NFL Totals Betting: Week 2 Over and Under Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 9/14/2011
Many times at the beginning of the NFL regular season the defense is ahead of the offense and points are a little harder to come by. Whether or not it was the extended layoff due to the player lockout or just a one-week fluke, scoring was not an issue in Week 1, with 12 of 16 games going ‘over’ the total.
The oddsmakers will surely adjust, but there is still value to be found in the numbers as the following are this week’s best bets for NFL totals betting on the current ‘over/under’ lines as provided by BetOnline.
Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts
Cleveland was stunned in its opener with a 27-17 loss to Cincinnati in a game that went ‘over’ the 34.5-point NFL total. The Browns did their best to keep this one ‘under’ with a total of 285 yards of offense against a Bengals’ defense that is not normally considered a juggernaut in the NFL. Everyone knows the situation with the Colts, but it is beginning to look like a rapidly aging Kerry Collins is not the answer at quarterback.
Defense could be both these teams only saving grace this season as they still have enough talented personnel on that side of the ball to salvage some wins. Cleveland’s defense gave up a few big plays but kept the team in the game most of the way and Indianapolis is not facing Matt Schaub this week, rather Colt McCoy, who completed less than 48 percent of his passes last week.
The total line on this game actually opened at 37, which is most likely due to the betting public jumping on a low number. The total has stayed ‘under’ in four of the Browns last five games as a favorite of three points or less. The Colts recent trends are completely skewed with Peyton Manning out of the lineup, but the total has stayed ‘under’ in Indy’s last four home games as an underdog.
Arizona Cardinals at Washington Redskins
The first game of the Kevin Kolb-era in Arizona resulted in a win, but the Cardinals 28-21 victory as 6.5-point home favorites over Carolina, which won a total of two games last year, could hardly be called impressive. Washington has to be pleased with its 28-14 victory over the Giants as a 2.5-point home underdog, but both these games changed on big plays in the second half as opposed to consistent play over the course of four quarters. This week’s game should provide a much better assessment of where these two NFC bottom feeders really are.
The total line on this game opened at 41.5, and the movement upward could be more of an indictment of an Arizona defense that gave up 422 yards passing to Cam Newton in his NFL debut rather than a Washington defense that held New York to 14 points. The total has stayed ‘under’ in 10 of the Redskins last 13 games as a favorite, and in their last seven games as a home favorite. The total has stayed ‘under’ in seven of the last 10 meetings between the two.
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons
Michael Vick makes his return to the Georgia Dome for the first time as a starter since his playing days with the Falcons. His numbers in the Eagles 31-13 over St. Louis were not off the charts, but once again he made enough big plays to put points on the board. Atlanta’s 12-point debut against the Bears (actually the offense only accounted for two field goals) is certainly not indicative of Matt Ryan and Co.’s true capabilities to put points on the board as well. You have to believe the Falcons’ offense will put forth a much better effort before a nationally televised audience on Sunday Night Football.
The current line has moved slightly downward from its open at 50.5, which is exactly the right direction you want it to go. The total has gone ‘over’ in all seven of Philadelphia’s last seven road games and in nine of Atlanta’s last 13 games overall. Vick will be looking to put on a show in front of his old fans and the Falcons will find enough holes in the Eagles’ defense to keep pace.
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