Seattle @ Baltimore (Under 42)
I’ll stay away from the line in this game here, except for in real life, where I’ll be plunking down some hefty change on the Hawks. No, this is the spot where I tell you that the totals in Vegas have finally caught up with the Seattle offense, right when the defense is playing better and are in line to meet a backup QB in Baltimore.
Of common opponents with the most similar defense to our own, St. Louis gave the Ravens fits in Week 11 and they only scored 16 points. That was before Joe Flacco was lost for the season, of course. Last week, the Matt Schaub led Ravens faced faced the 25th rated defense in the league according to DVOA and were only able to put up 13 points. Seattle currently sits at #7, just behind St. Louis, but I’d be hard pressed to find a defense that is playing better right now.
The risk here is that Seattle goes ahead and puts up 42 points on their own, taking this over the posted total. Last week was their highest scoring output on the road this year, at a 10AM PST start time no less. However, this is exactly why this line is as high as it is and I expect it to go even higher as we get closer to kickoff. Seattle games have posted over the total in the last four straight, after all. Haushka misses a PAT in this one to get us comfortably below the total, somewhere around 30-9 Hawks.
Betting System: Skewed Public Perception
New Orleans @ Tampa Bay (Over 50.5)
Y’all remember that week when Jameis Winston threw for five touchdowns? It’s about to happen again.
New Orleans has the worst defense in NFL history through Week 13 by DVOA. Basically everyone on Tampa’s roster should be on your fantasy team, especially those players that will be active for this game.
New Orleans brings a decent offense into this matchup as well, ranked 9th overall and going against the 23rd ranked defense in the league by points scored and allowed. Drew Brees banged up shoulder looks to be fully healed, which was slowing him down earlier in the year. Brandin Cooks and Mark Ingram will be out of the lineup, but we won’t need New Orleans to put up 35 points for this wager to cash.
However, the Saints just did put up 38 points on the number one defense in the land, so how much could the offense drop off facing Tampa Bay? Expect another barn burner as Tampa Bay actually stays in playoff contention through Week 14, and the injured New Orleans secondary exposes their soft underbelly.
Betting System: Saint Cary Williams
Dallas @ Green Bay (-7)
While it would be super fun to think the Cowboys would make the playoffs, their year ends here. Wait, it actually doesn’t as a 6-10 playoff team coming from the NFC East is still a possibility.
Green Bay still has a significant home field advantage at Lambeau, going 13-2 SU at home and 5-1 in their last six home games against Dallas. Most of those wins were quite lopsided, although the Packers won by only five points back in January against a healthy Dallas quarterback. Dallas now has the 30th ranked defense in the league, on the road, on a cold and wet day in Green Bay.
For all the media attention about the imminent downfall of the Packers remember that two of their recent losses were at Denver and at Carolina, who have pretty good defenses if you didn’t notice.
The fact that Dallas only scored 20 points on the New Orleans Saints, and six points until the final 90 seconds of the Washington game last week, points to a level of ineptitude that should start getting some folks fired. Scoring on the Saints right now is akin to a horny teenager eyeing a wholly watermelon in the warm summer sun - eventually a line will be crossed.
Betting System: Home Cookin’ + ‘Merica’s Team
Odds and trends provided by sportsbookreview.com.
As always, do your due diligence and be aware that lines are made to get action at 50% on each side and are not a 50/50 proposition. Good luck!