Come all ye office-pool players, casual bettors, wiseguys, and degenerate gamblers: the NFL Picks Against The Spread column is here to help you win mountains of cash and/or bragging rights. They say you need to win at least 53% of your games to actually make a profit betting on NFL games. Well you and I know that I’ll probably only hit about 45% at the most, so go ahead and play the opposite of all my recommended Best Bets and you’ll be sure to make some money.
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles Under 50.5
It would be easy to look at the matchup and assume that the two bad defenses will each yield their 28-30 ppg average and bet it will go over the total of 50.5. But both Philly and New York are struggling football teams desperate to grind out a win over a division rival. Oftentimes, division battles (especially in the NFC East) tend to feel like playoff games, no matter what time of year it is or how good or bad each team is in a given season. Last week the Giants ran the football more than they usually do and I expect them to employ a similar strategy this week at Philly. It’s on the back of Peyton Hillis of all people, but coming off a short week I can see Tom Coughlin employing Hillis to not only keep the Eagles potentially dangerous offense off the field, but also minimize Eli’s attempts so there’s less of a chance of crippling interceptions and quick 3-and-outs. On the other side of the ball, the Eagles fast-paced offense would seem to favor the Over, but the back-and-forth QB play of Foles/Vick has probably stunted the timing and I expect Philly coach Chip Kelly to employ a steady dose of LeSean McCoy to keep the chains (and clock) moving. Not sure which of these inconsistent teams will notch the win, but this should be a 27-20 or 24-21 type game that will stay under that high total.
New Orleans Saints -10.5 vs. Buffalo Bills
Backup QB Thad Lewis has looked good for the Bills and they’ve been the sneaky team that’s managed to beat Carolina, Baltimore and Miami, and go 5-2 against the spread. But the Superdome will prove to be too tough a venue for the young team, and Drew Brees off the bye week should be ready to light it up, with or without TE Jimmy Graham. I could see more Bills magic returning next week when they host the Chiefs at home in Buffalo, but in this second consecutive road game coming off a big divisional upset, I see them coming back down to earth hard as New Orleans cruises 38-17.
Washington Redskins at Denver Broncos Over 58.5
Don’t be scared off by the crazy total. Is it inflated since the whole world has watched the Broncos average (average!) more than 42 points per game? Sure. But Washington’s defense is horrible. Keep in mind their shootout with the Bears last week wasn’t Jay Cutler gunslingin’ the whole game, it was Cade McNown cold off the bench with no reps lighting up Washington’s defense. Oh, woops, actually it was Josh McCown completing 14 of 20 passes for 204 yards and a TD.
And now safety Brandon Merriweather is suspended and their other starting safety Reed Doughty suffered a concussion last week, so his status is in doubt for this Sunday. Of course the Washington defense is pretty bad even at full strength so you certainly don’t want to see Washington Post headlines like “Redskins Prepare to Face High-Powered Broncos With Depleted Secondary.”
Good luck with that, as the Broncos are averaging 48 ppg vs the other three NFC East teams this season. For those of you that dig on trends, in the last 3 years the Broncos OVER is:
- 8-2 in games with total of 49.5 or more
- 15-5 at home
- 17-7 as favorite
- 21-7 on a short week
- 8-3 vs. NFC, including 3-0 vs NFC East
- 28-12 in all games.
This season, not only has every Broncos game gone over, they’re doing so vs. average Totals of almost 53. So they are beating really high numbers.
One might argue that Robert Griffin III has only looked good in garbage time or against subpar defenses like that Chicago unit… but how good is Denver’s D? Despite Peyton Manning giving them leads and forcing opponents to be one-dimensional passing teams to catch up…the Broncos still give up 28 ppg and that average includes games vs. juggernaut offenses from Oakland and Jacksonville (not to mention the Giants and Ravens, who once had decent offenses but don’t look good this year).
Won’t Shanny and Son (and Griffin who grew up a Broncos fan) be coming into Denver with just a little extra motivation to show off their own offensive prowess? Okay, I’m reaching a bit there. But I don’t see how Denver doesn’t score at least 42 in this game, so just 17 from Washington will send this one Over the total. Sometimes there’s a reason they set Over/Unders so high, and for teams like Washington and Denver, they can’t set them high enough.
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