NFL Picks: Seahawks vs. Falcons Picks on Total

Jason Lake

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 7:15 PM GMT

It was a rough week of NFL betting for both the sportsbooks and our resident Super Genius, but the UNDER helped salvage things by sweeping all four Wild Card games. Will the magic continue in the Divisional round?


Jason’s record on his final weekly NFL picks for the 2012 postseason:

0-4 ATS (–4.22 units)

3-1 Totals (+1.9 units)

Profit: –2.32 units 

Apparently I should have backed the UNDER to my NFL picks in all four Wild Card games after all. I had the OVER on the NFL betting line between the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins, but that one fizzled when Robert Griffin III was allowed to play on one good leg for more than half the game. Oh well. No use crying over mangled quarterbacks.

Be sure to check out my thoughts on the opening odds for this matchup.

This Is Not a Test 

Everything else played out according to plan as far as the Wild Card totals were concerned. Which makes me wonder if the zigzag theory I floated last week might have some validity in the Divisional round. Let’s see how the totals have shaken out over the past six seasons. 

2011: OVER 3-1

2010: OVER 4-0

2009: UNDER 3-1

2008: UNDER 3-1

2007: OVER 2-2

2006: OVER 2-2 


Beast Mode ON
Well, if this were an IQ test, I would say we’re due for another 2-2 split on the NFL odds board. Except then I’d have to call it “UNDER 2-2” just to make the symmetry work. But then I’d also have to acknowledge that there are six ways out of 16 combinations where you’ll have a split, compared to one way to get OVER 4-0 or UNDER 4-0. What I’m saying is, the betting pattern here isn’t something I’d use for predictive purposes. But it is interesting to know that the OVER is 7-1 in the Divisional round the past two seasons. That’s something that might have a basis to continue.

I’m not so sure the Georgia Dome is the right situation, though. All four totals this year have been plunked directly in the middle of the spectrum, ranging from 45 to 48, including a 46 on the NFL lines for Sunday’s matchup between the Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX). The Falcons are a very strong UNDER team this year at 11-5, including 7-1 at home and 6-1 in their last seven games overall.

Then again, I had the OVER last week for the Seahawks (UNDER 9-8) in part because of their second-half surge under QB Russell Wilson (100.0 passer rating, 5.2 yards per carry). The OVER went 5-1 to end the 2012 regular season after starting the year 0-5. Aside from Griffin’s injury, one of the reasons the UNDER cashed in last week was a rare Marshawn Lynch fumble at the Washington one-yard line. Lynch (5.0 yards per carry, 11 TDs) only had two lost fumbles during the entire regular season.

[gameodds]16/217327/43/us[/gameodds]

Regress, I’ve Had a Few 

Both the Falcons and the Seahawks have strong defenses and a running element to their games, especially the Seahawks. Atlanta has been going UNDER in part because Michael Turner is only getting 3.6 yards per carry this year. His career appears to have fallen over the physical cliff at age 30. RB Jacquizz Rodgers isn’t exactly lighting it up either at 3.9 yards per carry. 

Note as well that Atlanta has converted 45.1 percent of its third-down conversions this year, or second overall in the NFL. That would explain in part how a team with 9.1 Estimated Wins would be able to go 13-3 SU and 9-6-1 ATS. I think there’s an advantage to playing the UNDER here with the Falcons offense liable to regress against Seattle. 

NFL Picks: Take UNDER 45.5 (+103)