NFL Totals Betting: Wild Card Round Over and Under Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 12/31/2012
The NFL regular season came to a close this past Sunday, and staying true to a trend that has been the norm over the last 11 weeks is a balanced result on the total line with nine games going “over” the total and seven staying “under”. The overall record on the total line during this extended stretch of games is now 80-81-4. I managed to go 2-1 with my top three picks last week to finish the regular season 26-20-2. With the playoffs at hand, it is time to dial things up in an effort to unearth the value in the total line for this weekend’s Wild Card Round.
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Each week of the NFL season right through the Divisional Round of the playoffs, my job is to dig up a few golden opportunities to cash in on the total line. The following are my top three NFL picks for this weekend’s Wild Card Round using lines provided by 5Dimes.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers (8 p.m. NBC)
Total Line: 46
It will be Déjà Vu all over again as the Vikings will try and take their show on the road in an effort to win the rubber match in this season series against Green Bay. Last week, Adrian Peterson ran wild through the Packers’ defense to help his team rack up 37 points in a three-point win that landed them in this wildcard matchup. The total for that game easily went over the 45.5-point line.
Green Bay now has six days to try and figure out how to slow Peterson down on the possibly-frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. The early weather forecast for Saturday night has the temperature falling into the teens, but there is no snow in the forecast. This should help Aaron Rodgers and Co. put some points on the board of their own after averaging 27.1 points a game in the regular season.
Game Betting Trends
The total this time opened at 46, and despite the change in venue, it is a half point higher than where last week’s total line closed. I went big on the over last week, and I see no reason to change course this time around. The total has now gone over in 18 of the last 26 meetings, and it has gone over in four of the last five games played in Green Bay.
Game Prediction: OVER 46
Indianapolis Colts vs. Baltimore Ravens (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 46
The Colts make a triumphant return to the postseason after a one-year hiatus. They clearly have momentum on their side heading into this matchup, but much of that can be attributed to a defense that has held its opponents to 23 points or less in four of its last six games while giving up a combined 29 points in its previous two games.
Baltimore stumbles into the playoffs with just one victory in its last five games. It has managed to score an average of just 23 points a game during this stretch after averaging 25.7 points in its first 12 games. The Ravens were able to rest a number of starters in this past Sunday’s season finale against Cincinnati, which should help in getting their banged-up defense a bit healthier for this contest.
Game Betting Trends
The total line opened at 46.5 and almost immediately slid a half point to 46. This downward trend could continue all week long, as I see this number as a bit too high for this matchup. Neither team has been lighting up the scoreboard lately, and past trends favor a low-scoring contest. The total has stayed under in 13 of the Colts last 16 games against the AFC and it has stayed under in 11 of the Ravens last 15 home games against a team with a winning record on the road.
Game Prediction: UNDER 46
Seattle Seahawks vs. Washington Redskins (4:30 p.m. FOX)
Total Line: 45.5
In a matchup between two of the most surprising and hot playoff teams, Seattle has to find a way to recreate the magic that led to a perfect 8-0 record at home this season. The Seahawks averaged 25.8 points a game this season. However, with the exception of a 50-point outburst against Buffalo in Week 15, they have averaged just 18.5 points in their previous four outings on the road.
Washington locked up its first NFC East title behind a punishing ground game that torched Dallas for 274 yards. Behind the rookie legs of quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris, look for the Redskins to try an duplicate that same success against a Seattle defense that is ranked 10th in the NFL against the run.
Game Betting Trends
The total line opened at 45 and quickly went to 45.5 on 5Dimes latest board. This is the direction I would love to see continue all week long. The playoffs take on a whole new level of pressure, especially for two rookie quarterbacks in Russell Wilson and RG III, who will be making their first ever NFL postseason start. The total has gone over in the past four meetings between the two in Washington, but this time around is a whole new ball game that favors a defensive struggle.
Game Prediction: UNDER 45.4
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