NFL Totals Betting: Week 11 Over and Under Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 11/12/2014
This past week in the NFL, the play on the "over" had a very slight advantage on the total line, with seven of the 13 games going over the closing betting line. I started the second half of the NFL season with a sub-.500 record of 12-14-1 on my weekly total line picks for Doc's Sports and unfortunately continued to head in the wrong direction with a 1-2 record in last week's total line picks.
Turning to Sunday's games on the NFL Week 11 slate, I had my eye on quite a few interesting matchups when it came to betting odds on the total line. In the end, I was able to narrow things down to a trio of selections that have the best chance to cash in. All the picks are based on betting odds as provided by BetOnline.
Sunday, Nov. 16
Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 42
Houston's fast 3-1 start out of the gate has deteriorated into an overall record of 4-5 coming off last week's bye. Head coach Bill O'Brian has decided to hand the keys to the struggling offense over to Ryan Mallett for this Sunday's game. This unit is ranked 28th in the NFL in passing yards per game, and over the course of its last seven games it has averaged 22.7 points a game. JJ Watt is still a force to be reckoned with on defense, and overall this unit is ranked 11th in the league in points allowed (21.9).
The Browns have caught everyone's attention in their stunning 6-3 start, but you cannot help but feel that somewhere along the way the clock is going to strike midnight. Brian Hoyer has led the way on offense, but Cleveland has been pretty average in comparison to the rest of the league with 354 total yards and 23.2 points a game. The Browns' defense has been a whole other story. This unit has already recorded 17 takeaways, and it is ranked sixth in the NFL in average points allowed (19.1).
The total line for this AFC matchup opened as 42, and it has held steady as the week has worn on. The weather in Cleveland this Sunday should not be a major factor, but these two defenses will. The total has stayed under in the Browns last five games, and there is no real reason to think this betting trend will change in this matchup
Game Pick: UNDER
Denver Broncos vs. St. Louis Rams (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 51
The Broncos appear to be on a mission to erase the memory of last season's embarrassing performance in Super Bowl XLVIII, and for the most part they have stayed true to the course, especially when it comes to the offensive side of the ball. With veteran quarterback Peyton Manning still throwing the ball all over the field each and every week, Denver finds itself ranked second in the league in scoring with an average of 31.8 points a game. The defense has done its part; with the exception of the 43 points it gave up in a Week 9 loss to New England on the road.
St. Louis is 3-6 on the year, and it has the unenviable task of playing in the NFC West, where a 5-4 record is only good enough for third place. You have to give the Rams credit for showing up each week, but they continue to have major trouble keeping pace with the better teams they have faced. Last Sunday they allowed 31 points in a loss to Arizona. St. Louis gave up 34 points to Philadelphia a few weeks back, and Kansas City tagged this defense for 34 points in a late October loss.
The opening betting line for the total in this game was set at 50.5, and some early money on the over has pushed it up to 51. I still think that is too low considering that Denver alone should score more than 40 points in this matchup. The total has gone over in the Broncos last five games, and it has gone over in 12 of the Rams last 17 games at home.
Game Pick: OVER
San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants (1 p.m. FOX)
Total Line: 44
San Francisco may have saved its season with last Sunday's 27-24 overtime road victory over New Orleans, but there is still something missing on an offense that has averaged only 21.7 points a game this season. While much of the blame might fall on quarterback Colin Kaepernick's shoulders, there has been a lack of consistency in the overall offensive scheme throughout the entire season. The one constant in the 49ers' erratic 5-4 start has been a defense that is ranked second in the NFL in yards allowed (306.4) while holding teams to 22.4 points a game.
The Giants have been all over the board this season with multiple losing streaks wrapped around a brief three-game run. Their current losing streak reached four games with last Sunday's 38-17 loss to Seattle, and New York's offense has now failed to score more than 24 points in any of the four losses. The prospect for any kind of dramatic turnaround this Sunday doesn't appear to be all that encouraging against a defense like San Francisco. I actually do expect a much better effort on defense from New York, even though the stats tell me different, given the simple fact that it would be hard for this unit to play any worse.
The total line for this NFC West Coast-East Coast clash opened at 43.5, and it has remained the same on BetOnline's current board. Given each team's recent struggles on offense, I do not see either one scoring all that many points this Sunday afternoon. The total has stayed under in eight of San Francisco's last 12 games, and it has stayed under in four of the Giants' last six games at home.
Game Pick: UNDER
YTD Record: 13-16-1
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