The 2012 NFL regular season rolls into Week 3, and with regards to the total line 17 of the 32 games played have gone “over” the total. This equates to 53 percent of the games, which is not much of an edge. I once again missed the mark on two of my three picks, so it is back to the drawing board for this week’s matchups.
Each and every week during the NFL regular season, I will be digging deep into all the games on Sunday and Monday’s NFL schedule to uncover a few golden opportunities to cash in on the total line. The following are my top three football picks for this week with NFL odds provided by BetOnline. (All times EST)
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Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 42
Jacksonville put up 23 points against Minnesota in a Week 1 heartbreaking overtime loss and responded with just seven points last Sunday against Houston. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert has shown some encouraging signs that he can play in this league but remains a work in progress.
Andrew Luck led the Colts to their first victory of the year in a thrilling 23-20 win over the Vikings as the rookie quarterback made a couple of big plays when he had to. Overall, Indianapolis is ranked 24th in the NFL in total offense, which is better than the Jaguars, who are ranked last.
The total line for this game opened at 42 and has not moved from there. This number remains high enough for me as I see both teams’ offenses struggling with consistency on Sunday afternoon. The total has stayed “under” in six of Jacksonville’s last seven games against the AFC South and in all seven of the Colts last seven games against the division. Head-to-head, the total stayed under in both meetings last season.
Game Pick- UNDER
New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 40
The Jekyll-and-Hyde Jets returned to their previous form on offense with 10 points against Pittsburgh last week after scoring 48 points against Buffalo on opening weekend. There are still some fundamental problems with this unit that will take some time to correct, including a passing game that is averaging less than 200 yards a game.
Miami has established itself as a team that can run the ball, which is a good thing with rookie Ryan Tannehill under center. The Dolphins did put up 35 points on Oakland last week, but they managed only 10 points against Houston in Week 1 and will be facing one of the better defenses in the league this week.
The line for this game has been opened 40 in anticipation of a low-scoring game, but sometimes it is also an attempt to push the betting public towards the over. I am not biting, as this game sets up as a defensive battle right from the start. The total has stayed under in 12 of Miami’s last 17 games overall. It has also stayed under in the last three meetings between the two, with neither team scoring more than 24 points.
Game Pick: UNDER
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Arizona Cardinals (4 p.m. FOX)
Total Line: 43.5
If Philadelphia ever plays a game without turning the ball over four times while committing double-digit penalties it could be deadly. The Eagles are 2-0 after repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot, but you have to play the law of averages that Michael Vick and Co. are due to get their act together and light things up in the desert this Sunday.
Arizona put up 20 points in each of its first two games, which happened to be just enough to win. It looks like Kevin Kolb will get the start at quarterback against his former team, which adds even more motivation to play up to his capabilities. The Cardinals will try and hang their hat on their defense, but the reality is that they will have to score more than 20 points to win this game.
The line opened at 43.5 and has held steady ever since. I have a feeling it may creep up a bit before game time as some late money comes in on the over. The total has gone over in 12 of Philadelphia’s last 18 games following a SU win and in 12 of Arizona’s last 18 games at home. It has gone over in four of the last five meetings overall and in four of the last five games played in Arizona.
Game Pick: OVER
YTD Record: 2-4
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