NFL Totals Betting: Week 16 Over and Under Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 12/18/2013
High-scoring games have been the norm in the NFL as the regular season winds down, with the total going “over” in 10 of 16 games for the second week in a row. After posting a costly 0-3 mark in Week 14, I bounced back with a clean sweep in my three picks last Sunday to improve to 25-19-1 heading into Week 16’s matchups.
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 16 in the NFL based on lines by 5Dimes.
Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 43
Miami’s three-game winning streak has it in the driver’s seat for an AFC wild-card spot. During this run, its defense has allowed an average of 17 points a game as compared to a season average of 21.1 points, which is ranked ninth in the NFL. The Dolphins’ offense is ranked 21st in scoring with an average of 22.1 points a game.
The Bills grinded out a 27-20 victory over Jacksonville last Sunday, but it was just the third time all season that the offense scored more than 24 points. This unit has averaged 21.4 points a game, and its defense is ranked 18th in the league in points allowed (25.3). Buffalo is ranked fourth in the league in rushing but 29th in passing with an average of 192.3 yards a game, so look for a heavy dose of CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson running the ball against Miami.
The total for this AFC East matchup opened at 43, and it has held firm ever since. Weather should not be a factor in Sunday’s game with mild temperatures expected at Ralph Wilson Stadium. These two combined for 44 points the first time they met this season, but look for that total to drop below the 43-point mark this time around with a very conservative game plan by both teams. The total has stayed “under” in eight of the Dolphins last nine games against the AFC East, and it stays under again on Sunday.
Game Pick: UNDER
New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens (4:25 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 45.5
It is painfully apparent that New England’s offense is not the same without tight end Rob Gronkowski in the starting lineup. The offense struggled to score points early in the season when he was sidelined with injuries, and last week, after he was lost for the season with a knee injury in Week 14, it failed to score from deep in the red zone late in the game against Miami in a 24-20 loss.
Baltimore refuses to go down without a fight in its defense of last season’s Super Bowl title. This past Monday’s 18-16 victory over Detroit kept the Ravens in the hunt for a wild-card spot at 8-6. Their offense is ranked 25th in the league in scoring with an average of 21.1 points a game. However, they still have a shut-down defense that is ranked seventh in points allowed (19.8).
The total for this AFC clash opened at 44.5, and it has jumped to 45.5 with some early money on the over. This sets up the perfect opportunity to go against the betting public. The total has stayed under in six of the Patriots’ last nine road games and in seven of Baltimore’s last nine games at home.
Game Pick: UNDER
Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers (4:25 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 50.5
Oakland has been riding out the string for the past several weeks behind an offense that is ranked 26th in the NFL in scoring with 21.1 points a game. The Raiders’ defense has been just as bad in allowing points, especially the past three games, but this unit did hold the Chargers to 17 points the first time they met.
San Diego remains in the hunt for a wild-card spot in the AFC at 7-7, and it is coming off back-to-back victories over the New York Giants and Denver. The Chargers held the high-powered Broncos to a season-low 20 points in last Thursday night’s win. There is no doubt that Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ offense can light up the scoreboard when everything is clicking, but this unit has struggled with consistency all season long. In four previous games, before this recent two-game run, San Diego averaged 21.8 points a game.
The total line in this AFC West clash opened at 50.5, and it has not moved off of this mark. If Oakland’s defense once again folds and San Diego’s offense finds that extra gear, the total should easily clear this number. To me, these are two big “ifs”. The total has stayed under in four of the last six meetings overall and in 10 of the last 13 games between these two that where played in San Diego.
Game Pick: UNDER
YTD Record: 25-19-1
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