For the second straight week in the NFL, the “under” play had a slight advantage at 8-7-1. However, over the course of the last six weeks the oddsmakers have continually nailed these lines with with 41 games going “over,” 41 games staying under and three games ending as a “push”. I came up short last week with my top three picks at 1-2 to fall to 14-11-1 over the past nine weeks. This means it is back to work digging deep into this week’s matchups to try and unearth the value in the total line.
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Each week of the NFL regular season, I set out to find a few golden opportunities to cash in on the total line in Sunday’s slate of games. The following are my top three NFL picks for this week with lines provided by BetOnline.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 45
Jacksonville has been able to find some offense over the past two weeks with Chad Henne taking over as the starting quarterback for an ineffective Blaine Gabbert. The Jaguars rolled up 37 points against Houston two weeks ago and beat Tennessee last Sunday, 24-19. The problem remains on defense where they are ranked 29th in the NFL in points allowed.
Buffalo head coach Chain Gailey has come under fire recently for his conservative play calling, so this matchup presents a great opportunity to let Ryan Fitzpatrick try and open things up with the passing game. The Bills still have plenty of playmakers in wide receiver Steve Johnson and running back CJ Spiller to put some points on the board.
Game Betting Trends
The total line for this game opened at 45.5 but has dipped to 45. Even though the calendar reads December, weather should not be a factor with an expected warm spell for Sunday’s game. A few of the past trends in this matchup point to a low-scoring game, but I am going against the grain in this one as both teams should be able to find the end zone at will.
Game Prediction: OVER 45
Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 47
Houston keeps rolling its way to the No.1 seed in the AFC, but there has to be some concern with how many points its defense has given up in the past two games. After shutting down almost every team it has faced, this unit has been torched for a total of 68 points in overtime victories against Jacksonville and Detroit. Look for a return to normalcy against a division foe.
Tennessee has been a mixed bag from week to week, especially with quarterback Jake Locker back at the helm. Quarterback coach Dowell Loggains was given a field promotion to offensive coordinator this week. And while he may look to open things up, it could be a recipe for disaster given the inconsistency on this side or the ball.
Game Betting Trends
The total line opened at 48 but has been whittled down to 47, which is still high enough for my tastes. There is little doubt that the Texans will put points on the board, but also look for their defense to put the clamps on the Titans. The total has gone over in the last four meetings, but I am once again going against the trends in this one.
Game Prediction: UNDER 47
New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 51
New England has returned to form after an unexpected slow start. And while there are still some concerns with a defense that continues to give up a ton of yards, the offense has more than compensated with a ton of points. Do not expect Miami to give away points like the Jets did last Thursday night, but do expect Tom Brady to go out and earn them like he has all season long.
The Dolphins remain one of the more puzzling teams in the NFL as you are not quite sure what you are going to get in any given week. The one thing they have been able to this season is to score enough points to keep the majority of their games close. Miami will never be confused for an offensive juggernaut, but it should still have some success this Sunday against New England.
Game Betting Trends
The total opened at 51 and has remained steady all week long. Looking back at the Patriots last nine games, which have all gone over the total, the line has been 48 points or more in six of those games. The total has also gone over in the last four meetings and in four of the last five games played in Miami. In this matchup I am riding the past trends all the way to the bank.
Game Prediction: OVER 51
YTD Record: 17-15-1
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