Betting the Total for 49ers vs. Broncos NFL Picks

Jason Lake

Thursday, October 16, 2014 6:00 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 6:00 PM UTC

After a slow start to the 2014 season, the OVER is killing the NFL odds at 50-41. And the Denver Broncos are staring at a rare sub-50 total when they host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football.

Jason’s Record After Week 6: 21-22 ATS, 5-10-1 Totals

Profit: minus-13.99 units


They had us fooled for a while there. Scoring was down to kick off the 2014 NFL regular season; the UNDER went 9-7 in Week 1 and Week 2, and we were making a profit with our NFL picks against the total going into October. It was like a throwback to the days when the UNDER was the default pick, based on simple contrarian betting principles – people love scoring, people bet on what they want to see, people overbet the OVER, yadda yadda.

Phooey. Scoring has risen back up to 23.4 points per team per game, same as it was last year, and we’ve honked each of our last six picks. Four of those were on the UNDER. Didn’t we tell ourselves we were going to make the OVER our default pick in 2014, just like the sharps have been doing for a while now? Well, it’s never too late, and we’ve got a decent enough spot to pound the OVER this Sunday night (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC) when the San Francisco 49ers visit the Denver Broncos. There’s a total of 49.5 points on the Week 7 NFL odds board that hasn’t moved since the open.


‘Til Tuesday
Actually, that depends how you define “open.” Our odds board shows 49.5 points, but if you look at the consensus numbers, we saw 100 percent support for the OVER on an opening total of 50.5. The consensus quickly flipped to the UNDER at 88 percent before balancing off when the total dipped back down to 49.5.

This is where your research skills come in handy. Different online sportsbooks release their odds at different times; in general, the ones who published their first Week 7 totals on Sunday opened the Niners-Broncos game at 47 points, while those who held off until Monday opened at 51.5. Most of our featured books got into the market on Tuesday with an over/under of 50.5 points. This happens a lot with totals, so make sure you’re doing a proper job of comparison shopping and snapping up those juicy bargains while they’re available.


Pick-Six Nix Tix
We’d love to be able to pick OVER 47 in this game. It’s not a perfect situation, given how improved the Broncos are on defense this year, but we don’t see enough reason to move off our default position. Let’s play devil’s advocate anyway: Denver (OVER 3-2) has the No. 2-ranked defense (No. 3 pass, No. 4 rush) on the Week 6 DVOA charts at Football Outsiders. That’s up from No. 15 overall last year. The Niners (UNDER 4-2) have the No. 3-ranked defense (No. 4 pass, No. 12 rush), up from No. 13 last year.

We also need to point out that last week’s game between the Broncos and the New York Jets only went OVER 47 because Geno Smith threw a pick-six in the final minute. Also, the Niners game against the St. Louis Rams only went OVER 44 because Austin Davis – you guessed it – threw a pick-six in the final minute. Both games ended with a final score of 31-17. Coincidence? Um, yes.

We wouldn’t expect Peyton Manning and Colin Kaepernick to make the same mistake. Okay, maybe Kaepernick, who threw one to the Philadelphia Eagles in a Week 4 matchup that still went UNDER 49.5. But we would expect Manning to throw his share of touchdown passes to his own team. He needs three more Sunday night to break Brett Favre’s NFL career record of 508. Denver has scored 29.4 points per game this year, and San Fran has chipped in another 23.5 points, so this total is certainly within reach. We’re also expecting clear skies over Mile High with maybe a light breeze. Onward and upward.

Free NFL Pick: Bet one unit on OVER 49.5 (–103) at Pinnacle

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