NFL Totals Betting: Week 12 Over and Under Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 11/20/2013
The oddsmakers kept the total lines razor sharp last week in the NFL, with seven games going “over” the closing line and seven staying “under” and one game ending as a “push”. Fortunately, I was able to navigate my way through with a profitable 2-1 record for my top three plays in Week 11 of the NFL season. This raised my overall record on the year to 19-13-1 for a winning percentage of 58 percent.
Each and every week of the NFL regular season, I will be digging deep into the stats and betting trends for all the matchups on Sunday’s slate in an effort uncover a few golden opportunities to cash in on the total line. The following are my top three picks for Week 12 in the NFL based on lines by 5Dimes.
Sunday, Nov. 24
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 41
Pittsburgh has worked its way back into the AFC North title race at 4-6, but some major issues with this team still exist on an offense that can’t run the ball. The Steelers are averaging just 76.5 yards on the ground, and while they have done a better job at putting some points on the board the last few weeks, they are still only averaging 21.6 points a game.
The Browns are in the same boat in the division at 4-6, so this becomes a must-win for both teams. Unfortunately, this team is headed in the wrong direction with just one win in their last five games behind an offense that has averaged only 18.2 points a game during this stretch. This is even lower than a 19.2-point season average that is ranked 29th in the league. The bright spot has been a Cleveland defense that is ranked eighth against the run and fourth against the pass.
The total line for this divisional battle opened at 41.5, and it has dipped slightly to 41. This is the time of the year when you have to keep an eye to the sky in places like Cleveland, and there is a 40 percent chance of snow in the forecast. Add in the fact that the average combined points scored in the last four meetings is just 27.8, and the under in this contest looks even better.
Game Pick: UNDER
Chicago Bears vs. St. Louis Rams (1 p.m. FOX)
Total Line: 45.5
Chicago continues its quest for the NFC North title with quarterback Jay Cutler still listed as “doubtful”. Josh McCown has done a decent job in relief, but this offense has averaged only 23 points in its last three games after averaging close to 30 points with Cutler at the helm. The Bears’ defense has actually elevated its game over the same stretch of games by holding teams to 20.3 points.
The Rams were struggling to put points on the board even with Sam Bradford under center, and things have pretty much stayed the same with Kellen Clemens at the helm. Even with a 38-point outburst against Indianapolis last Sunday, the Rams are averaging just 22.4 points a game. They are ranked 27th in the NFL in total yards (316.5) and have struggled equally to pass and run the ball.
The total opened at 46, and it has dropped slightly to 45.5, but that is still high enough for me in this matchup. Both teams have inexperienced quarterbacks leading the way, which should only enhance the fact that the total has stayed under in seven of the last nine meetings and in four of the last five games played in St. Louis.
Game Pick: UNDER
Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants (4:25 p.m. FOX)
Total Line: 47
Dallas limped into last week’s bye after getting destroyed 49-17 by New Orleans to fall to 5-5 this season. The Cowboys remain one of the hardest teams in the NFL to figure out, but the extra week off should have the offense ready to return to the form that has averaged 27.4 points a game this season, which is the fifth-highest total in the league.
The Giants have clawed their way back into a wide-open NFC East title race with four straight wins after posting six straight losses. The biggest difference has been Eli Manning’s ability to take care of the ball. They had a -16 turnover ratio through their first six games, but they are +5 through their last four games.
The total line for this NFC East showdown opened at 46.5, and it has held steady on 5Dimes most recent board. Weather should not be a major factor in Sunday’s game, so MetLife Stadium should remain a fast track for two teams that love to air it out. The total in this series has gone over in seven of the last nine meetings overall, and it has gone over in seven of the last 11 meetings in New Jersey.
Game Pick: OVER
YTD Record: 19-13-1
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