The oddsmakers nailed the NFL total lines right on the head in Week 7, with six games going “over” the total and six staying “under” and one game ending as a “push” My current hot streak continued for a fourth-straight week and I am now 9-3 in my last 12 top plays on the total line. This also helped to improve my overall record on the year to 12-9.
Each week of the NFL regular season, my goal is to uncover the value in the total line and dig up a few golden opportunities to cash in on some bad lines. The following are my top three football picks for Week 8 in the NFL with lines provided by BetOnline. (All times EST)
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Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles (1 p.m. FOX)
Total Line: 46
The Falcons went into their bye week as the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL at 6-0. Their offense has done a good job at putting points on the board with an average of 28.5 a game, but most of their early success can be attributed to a stingy defense that is allowing just 18.8 points a game to its opponents.
Things got so bad after Philadelphia’s defensive collapse against Detroit two weeks ago that head coach Andy Reid decided to fire his defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. However, the main problem with the Eagles so far is an offense that can move the ball up and down the field but cannot make its way into the end zone. Philadelphia is averaging a paltry 17.2 points in its first six games.
Game Betting Trends
The total line for this game opened at 46, and while some books are at 46.5, BetOnline has held at that number. The big question is what changes does new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles have in store for Matt Ryan and Atlanta’s offense? Past trends in this series favor a low-scoring game with the total staying under in six of the last nine meetings, and a new-look Eagles’ defense helps to keep this trend intact.
Game Pick: UNDER 46
Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs (4:05 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 41.5
Oakland is 2-4 this season mainly because of an offense that has failed to score more than 20 points in four of its first six games. It also does not help when you have a defense that is giving up 28.5 points a game. However, that number is a bit skewed by a couple of big numbers by its opponents.
Kansas City has decided to stick with Brady Quinn over Matt Cassel at quarterback, which may make the fans happy. However, it’s unlikely to affect things on the scoreboard for an offense that is ranked 29th in the NFL in scoring with an average of 17.3 points a game. Quinn has helped to produce a grand total of 16 points in two previous starts.
Game Betting Trends
The total opened at 41.5 and has dropped to 41 with a number of books, but it has remained steady at BetOnline. It does not really matter if it dropped a couple of points as there is no way that these two offenses combine for much more than 30 points. Past trends marry-up to current form with the total staying under in 12 of the last 14 meetings between the two.
Game Pick: UNDER 41.6
New Orleans Saints vs. Denver Broncos (8:20 p.m. NBC)
Total Line: 55
New Orleans may have only won two games this season, but with Drew Brees still at the helm it has not forgotten how to put points on the board. The Saints remain one of the highest-scoring teams in the league with an average of 29.3 points a game. Unfortunately, their defense is mired at the opposite end of the scale in points allowed, giving up an average of 30.3 points a game.
The one thing you can say about Denver’s new-look offense with Peyton Manning at the helm is that no lead by its opponents is safe until the final gun. Overall, the Broncos are averaging 28.3 points a game, but a good majority of them have come in the fourth quarter. That could factor in huge on Sunday night in what sets up to be an old-fashioned shootout.
Game Betting Trends
The total opened at 55.5 and dropped to 55, which is perfectly fine with me. You already have two of the most prolific passers in the NFL teeing off against one another, but it also helps that the total has gone over in 10 of the Saints last 11 games overall and in six of the Broncos last eight games. There should be no stopping either of these two offensive machines under the prime-time lights of Mile High Stadium come Sunday night.
Game Pick: OVER 55
Year-to-date record: 12-9
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