NFL Picks: Cowboys vs. Saints Betting the Total

Jason Lake

Saturday, November 9, 2013 10:51 PM GMT

It’s not easy to pick the OVER when there’s a total of 54 points up on the NFL odds board. That’s what the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints are aiming at Sunday night.

Jason’s record on his final NFL picks for 2013, up to November 9 inclusive:

24-19-1 ATS

1-1 ML (+0.71 units)

4-7 Totals

These NFL totals are making me tilt. I honked another one Thursday night; Washington and Minnesota only needed three quarters to blow out the 48-point total, with the Vikings eventually winning 34-27. Oh well. At least I got the spread pick right.

I’m sure all my trolls would love to see me go mental and pick the OVER in Sunday night’s matchup (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC) between the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints, but that’s just not going to happen. Not with a total of 54 points on the Week 10 NFL lines, no sir. I’m not saying the Cowboys and Saints aren’t capable of putting up a Tecmo Bowl score at the Superdome. I just wouldn’t bet on it.

Studio 54

We’re through the looking-glass here, people. Once you get above 51 points, you’re asking a whole lot of any two NFL teams to nail the OVER. In theory. Let’s see if things have changed much in this hyper-offensive (in more ways than one) 2013 campaign. Here’s every single game so far this year with a total of 52 or higher once the football betting windows have closed:

Week 1: ATL-NO, UNDER 54

Week 1: PHI-WAS, OVER 52.5

Week 2: SD-PHI, OVER 52.5

Week 2: DEN-NYG, OVER 54

Week 4: DEN-PHI, OVER 58.5

Week 5: DET-GB, UNDER 54

Week 5: PHI-NYG, OVER 54

Week 5: DEN-DAL, OVER 57

Week 6: JAX-DEN, OVER 53

Week 6: WAS-DAL, UNDER 53.5

Week 7: DAL-PHI, UNDER 56

Week 7: DEN-IND, OVER 56.5

Week 8: DAL-DET, OVER 52.5

Week 8: WAS-DEN, OVER 58.5

Okay then. But if you take out the Denver Broncos and their stupidly awesome offense (No. 6 among all NFL teams since 1989 through Week 9), and the Philadelphia Eagles with Chip Kelly’s blur offense, you get the UNDER at 3-1. The one miss was in Week 8 between the Cowboys and the Detroit Lions, in a matchup that was 13-7 Dallas after three quarters before the Lions won 31-30. Also, note that in Week 7, the Cowboys beat the aforementioned Eagles 17-3.

Don't forget the Picks on the Spread!

I’ve Got My Boots – Dusty

It’s not like the Cowboys (UNDER 5-4) and Saints (UNDER 4-4) have been blowing out the NFL totals this year, either. In fact, those in-between results are just about right considering the make-up of these two teams. Football Outsiders has Dallas ranked No. 12 in offensive efficiency and No. 18 on defense; New Orleans is ranked No. 7 on offense and No. 13 on defense.

Maybe there’s something in the clash of styles that leans toward more scoring on Sunday night. But it doesn’t seem that way. While both these teams have an offense that tilts heavily toward the pass, the Saints are also outstanding at pass defense, ranking No. 6 overall in that category. Dallas is No. 16 in the league against the pass and No. 19 against the run, so nothing glaring there.

What if we take the NFL odds out of the equation? The Cowboys have seen three of their nine games produce more than 53 points, including their season opener against the New York Giants; the Saints have seen 54 points or more just twice, against the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins. It’s just not that common of an occurrence. Yet our consensus reports show nearly 70 percent of bettors on the OVER for this matchup. Shop around, and you can get UNDER 54 at good vigorish. Maybe it’s even worth waiting until closer to kick-off to see if those NFL totals climb even higher.

NFL Pick: Take UNDER 54 (+101)