The oddsmakers ability to even out the total line this NFL season has been downright uncanny. Last week, eight games went “over” the total and eight stayed “under”. That means that over the past eight weeks just two more games have stayed under the total as opposed to going over for a combined record of 56-58-3. For the second-straight week I posted a 2-1 record on my top three plays to improve to 21-17-1 on the year. With just three weeks left in the regular season I went back to work digging into all the facts and figures for this Sunday’s matchups to try and once again unearth the value in the total line.
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Each week of the NFL regular season, my goal is to capitalize on a few golden opportunities to cash in on the total line in Sunday’s schedule of NFL games. The following are my top three football picks for Week 15 with lines provided by 5Dimes.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 48
The surprising Colts are not only in excellent shape to make the playoffs at 9-4, but they actually control their own destiny for the AFC South Division title with Houston on the schedule in two of their final three games. Indianapolis is averaging only 22.5 points a game this season, but the offense is starting to find its rhythm with close to 27 points a game in its last five outings.
Houston was sent packing early in this past Monday night’s showdown against New England. The Patriots jumped out to a 28-point lead before it even got on the board. Looking back at the Texans last four games, they have now given up 37 points to Jacksonville, 31 points to Detroit and 42 points to New England.
Game Betting Trends
The total for this game opened at 48 and has stayed there ever since. In a battle between two domed teams, points should be even easier to come by on Sunday afternoon. The total has gone over in 18 of the Colts last 25 road games and in four of the Texans last five games at home. The total has also gone over in six of the last seven meetings between the two in Houston.
Game Prediction: OVER 48
New York Giants vs. Atlanta Falcons (1 p.m. FOX)
Total Line: 51
The Giants posted 52 points against the Saints last Sunday, but that was at home. They have averaged 28.7 points a game this season, which is the third-highest total in the league, but they have averaged only 22.8 points in six games on the road, including just 13 against Cincinnati and 16 against Washington in their last two road games.
Atlanta needs to quickly get last week’s 30-20 meltdown on the road against Carolina out of its system in order to regain some momentum heading into the postseason. Fortunately, the Falcons are heading home where they are a perfect 6-0, mainly because of the ability to hold their opponents to an average of just 19 points a game.
Game Betting Trends
The total line opened at 52 but some early money has pushed this number down to 51 on 5Dimes current board. Usually I like to go against the betting public, but this drop may actually be the work of some sharps. The total has stayed under in six of New York’s last eight games and in six of Atlanta’s last nine. Head-to-head, the total has stayed under in six of the last eight meetings.
Game Prediction: UNDER 51
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders (4:25 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 43.5
Kansas City maintained its stranglehold on the No.1 pick in next year’s draft with another dismal outing in which it only managed to score seven points against Cleveland. The Chiefs have now been held to 16 points or less in eight of their last nine games. Their defense has done its best to try and keep them in the game by giving up an average of 24 points over the same span of games.
If Oakland loses this game it could very well wrestle that No.1 pick away from the Chiefs. The Raiders have completely become unglued with six-straight losses in which they have been outscored by a combined 215-109. They have not scored more than 17 points in their last four games.
Game Betting Trends
The total opened at 42.5 points and has been pushed up to 43.5 points, but this time I am going against the betting public in what I see as an early Christmas gift. I do not see either team putting too many points on the board, even if the other team’s defense stinks. The total has stayed under in 16 of the last 21 meetings overall and in six of the last seven games played in Oakland.
Game Prediction: UNDER 43.5
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YTD Record: 21-17-1