth most in this key category

Offensive Holding & Unnecessary Roughness Penalties:

  • The Bills and Steelers have committed very few offensive holding penalties in 2022. John Hussey is tied for the second fewest per game in this key penalty category.
  • The Steelers and Bill are both in the top five penalized teams for unnecessary roughness
  • John Hussey is calling the third most unnecessary roughness penalties per game in 2022
  • Buffalo leads the NFL in roughing the passer penalties in 2022

This game total is at 47. The Steelers with Trubisky at QB would not throw enough to take advantage of potential penalties on the Bills defense. Chances are Kenny Pickett will throw downfield, and Pittsburgh have weapons at WR and TE versus a banged up Bills secondary.

We know what Josh Allen and Buffalo can do. Combine that with no T.J. Watt and possibly no Minkah Fitzpatrick, it presents not only a prime opportunity to make plays but also a referee in Hussey who has called key penalties on defensive units in 2022 to assist the passing game.

The combination of very few offensive holding penalties with an above average mix of key penalties on defenses from the referee is the perfect mix to assist in extra points being scored. We have that here in Week 5. Bills vs Steelers over 47 is the play.

» Bet the Bills vs Steelers Now

Sharp Betting Packages
25% OFF, use code: GET25

Current 2022 NFL Referees & Their Historical Betting Trends

Comprehensive breakdown for every NFL Referee working games for the 2022 season, plus a deeper look at their penalty-calling trends and how it may impact betting opportunity plus pace of game play.

Shawn Hochuli: Referee Penalty Trends & Betting Stats

In his 63-game career, Shawn Hochuli is a notoriously smart bet when betting on the Under.

  • 35-26-2 to UNDER (57%) for his career
  • 11-6 UNDER record (65%) in the 2021 NFL season
  • 17-6-1 UNDER (74%) in divisional match-ups for his career
  • 5-2 UNDER (73%) in divisional match-ups in 2021

Some might argue that Hochuli likes to be the center of attention at times, as was evident when Hochuli officiated the 2021 Thanksgiving debacle (Raiders vs Cowboys) with a combined 28 penalties for 276 yards.

  • Hochuli oversaw the controversial 2021 Week 15 Seahawks vs Rams with the “no pass interference” call that effectively doomed Seattle in a 20-10 loss.
  • Hochuli called 3rd most penalties (13.12) per game in 2021 for 118 yards per game.
  • Hochuli called the most defensive pass interference calls in 2021, a stat that is skewed by the Dallas vs Las Vegas game where he called that infringement 5 times.

Bill Vinovich: Referee Penalty Trends & Betting Stats

Bill Vinovich is the epitome of a “let ’em play” NFL referee. This means that Vinovich’s officiating crews typically don’t favor team offenses — and therefore you may find opportunity when betting the Under.

Last season in 2021, Vinovich and his crew called the fewest penalties per NFL game:

  • average of 9.06 penalties per game
  • average of 75 yards penalized per game
  • called the fewest (zero!) roughing the passer penalties in 2021
  • fewest defensive holding penalties per game
  • the 2nd fewest pass interference penalties

Over the past six seasons, Vinovich’s lack of penalty calling has resulted in a:

  • 61-36-2 UNDER record (63%) for his career
  • 25-14-2 UNDER (65%) in Divisional match-ups for his career
  • 10-6 UNDER (63%) in the 2021 NFL season

Vinovich has been the head referee in the Super Bowl twice: in Super Bowl LIV (Chiefs vs 49ers) & Super Bowl XLIX (Seahawks vs Patriots).

A final point supporting Vinovich’s “let ’em play” philosophy: Every NFL bettor & fan remembers the Rams vs. Saints 2019 NFC Championship game:

Known in New Orleans as the “NOLA NO-CALL” when Saints WR Tommy Lee Lewis was tackled by Rams CB Nickell Robey Coleman at the 13-yard line but no flag was thrown.

It probably cost the Saints a spot in the Super Bowl and highlights again why it’s not just the penalties called we focus on, but which NFL referee is LESS likely to make that big call — which is equally as impactful in many cases.

John Hussey: Referee Penalty Trends & Betting Stats

John Hussey has been the best referee for home teams since the start of the 2016 season.

Hussey’s officiating trends towards a “let ‘em play” style:

  • Hussey called the 3rd fewest penalties per game in 2021
  • Hussey called near the fewest in NFL in key penalty categories: unnecessary roughness, roughing the passer & defensive holding
  • Hussey led the NFL in 2021 in calling the newly implemented “unsportsmanlike conduct” penalty

Over the past 6 seasons, when Hussey is the referee, home teams have been heavy favorites, going:

  • 64-33 (66%) against the Moneyline
  • 29-11 (73%) against the Moneyline in Divisional match-ups
  • 55-39-3 (59%) against-the-spread (ATS)
  • 28-10-2  (74%) ATS in Divisional match-ups
  • 11-5 ML & ATS in the 2021 NFL season

Brad Allen: Referee Penalty Trends & Betting Stats

Brad Allen is a former ACC referee who is unique in that he transitioned immediately from college football directly to a head NFL referee.

His style gravitates to “let ’em play” although he had one outlier season where he led NFL in penalties.

Brad Allen has been a solid “home field advantage” referee. Since 2016, home favorites have gone:

  •  57-38 (60%) against the Moneyline
  • 53-40-2 (57%) ATS

Home underdogs are 20-11-1 ATS (65%) since 2016 when Brad Allen has been the referee.

Need more evidence that Allen favors the home team and lets both teams play?

  • He called only 44% of penalties on home teams in 2021
  • 54-41 Under (57%) in past six seasons
  • 23-12 Under (66%) in divisional games

Jerome Boger: Referee Penalty Trends & How it may impact betting

Boger’s officiating style can be considered offense friendly. His approach creates the opportunity for offenses to excel with his combination of very few offensive holding penalties with an above average count in defensive pass interference & defensive holding penalties. As a result Boger has been a solid Over referee in his career.

  • 53-41 over (56%) since 2016
  • 21-12 over (64%) in Division match-ups since 2016
  • 19-12 over (62%) in 2020/2021 NFL seasons
  • Called fewest offensive holding penalties in 2021 & 3rd fewest in 2020
  • Boger ranks in the mid tier range in calling defensive pass interference & his crew always provides the possibility of a penalty to extend drives.

Jerome Boger was the referee for SB XLVII, a Ravens 34-31 victory vs 49ers. More recently he officiated the 2021 Wild Card matchup Raiders at Bengals which was marred by bad calls including the errant whistle blown on the Joe Burrow TD pass to Tyler Boyd in the Bengals 26-19 win.

Adrian Hill: Referee Penalty Trends & How it may impact betting

Adrian Hill has been a head referee since 2019. Small body of work (47 games) but definitely trending under.

Very even keeled, his home/away splits are similar and Hill is generally around the average mark in most key penalty categories. Hill is what the NFL would probably prefer: a solid ref that to date who hasn’t been involved in controversial calls.

  • 30-16-1 Under (66%) in his 47 game career
  • 9-4-1 Under (66%) in Division match-ups

Brad Rogers: Referee Penalty Trends & How it may impact betting

Rogers is another new referee but his brief career has resulted in an astounding totals record. Since his debut in 2019 Brad Rogers has gone over the total in 70% of games.

Rogers went 11-1 Over in 2020 but even deducting that season from his overall stats he still has a solid over ratio (62%).

A lot of Rogers penalty metrics don’t necessarily justify games going Over at this rate. It’s a small sample size (43 games) and doesn’t seem sustainable, but is still is somewhat irrelevant. The stats are what they are to this point.

  • 30-13 Over (70%) in 43 career games
  • 13-3 Over (82%) in Division match-ups
  • 11-1 Over in 2020 NFL season
  • 10-6 Over (63%) in 2021 NFL season & 4-1 Over (80%) in Division games in 2021

Ron Torbert: Referee Penalty Trends & How it may impact betting

Torbert is a solid referee who officiated the Rams 23-20 victory in SB LVI. Torbert was criticized for calls that assisted the LA Rams in their game winning TD drive in SB LVI.

In the brief Sean McVay era in Los Angeles, Torbert is the referee they have played the most games with and also have the best winning percentage with. The Rams are 7-1 with Ron Torbert in 8 games.

More a “let em play” type referee, Torbert has also morphed into a very good Under referee the past two seasons.

  • Since 2016 home teams with Torbert are 56-42 SU (58%) however just 38-59-1 ATS (39%)
  • Home underdogs with Torbert since 2016 are just 10-25 ATS (29%) including a 3-5 record in the 2021 NFL season
  • In the 2020/2021 NFL seasons games officiated with Ron Torbert are 25-10 Under (71%)
  • Torbert called the 2nd fewest penalties in 2021

Shawn Smith: Referee Penalty Trends & How it may impact betting

Shawn Smith is another new referee with only 4 seasons in the NFL. Smith is solid and not intimidated by home crowds as evidenced by his ATS numbers.

Smith’s officiating style also gives the offense a chance to make plays and perhaps get assistance via a pass interference call to extend drives. This has resulted in a solid Over record.

Smith, like other newer refs, only has a small sample size of available data. However, we can only go on numbers and the numbers don’t lie:

  • Home teams 26-36-2 ATS (41%)
  • In Division match-ups home teams are 7-17 ATS (28%)
  • 35-28-1 Over (56%) in 4 years as head referee
  • 19-13-1 Over (60%) in 2020/2021 NFL seasons
  • Smith tied for fewest offensive holding penalties in 2021
  • Smith called 4th fewest offensive holding penalties in 2020
  • In the 2020/2021 Shawn Smith called the 4th & 5th most defensive pass interference penalties

Carl Cheffers: Referee Penalty Trends & how it may impact betting

Carl Cheffers a veteran referee who calls a lot of penalties. Cheffers consistently ranks in the top 5 per season for penalties.

A Cheffers officiated game will exceed NFL average in penalties more often than not. The takeaway from his long term trends are that when the dust has settled the home team wins well above the NFL average.

  • Cheffers consistently ranks in the top 5 every season for overall penalties
  • Led NFL in 2021 with 14 penalties per game for 124 yds per game
  • Home teams 58-39-1 SU (60%) since 2016
  • Home teams 48-49-1 ATS since 2016
  • 3rd most offensive holding penalties in 2021
  • Most unnecessary roughness penalties in 2021
  • 2nd most defensive pass interference penalties in 2021
  • Led the NFL in calling offensive pass interference in 2021

Clay Martin: Referee Penalty Trends & how they may impact betting

Martin another newer referee with a 4 season sample size (58 games). Limited sample size to this point but based on Clay Martin’s career stats he’s not swayed by home crowds.

  • Martin above average calling defensive pass interference & defensive holding in 2021
  • Below NFL average calling unnecessary roughness & roughing the passer penalties in 2021
  • Home teams are 29-29 SU in Clay Martin’s 58 game career
  • Home teams are 23-34-1 ATS (40%)

Scott Novak: Referee Penalty Trends & how they may impact betting

The jury remains out on Novak. In his first two seasons as a head referee Novak was the epitome of a “let em play” referee. He called the fewest penalties per game in his debut 2019 season and the 5th fewest in 2020.

That changed in 2021 when Novak’s penalties increased significantly to #3 overall in the NFL.

A number of games officiated by Novak in 2021 were abysmal. Sloppy officiating and simply over officiating. Way too many ticky-tack penalties.

Our guess? Novak will reverts back to a “let ‘em play” style in 2022 but only time will tell.

Home teams have struggled with Novak officiating in his brief 47 game career

  • Novak led the NFL in false start penalties in 2021
  • Noval 3rd most offensive holding calls in 2021
  • Tied for 2nd most offsides penalties & had 2nd most unnecessary roughness calls in 2021
  • Fifth most roughing the passer penalties in 2021
  • Totals with Novak in his 47 game career are 23-23-1
  • Home teams are 18-28-1 SU (39%) with Scott Novak
  • Home teams 17-28-2 (37%) with Novak

Clete Blakeman: Referee Penalty Trends & how they may impact betting

Clete Blakeman is a veteran ref who calls it down the middle. Need proof? Since 2016 home teams with Blakeman officiating are exactly .500.

That said, Blakeman’s crew has had its share of bad calls that generated a lot of criticism, notably the “no-call” on a clear defensive pass interference from Carolina vs New England in a MNF showdown in 2013 as time expired.

Another MNF debacle with Blakeman was Week 6, 2019 where his crew made questionable calls late that greatly benefited Green Bay in a dramatic 23-22 Packers win over the Lions.

  • Home teams 49-49 SU with Blakeman the past 6 seasons
  • Totals are 48-50 since 2016 with Blakeman
  • Blakeman had the most offensive holding calls in 2021 NFL season
  • Blakeman was in upper tier of NFL calling roughing the passer & unnecessary roughness penalties in 2021
  • Pittsburgh Steelers are 4-10 SU & 4-9-1 ATS in past decade with Blakeman officiating, including 0-2 in 2021

Craig Wrolstad: Referee Penalty Trends & how they may impact betting

Craig Wrolstad from a straight-up and totals standpoint is almost a .500 referee.

Where Wrolstad stands out is the home team ATS and the poor record they have when he officiates. And of the veteran refs, only Ron Torbert has a worse home dog ATS record than Craig Wrolstad.

Wrolstad has traditionally trended in the lower half of overall penalties. He was #2 in roughing the passer penalties in 2021 but that was an aberration from his normal stats.

  • Home teams 46-47 SU since 2016
  • Home teams 35-58 ATS (40%) with Wrolstad since 2016
  • Home underdogs are 13-29 (31%) since 2016
  • Wrolstad generally in the lower half of overall penalties per game in NFL
Sharp Betting Packages
25% OFF, use code: GET25