Finally, the football odds are giving us some inflated totals in Week 6 – including a 51.5-point total for Thursday's game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints.
Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 14: 18-11 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 12-18 Total
In the words of the immortal Rick Scaia, we're all adults here, let's not pretend this is something it's not. Betting on totals has been zero fun this year. Where's the profit margin supposed to come from when all the totals are in the 40s? You might as well bet on coin flips – at least you don't have to wait all week for the result.
What's this? Ah, sweet relief: There are four totals in the 50s on the Week 6 NFL odds board. That includes Thursday night's NFC South battle (8:25 p.m. ET, CBS/NFLN) between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints. There's a 51.5-point total on the board as we go to press, up from 51 points at the open, thanks to a slight lean toward the OVER on our consensus reports. Hallelujah. Crank up the Deusenberg, Jeeves, we're going shopping.
Life Out of Balance
Our contrarian betting system has served us well against the spread this year, but totals are a different animal. We don't have a souped-up database here at the home office to crank out projected final scores and suss out market inefficiencies. Our best approach is to bet the UNDER on higher totals, and make bigger bets the higher the total climbs. Same thing with betting the OVER on low totals.
Apparently 51.5 points is a massive total in 2015. But is the Falcons-Saints game the right situation to bet the UNDER? We still have to look at the two teams themselves to verify they have what it takes to produce a low score. Results-wise, it isn't overly promising; the Falcons have the UNDER at 3-2, but the Saints have it at 2-3. New Orleans has the No. 9-ranked offense and the No. 32-ranked defense at Football Outsiders through Week 5. That's not the recipe we need for our NFL picks.
The Falcons (No. 6 offense, No. 17 defense) aren't doing us any favors, either. And the sharps aren't exactly falling over themselves to bet the UNDER. There are a couple of things happening that could keep a lid on Thursday's scoring, though. Falcons WR Julio Jones (hamstring) is expected to play against New Orleans, but Jones might be on a limited snap count.
Then you have No. 2 WR Leonard Hankerson and that rib injury he picked up last week against Washington. Hankerson was limited in practice on Tuesday; he's also listed as probable to face the Saints. With Jones and Hankerson both at less than 100 percent, Atlanta needed overtime to beat Washington 25-19 (UNDER 48.5). Let's hope for more of the same this week. Make it a suitably small bet, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.
Free NFL Pick: Take UNDER 51.5 (+101) at Pinnacle