NFL Totals Betting: Week 8 Over and Under Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 10/22/2014
I picked the wrong week to favor the "over" in my weekly picks for Doc's Sports with nine of the 15 games in Week 7 of the NFL regular season staying "under" the closing total line. The result was a 1-2 record in my top three picks which dropped me below .500 on the year at 10-11.
Fortunately, my confidence level heading into Week 8's slate of NFL games is running high that this time around I am cashing in on all three of my top picks on the total line using the betting odds from BetOnline.
Sunday, Oct. 26
Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 43
The Texans fast 3-1 start has spiraled downward into a four-game losing streak that has been reminiscent of the way this team played in last year's two-win campaign. Houston continues to get some solid play from a defense that is ranked 11th in the NFL in points allowed, but its offense has struggled to consistently move the ball and score points. This unit is ranked 20th in the league in scoring with 22.1 points a game.
Tennessee is in the midst of another losing season with just two victories in its first five games. The problems with the Titans have been on both sides of the ball with an offense that has managed to post an average of only 17.3 points a game dragging down a defense that is ranked 23rd in the league in points allowed (24.6). The quarterback position is such a mess that you should not be surprised to see rookie Zach Mettenberger get a shot to run the show at some point in this game.
The total for this AFC South clash opened at 43 points, and it has remained steady on BetOnline's board as the week has worn on. With neither offense lighting it up as of late, this one should quickly turn into a grinder that keeps the scoring low. The total has stayed under in seven of Houston's last nine road games against the division.
Game Pick: UNDER
Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1 p.m. CBS)
Total Line: 43
The Dolphins stunned Chicago last Sunday 27-14 on the road. The game stayed under the 47.5 closing line as their defense did an excellent job of keeping the Bears' potent offensive attack in check. This unit is now ranked fourth in the NFL in average yards allowed, and it is also ranked fourth against the pass. The reason that Miami is just 3-3 on the year is a lack of consistency on offense as Ryan Tannehill continues an up-and-down quest to remain the team's starting quarterback.
Jacksonville has played like a team that started the season with the longest odds to win the AFC this year. It finally got off the schneid last Sunday with a stunning 24-6 win against the over-hyped Cleveland Browns, but the fact remains that this offense is still ranked dead last in the NFL in scoring with an average of 15.0 points a game. You do have to give credit to a defense that has now allowed a total of just 39 points in its last three outings.
This total opened at 43, and it has also remained steady throughout the week. There is nothing in this matchup that tells me either team is going to explode on offense this week. In fact, given the current form of these units, I see both teams struggling to cross the 20-point mark in this game. The total has stayed under in five of Miami's last seven games as a road favorite, and it has stayed under in 10 of the Jaguars' last 14 games as underdogs at home.
Game Pick: UNDER
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Arizona Cardinals (4:05 p.m. FOX)
The 5-1 Eagles played their most complete game of the year heading into last week's bye after dismantling the New York Giants 27-0 in Week 6. There is no doubt that head coach Chip Kelly's offense knows how to put points on the board with a scoring average of 30.5 points, which is the third-highest total in the league. Give the defense credit for the job it did against the Giants, but this unit is still ranked 23rd against both the pass and the run in yards allowed.
The return of quarterback Carson Palmer has done wonders for the Cardinals' offense the past two weeks. He has thrown for over 500 yards and four scores in back-to-back victories over Washington and Oakland by a combined score of 54-33. Arizona's defense is ranked first in the league against the run, but it could have its hands full against the Eagles with a pass defense that is ranked 31st in the NFL.
There has been no movement with this total line on BetOnline's board after it opened at 48. Any time a see a total line less than 50 in an Eagles' game, it catches my interest. The total has gone over in eight of their last 11 road games and in five of their last six games as underdogs on the road. The total has also gone over in six of Arizona's last eight games against the NFC East.
Game Pick: OVER
YTD Record: 10-11
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