NFL Totals Betting: Week 16 Over and Under Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 12/17/2014
The "under" dominated the betting results on the total line last week in the NFL with 12 of the 16 games staying under on 5Dimes closing betting odds. I fell to 1-2 with Week 15's total line picks for Doc's Sports after going a perfect 3-0 the week before. The net result is a year-to-date record of 23-21-1 heading into this week's games.
With start of the playoffs right around the corner, the better defenses in the NFL will continue to dictate the outcome of quite a few games that still carry some postseason implications. I have uncovered a pair of matchups in this Sunday's NFL games that fit the bill as well as one where the offense should run wild all day long. The following is a look at my top 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. 21
Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 41.5
Baltimore remains in the thick of a very tight AFC North title race with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. It won its ninth game of the season last week in a 20-12 grinder against Jacksonville. The total has now stayed under in three of Ravens' last five games, with the defense holding opponents to an average of 18.6 points a game. This is slightly better than their 19.1 point season average that is ranked sixth in the NFL.
The Texans' loss to Indianapolis last week ended their run at the AFC South title, but you still have to be impressed with the fact that they held the league's third-highest scoring team to just 17 points. Defense has never been the issue with Houston this season as the seventh-ranked team in the league in points allowed (19.8). The problem for this game is that an inconsistent offense that will now have to turn to a backup quarterback to replace an injured Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The total line for this contest first opened at 41.5, and it has held steady on 5Dimes' board as the week has progressed. Both of these teams are going to lead with a heavy dose of defense in this matchup. The Ravens will surely go after whoever gets the start for Houston at quarterback, and the Texans have the ability to make life miserable for Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco as well. The total has stayed under in three of the last four meetings, and it is staying under again this Sunday.
Game Pick: UNDER
Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1 p.m. FOX)
Total Line: 48.5
Everyone is still scratching their heads trying to figure out what happened to one of the most potent offenses in the league last Sunday in the Packers' stunning 21-13 loss to Buffalo. Leading the way is Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was at the top of most people's MVP list before last Sunday's game. The truly great quarterbacks in this league know how to quickly bounce back from a bad day, so look for Rodgers to put on a passing clinic this Sunday in Tampa Bay.
The 2-12 Buccaneers will be hard pressed to keep this from turning into lopsided rout with a defense that is ranked 24th in the league against the pass and 25th in both total yards allowed (366.6) and points allowed (26.2). Tampa Bay's offense is averaging just 18.1 points a game this season, but it could have some better success against a Packers' defense that is ranked 18th in the NFL in points allowed (23.2)
The betting odds for the total in this game opened at 48.5, and they have remained right at that number ever since. The total has gone over in 12 of Green Bay's last 17 road games. Given the added motivation that this offense will bring to the table this Sunday, it's hard to see Tampa Bay keeping the Packers from scoring at will in this one.
Game Pick: OVER
Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals (8:30 p.m. NBC)
Total Line: 36.5
Seattle proved last season that its defense is more than capable of shutting down even the best offenses in the league. Following a few sketchy outings, this unit has returned to that championship form over the course of the past few weeks. Its current four-game winning streak started with a 19-3 victory at home against Arizona. Additionally, along with holding the high-powered Eagles to just 14 points on the road, this defense has allowed a combined 10 points in a pair of victories against San Francisco.
Arizona is 11-3 on the year and in position to lock up home-field advantage in the NFC with a win on Sunday night, but it will have to get it done with third-string quarterback Ryan Lindley at the helm. Fortunately, the Cardinals' defense has been almost as impressive as Seattle's down the stretch. This unit is ranked right behind its bitter division rival in points allowed (17.4), and it is ranked sixth in the NFL against the run. This should help to neutralize one of the Seahawks' biggest strengths.
The total line for this crucial NFC West showdown first opened at 37, and it has been driven down slightly to 36.5. That is still high enough for me in a game where either team will really struggle to put more than 17 points on the board. The total has stayed under in six of Seattle's last eight games as a road favorite, and it has also stayed under in eight of the Cardinal's last 11 home games as underdogs.
Game Pick: UNDER
YTD Record: 23-21-1
Want free NFL picks? Doc's has you covered. New clients can take advantage of this great offer of $60 in free Doc's Sports members' picks for any handicapper on Doc's Advisory Board. Just check out these guys' pages and see what great work they have done making money for themselves and their clients over the years. Click here for this exclusive $60 picks offer. Also, get three handicappers for the price of one when you sign up for a full-season football package! Click Here for details.
Read more articles by Dave Schwab
Most Recent NFL Handicapping
- 2022 Super Bowl Predictions
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 14 Opening Line Report and Picks
- Basic Strategy Teasers: Best Week 13 NFL Betting Options
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 13 Opening Line Report and Picks
- Basic Strategy Teasers: Best Week 12 NFL Betting Options
- Basic Strategy Teasers: Best Week 11 NFL Betting Options
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 11 Opening Line Report and Picks
- Basic Strategy Teasers: Best Week 10 NFL Betting Options
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 10 Opening Line Report and Picks
- Basic Strategy Teasers: Best Week 9 NFL Betting Options