The final week of the NFL regular season favored the ‘over’ play with nine games going ‘over’ the total and seven games staying ‘under’.
Our top picks were off the mark with the right play on the Bills/Patriots game, but the wrong call on the Redskins/Eagles and Chargers/Raiders games. We ended the regular season with a year-to-date record of 28-21-2. The playoffs are the NFL’s second season and after poring through the stats for this weekend’s Wildcard Round of games the following are our top two ‘over/under’ plays. All lines quoted are provided by BetOnline.com.
Cincinnati’s rookie quarterback Andy Dalton appeared to run out of steam down the stretch as the offense scored 20 points or less in four of its last five games. Overall the Bengals’ offense finished the regular season ranked 20th in the league in total yards and 18th in scoring with an average of 21.5 points a game. Their defense was ranked seventh in total yards allowed and ninth in points allowed.
Houston had to hang-on for dear life over the last six games of its season to win the AFC South. First, Matt Schaub went down in Week 10, followed by Matt Leinart in Week 11, so the keys to the offense were turned over to rookie quarterback T.J. Yates for the final five games of the season. He threw for a total of 949 yards and three touchdowns as the Texans averaged just 17.6 points a game. The defense remained stout; giving-up less than 20 points a game during this same stretch of games.
The total has stayed ‘under’ in seven of Cincinnati’s last 10 games as an underdog of less than 3.5 points. The total has also stayed ‘under’ in six of Houston’s last eight home games and in eight of its last 10 games as a favorite. Head-to-head, the total has stayed ‘under’ in three of the last four meetings. Defense is going to win this game.
The Free NFL Pick: UNDER
While most of the attention when it comes to offense in the NFC South goes to New Orleans, the Falcons have quietly racked-up some impressive numbers this season. Matt Ryan has thrown for 4,177 yards and 29 touchdowns, while Michael Turner has run for 1,340 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. Atlanta finished the season ranked 10th in total yards per game and seventh in scoring with an average of 25.1 points a game.
New York was able to salvage its season by outscoring the Jets and the Cowboys 60-28 in its last two games to win the NFC East. It actually scored an average of 28.4 points in its last five games and finished the season ranked ninth in the NFL in scoring. The problem at times has been a defense that has uncharacteristically been unable to keep opposing teams out of the end zone. It ended-up ranked 25th in the league in points allowed; giving-up an average of 25 points a game.
The total has gone ‘over’ in three of Atlanta’s last four playoff games and in its last four games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in eight of New York’s last 10 games as favorites of three points or less and in 21 of its last 31 games against the NFC. The points will pile-up fast in Sunday’s game as Ryan and Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning both have big days.
Free NFL Pick: OVER
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.