NFL Totals Betting: Week 3 Over and Under Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 9/17/2014
If you love to wager on the "over/under" betting odds when it comes to the NFL, you would have cleaned up in the first two weeks on the under, which has paid off in 20 of the first 32 games. After a fast 3-0 start with my top three weekly picks, I came back to earth with a 1-2 record in Week 2. This is the fourth straight season I will be releasing my weekly picks on the NFL over/under betting lines for Doc's Sports.
After coming up on the losing end of last week's picks, I have gone back to work breaking down this week's NFL matchups. The following are my top three picks on the total line for Week 3 in the NFL based on betting odds by BetOnline.
Sunday, Sept. 21
Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 41.5
The Ravens bounced back from an opening-week loss to Cincinnati with a 26-6 victory over Pittsburgh last Thursday night, and my top two takeaways from these games is that Baltimore's defense is starting to resemble its old self and that its offense is still a work in progress as far as putting the ball in the end zone. Joe Flacco has the passing game ranked 12th in the league in yards per game, and the Ravens are averaging 125.5 yards on the ground, but there have been plenty of missed opportunities along the way to score points.
Cleveland stunned New Orleans last week with an impressive late-game drive to pull out a 26-24 victory as a five-point home underdog. The play of quarterback Brian Hoyer will most likely keep rookie phenom Johnny Manziel on the bench for the foreseeable future, but he will be tested this week against a much tougher defense than the Steelers or the Saints.
The total line in the AFC North clash opened at 41.5, and so far this week it has held steady. These two bitter rivals have staged a few dogfights over the past few years, with the total staying under in six of the last seven meetings. This includes it staying under in four of the last five games played in Cleveland.
Game Pick: UNDER
Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 45.5
The Colts late-game rally against Denver on opening weekend came up short, and their defense's collapse in the second half of Monday night's matchup against Philadelphia gave that game away. This adds up to a 0-2 start and desperate need to right the ship as heavy favorites on the road this week. The one thing that does remain steady about Indianapolis is the ability to put points on the board with a total of 51 in those two games. It is too bad that its defense has allowed 61 points to its opponents.
You would never compare Jacksonville's offense to Denver or Philadelphia, but it should still be able to take advantage of Indy's defense to put some points on the board. It managed 17 in the first half against the Eagles before taking a turn for the worse in the second half of that game as well as in a 41-10 loss to Washington last Sunday. The Jaguars' defense has now allowed a league-high 75 points, which should have Colts' quarterback Andrew Luck chomping at the bit for Sunday's game.
This is another total line that has held steady throughout the week after opening at 45.5. Indianapolis should be able to put up 40 points or more on its own, so all the Jaguars need to do is tack on a few field goals to eclipse this number. The total has gone over in six of the Colts last seven road games, and it has also gone over in four of Jacksonville's last five games at home.
Game Pick: OVER
Houston Texans at New York Giants (1 p.m. FOX)
Total Line: 42
Do not look for Ryan Fitzpatrick to work his way up the list in total passing yards this season, but he has managed the game well in back-to-back victories over Washington and Oakland to start the season. The real reason that the Texans have already matched last season's win total is a revitalized defense that has quickly returned to the form that made it one of the top units in the league a couple of seasons back. This unit has allowed a total of just 20 points in its first two games, which is ranked first in the NFL.
The Giants are well on their way to another dismal start with losses to Detroit and Arizona by a combined score of 60-28. Eli Manning remains in a funk in New York's re-tooled offensive scheme with just 440 yards passing in his first two games. Turnovers have once again been an issue with four interceptions against three touchdown throws. Desperation has a way of bringing out the best in a team, but no matter how well the Giants' offense plays this Sunday it is still going to have a hard time putting points on the board.
I am going with the third straight total line that has remained steady since being released, but I loved the 42 points in this game from the minute it was set. The recent betting trend on the under has been favorable for both teams with it staying under in four of their last five games. Current form also dictates a low-scoring affair in the matchup between Houston's defense and the Giants' offense.
Game Pick: UNDER
YTD Record: 4-2
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