NFL Totals Betting: Week 15 Over and Under Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 12/11/2013
Despite cold and snowy weather all across the country last Sunday, a play on the “over” was still the way to go in the NFL. The total ended up going over in 10 of the 16 games on Week 14’s schedule. I had bad weather on my side in all three “under” picks last week, but all three games went way over the closing line. This unfortunate turn of events dropped my record on the year to 22-19-1, so it is back to the drawing board for Week 15 in the NFL.
Each and every week of the NFL regular season, I dig 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 15 in the NFL based on lines by 5Dimes.
Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 45.5
Houston has to be counting the days until this season is over after losing its last 11 games following a 2-0 start. The Texans have actually remained competitive through it all with a defense that is ranked third in the NFL in yards allowed, but the offense continues to struggle with an average of just 19.2 points a game.
The Colts have already clinched the AFC South at 8-5, but they have hardly looked like a playoff team the past few weeks. They are 2-3 in their last five games behind an offense that has averaged 19.8 points a game as opposed to a season average of 26.8 points before hitting this rough patch. The loss of wide receiver Reggie Wayne has had a dramatic effect on the passing game, and Indianapolis is ranked 22nd in the league in rushing.
The total for this divisional clash opened at 45.5 points, and it has held steady ever since. The current form of both these offenses points to a low-scoring affair, and past trends in this matchup also favor this notion as well. The total has stayed under in the last four meetings in Indianapolis and in five of the last six meetings overall.
Game Pick: UNDER
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Minnesota Vikings (1 p.m. FOX)
Total Line: 51
Philadelphia did not score until the third quarter of last week’s win over Detroit but still managed to put up 34 points in a blinding snow storm. Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense is ranked first in the NFL in rushing with an average of 158.5 yards and third in total yards with 409.3 a game. This unit is averaging 25.7 points a game, but it has scored 30 or more points six times this season.
The Vikings have suffered some hard-luck losses this season, but through it all they have found ways to put points on the board. They come into this matchup averaging 24.2 points a game, and they have not scored less than 20 points in their last seven contests. The problem has been a defense that is ranked 31st in the league in points allowed in giving up an average of 30.4 points a game.
The total opened at 51, and it has not moved off of that mark ever since. If the Eagles can put up 34 points in half a foot of snow, you have to believe they are going to light things up on a fast track in a dome this Sunday. All I need is the Vikings to hit that 20-point total one more time, and this game will definitely go over that 51-point line. It also helps that the total has gone over in six of Philadelphia’s last seven games on the road and in six of the Vikings last seven games at home.
Game Pick: OVER
New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 45.5
New England may have won the battle in last Sunday’s dramatic 27-26 come-from-behind victory over Cleveland, but it definitely lost the war when tight end Rob Gronkowski went down with a season-ending knee injury. Before his return to the lineup in Week 7 earlier this year, the Patriots were averaging 20.8 points a game as opposed to their current average of 26.8 points.
The Dolphins continue to find ways to stay in the playoff race in the AFC at 7-6 despite an offense that is ranked 19th in passing yards and 23rd in the NFL in rushing. The main reason they keep hanging around is a defense that is holding teams to an average of 21.2 points a game, which is ranked ninth in the league. These two teams combined for 44 points in the first meeting this season after Miami blew a 17-3 lead at the half.
The total for this AFC East showdown opened at 45.5 points, and it continues to hold steady as the week wears on. Gronkowski’s loss is bound to have an impact on New England’s ability to sustain drives and move the ball downfield. The Patriots’ offense has continually found ways to erase deficits that their defense has created all season long, but that becomes a much taller task without one of their best players on the field. The total has stayed “under” in the last three meetings, and it stays under this time around as well.
Game Pick: UNDER
YTD Record: 22-19-1
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