NFL Totals Betting: Week 17 Over and Under Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 12/26/2013
In a complete reversal of trends for the NFL total lines from the week before, 11 of 16 games in Week 16 stayed “under” the total. This was after 10 of 16 games went “over” in Week 15. I rode this wave to victories in my first two picks, but a late interception for a score that took the New England vs. Baltimore matchup over the closing 45.5-point line ruined a perfect 3-0 weekend. I head into the final week of the regular season with an overall record of 27-20-1 in my weekly total line picks.
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 17 in the NFL based on lines by 5Dimes.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 44.5
The drama for this game was lost when the Ravens got hammered by New England last Sunday, 41-7. Baltimore now needs to win and get some help to keep its playoff hopes alive, but Cincinnati has already clinched the AFC North. While there may be some genuine concern with the Ravens’ defense after last week’s performance, their offense failed to show up as well. Looking back at the last seven weeks, this unit has only scored more than 22 points once.
Cincinnati still has an outside shot at a first-round bye next Sunday, but it all hinges on winning this game, so look for the starters to take the field this week. This offense is more than capable of putting points on the board, but that has not been the case against Baltimore in recent years. The Bengals scored 17 points in a loss to the Ravens in early November, and they have not scored more than 24 points against them in the last 10 meetings.
The total for this game opened at 44.5, and it has held steady throughout the week. Weather should not be a factor in this game, but what will be a huge factor is two defenses that are ranked in the Top 10 of the NFL in points allowed. This matchup should be a grinder from the start that gets decided by a late field goal. The total has stayed under in seven of the Ravens last 10 division games and in six of Cincinnati’s last eight games against the AFC North.
Game Pick: UNDER
New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins (1p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 41
The Jets brief run at the playoffs ended weeks ago with just two victories in their last six games, but you can still expect them to play hard against their AFC East rivals. The defense has been suspect at times, but it did hold Miami to just 23 points the first time they met. The problem is the offense only managed a field goal in that game. This has been an issue all season long for a unit that is ranked 30th in the league in points scored (18.0).
The Dolphins can still make it into the postseason, but they need to win this game and get some help. With everything on the line last Sunday against Buffalo, the offense failed to show up in a 19-0 loss. If Miami fails to make it into the playoffs, the blame should go squarely on an offense that has scored 24 points or less in 11 of their last 12 games.
The total line for this divisional clash opened at 41 and has stayed there ever since. Neither team’s quarterback would have been featured on any highlight reels in recent weeks, and last Sunday, Miami’s offense was held to just over 100 total yards. The total has stayed under in the Dolphins last four games against the AFC East and in five of their last six games against the Jets.
Game Pick: UNDER
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints (4:25 p.m. FOX)
Total Line: 47
Tampa Bay has been playing better the past few weeks, and it would love nothing more than to end the season on a high note with a win in New Orleans. While that is much easier said than done, this team has been able to play the Saints tough, including a 16-14 loss in Week 2. The Buccaneers have been dreadful on offense with an average of 18.1 points, but their defense has been respectable by holding teams to 23.1 points a game.
New Orleans needs to win on Sunday to guarantee itself a spot in the postseason, but it comes in with three losses in its last four outings in which the offense has averaged 16.8 points a game. Granted, the three losses were on the road, and the only win was a 31-13 romp against Carolina, but it is hard to say that this team is peaking at just the right time.
The total for this NFC South tilt was set at 47, and it has not moved off that point. The Saints could very easily blow this game wide open by scoring early and often, but past trends still favor a final score that comes in under the mark. The total has stayed under in seven of Tampa Bay’s last nine road games and in the Saints last six games overall. In this series, it has stayed under in nine of the last 10 meetings overall and in the last four games played in New Orleans.
Game Pick: UNDER
YTD Record: 27-20-1
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