NFL Totals Betting: Week 5 Over and Under Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 10/1/2014
Last week in the NFL was a great time to cash in on the total line, with 10 of the 13 games going "over" BetOnline's closing betting odds. I capitalized on the over in two of my three picks to run this year's overall record to 7-5. This is my fourth straight season that I will be releasing my top three weekly picks on the NFL "over/under" betting lines for Doc's Sports.
Fresh off my winning record in Week 4, I have gone back to work breaking down this week's NFL matchups to come up with my top three picks on the total line for this Sunday's games based on betting odds by BetOnline.
Sunday, Oct. 5
Atlanta Falcons vs. New York Giants (1 p.m. FOX)
Total Line: 50.5
The Falcons come into this game licking their wounds after getting picked apart last Sunday in a stunning 41-28 loss to rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and the Minnesota Vikings. This was actually one of my picks on the over line, but I expected the score to be reversed after Atlanta hung 56 points on Tampa Bay the week before. No matter how the final score swings in their games, the Falcons know how to put points on the board as well as give them up.
Somebody finally woke up the sleeping Giants, and the result has been a two-game winning streak in which they have outscored both Houston and Washington by a combined total of 75-31. A big part of this newfound success can be attributed to the revitalized play of Eli Manning, who is now trading touchdown passes for interceptions. The real surprise has been the emergence of a legitimate ground game behind Rashad Jennings. He has rushed for 341 yards on 81 carries this year.
The total line for this game opened at 50, and some early money on the over has pushed it to 50.5. I am still on board despite the upward movement in what I see as a high-scoring game between two offenses that can light up a scoreboard win or lose. The total has gone over in four of Atlanta's last six road games, and it has gone over in three of the Giants first four games this year.
Game Pick: OVER
Chicago Bears vs. Carolina Panthers (1 p.m. FOX)
Total Line: 45.5
The Bears' offense averaged 25 points in its first three games this season, but it sputtered to just 17 points last week against Green Bay with Jay Cutler throwing two interceptions. The only takeaway I have from their 2-2 start is that the Bears remain as unpredictable as ever based on how Cutler manages this offense. He could have his issues again this week against one of the better defenses in the league that has played especially well against the pass.
Carolina is still trying to feel its way through the early going with a 2-2 start, but it is going to have to play much better than it did in last Sunday's 38-10 beatdown at the hands of Baltimore. We already know that this offense is suspect even when Cam Newton is playing well. Through four games it's ranked 28th in the NFL in scoring with an average of 18.2 points per game. The defense should be able to bounce back quickly at home this week after last week's loss on the road.
This total line opened at 46.5, and the early money pushed it down a point to 45.5. While I normally do not chase the betting public's money, I actually think they know something this time around. It will only take one or two mistakes to throw Cutler off his game, and I can't see the Panthers lighting up the scoreboard if they have to rely heavily on passing the ball with some key injuries in the running game. It also helps that the total has stayed "under" in 11 of Carolina's last 14 games.
Game Pick: UNDER
Total Line: 43.5
Could this be the week that we see Michael Vick make his first appearance as a Jet? Rex Ryan's patience level with Geno Smith can't be all that high after last week's performance in a loss to Detroit. He completed just 17-of-33 attempts for 209 yards, and on the year his completion rate is barely above 60 percent. The other concern is a defense that is third in the NFL in yards allowed but ranked 17th in points allowed (24.0)
The Chargers are the new darlings of the AFC after posting three straight wins while scoring an average of 28.3 PPG. They put up 30 points against Seattle in a Week 2 win at home, and last Sunday they hung 33 points on Jacksonville. Philip Rivers is playing some of the best ball of his career with 1,155 yards passing and nine touchdown throws while completing over 70 percent of his 137 attempts.
The total line for this contest opened at 43, and it has been driven up slightly to 43.5 during the course of the week. It could probably go a few points higher, and I would still take the over in this matchup. The Jets may not be able to score all that many points even if Vick does get a chance to play, but I am counting on Rivers and the Chargers' offense to do the heavy lifting in this Sunday afternoon. The total has gone over in five of New York's last seven games as a road underdog and it has gone over in four of San Diego's last five games as a favorite at home.
Game Pick: OVER
YTD Record: 7-5
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