NFL Totals Betting: Week 15 Over and Under Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 12/10/2014
After posting a solid 4-2 record in my previous two weeks of NFL "over/under" picks for Doc's Sports, I hit the Mother lode in Week 14 with a perfect 3-0 mark in my top three plays. This boosted my year-to-date record with these free total line selections to 22-19-1. The overall results in the NFL last week on 5Dimes' closing betting odds clearly favored the "under" with 10 of 16 games staying under the total line.
The NFL regular season is down to its final three weeks, and from here on the games become crucial for the teams still in the playoff hunt. The better defenses in the league will start to tighten up, and the ball has a way of taking some funny bounces when it's cold. I have taken everything into consideration when handicapping this Sunday's NFL matchups to come up with three "over/under" picks that look like sure-fire winners to me. All my free total line picks are based on betting odds as provided by 5Dimes.
Sunday, Dec. 14
Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 41.5
The Raiders have won only two games all season long, but they just so happened to come in the last three weeks. Their first victory of the season was actually against the Chiefs at home in a 24-20 win that went over the 42.5-point closing line. This time around Oakland will be on the road, where it has managed to score a grand total of just 52 points in its last five road games.
Kansas City has stumbled down the stretch with three straight losses starting with that upset in Oakland. Its offense has averaged just 16.7 points in those three setbacks, and on the year the Chiefs have fallen to 16th in the league in scoring with 22.4 points a game. To stay in the AFC playoff race with a win, Kansas City is going to have to rely heavily on a defense that is still ranked fifth in the NFL in points allowed (18,5).
The total line in this AFC West clashed opened at 41.5, and it has held steady as the week has progressed. While there is a chance of rain in the forecast, weather should not be a factor with mild temperatures expected at game time. What will be a factor is Kansas City's defense extracting a bit of revenge for the 24 points it gave up in the first meeting. The total has stayed under in seven of the last nine meetings at Arrowhead Stadium, and it is staying under again this Sunday.
Game Pick: UNDER
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers (1 p.m. FOX)
Total Line: 42.5
Tampa Bay continues to plod its way through another lost season with just one win in its last nine games. Each week, the results on offense are amazingly similar with either 17 or 13 points scored in seven of its last eight games. The lone exception was a stunning 27-7 win on the road in Washington in Week 11. The chance for any kind of dramatic variance in the numbers this Sunday does not look too good.
Carolina has been almost as bad with a win and a tie in its last eight games, but amazingly enough at 4-8-1 it's just a half-game back in the NFC South Division title race. The Panthers' last seven games have produced another completely dismal effort on offense with an average of just 16.4 points a game. This can only get worse if quarterback Cam Newton is unable to go after hurting his back in a car accident this past Tuesday.
The oddsmakers appeared to be overly generous when they set this total line at 42, and after Newton's injury it actually jumped a bit to 42.5. This is one of those matchups where I can't see either offense crossing the 20-point mark to easily keep this game under the current betting line. It also helps that the total has stayed under in 10 of the last 14 meetings in Carolina.
Game Pick: UNDER
Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers (4:05 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 50.5
There was a stretch of games this season (six to be exact) where you could simply sit back and collect your winnings with an over play on the Broncos. Since that point the total has stayed under in three of their last four games, but that has a good chance to turning right back around this Sunday afternoon. Denver hung 35 points on the Chargers in the first meeting this season in a game that went over the same 50.5-point line. Peyton Manning knows it is a good time to start sharpening his game for the playoffs by locking up the AFC West with a win.
This is a do-or-die game for San Diego to not only keep the division race alive but to improve its chances to even make the playoffs in the highly-competitive AFC race. The only way to get this done is for Chargers' quarterback Philip Rivers to play at the form that helped his team win eight of its first 13 games. I am expecting a much better effort from this offense on Sunday after managing only 14 points at home last week against New England.
The total line for Game 2 of this AFC West season series opened at 50.5, and once again it looks like it is going to stay right there. It's obvious that both of these offenses know how to put points on the board with high-profile quarterbacks leading the way. Recent betting trends also point to a higher-than-expected score with the total going over in 30 of Denver's last 39 games against a team with a SU winning record.
Game Pick: OVER
YTD Record: 22-19-1
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