Once again, the oddsmakers split the uprights on the total line in the NFL with seven games going “over” the total in Week 8 and seven staying “under”. My current hot streak finally cooled with a 0-2-1 record last week, dropping me down to 9-5-1 over the past five weeks. The poor showing also leaves me at just 12-10-1 on my top NFL picks for the entire 2012 NFL season, but I am looking for a big second-half run.
Each week of the NFL regular season, my goal is look for the value in the total line in an effort to uncover a few golden opportunities to cash in on. The following are my top three plays for Week 9 in the NFL with lines provided by BetOnline.
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Miami Dolphins vs. Indianapolis Colts
Total Line: 43
Miami has been surprisingly competitive this season with rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill at the helm. He is currently listed as questionable for this game with a knee injury, which may have an impact on the Dolphins ability to score. What will have an impact on the final score of this game is a Miami defense that is ranked fifth in the NFL in points allowed.
Andrew Luck is another rookie quarterback that has brought his team some early success. Indianapolis is 4-3 on the year but still only averaging 19.4 points a game. This appears to be a downward trend with an average of just 15 points in their last three games. The Colts defense has stepped things up on its end by holding opponents to a total of 26 points in the last two contests.
Game Betting Trends
The total line for this game opened at 43 and while it has dipped a half a point with some books, BetOnline is holding steady at that number. The game is in a dome, so weather will not be a factor. However, given that the total has stayed under in 24 of Miami’s last 33 road games and in eight of the Colts last nine home games points will still be hard to come by for both teams.
Game Pick: UNDER 43
Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns
Total Line: 42.5
Baltimore’s defense was obviously rattled by the loss of Ray Lewis its last time out, but getting Terrell Suggs back earlier than expected is a major plus. The main concern for the Ravens could actually be an offense that has scored an average of just 15 points in its last three road games.
Cleveland appears to be committed to forging on with rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden despite the fact that its offense is averaging 19.2 points a game and has put up a total of just 20 points in its last two outings. Fortunately, the Browns’ defense has stepped things up the last two weeks by holding its opponents to a total of just 23 points.
Game Betting Trends
The opening line for this game was 42.5 and it has held steady ever since. Weather should not be a major factor, but it is starting to get cold in Cleveland this time of year. The total has stayed under in six of the last seven meetings, including the Ravens’ 23-16 victory earlier this season with the line set at 44. Look for a similar result this time around as well in another grinder between these two AFC North foes.
Game Pick: UNDER 42.5
Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Redskins
Total Line: 46.5
It has been a rough sophomore season for Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, but with the latest and greatest rookie sensation in Robert Griffin III across the field this week, it could be a great time for Superman to put his cape back on and finally put some points on the board for the struggling Panthers.
Much has been made about RG III’s NFL debut, and the proof of his ability to flourish at this level is in the numbers. Washington is currently ranked seventh in the league in points per game. The problem with this team is a defense that is giving up an average of 28.4 points a game.
Game Betting Trends
The total line opened at 46.5 and has not moved off that mark on any of the major books. Past trends for both teams favor a high-scoring game with the total going over in 13 of the Panthers last 20 games against the NFC and in 10 of the Redskins last 15 games overall. Look for a great show from two of the brightest young stars in the NFL that carries over onto the scoreboard.
Game Pick: OVER 46.5
YTD Record: 12-10-1
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